When James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd learned his good friend and former sommelier Antonio Gianola had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, his first reaction was to “throw a huge party and raise a ton of money.” He enlisted the help of his friends Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue; Sean Brock of Husk, McCrady’s, and Minero; and Rodney Scott of Scott’s Barbecue and brought them all down to Houston.
On Sunday, October 11, Shepherd will host Southern Smoke, an event featuring Brock, Franklin, and Scott that will turn Underbelly, Hay Merchant, and Blacksmith into a massive street party that has been projected to raise at least $100,000 for the MS Society.
Shepard is “so excited to bring these incredible cooks to Houston, and I’m incredibly honored that they agreed to participate. I can’t think of three better people to help me honor Antonio and do what we can to fight this disease that has taken such a toll on our industry.”
Southern Smoke will also mark the first event featuring the HOUBBQ Collective, formed by a group of local chefs — Terrence Gallivan, Seth Siegel-Gardner, Ryan Pera, Chris Shepherd, and Justin Yu. Siegel-Gardner, co-owner of The Pass and Provisions, says that. “Working events like Southern Smoke collectively — not as individual restaurants — gives us a chance to spend time with our friends, but most importantly, we get to cook together.”
Of course, Shepherd can’t host an event for Gianola without pouring incredible wines, and both Karbach and Saint Arnold’s will be pouring beer. Folk Family Revival, one of Shepherd’s favorite local bands, will provide the live music.
For tickets to the event, please visit Southern Smoke’s website.