Live Fire, 2014
So, if I said to you “hey, there’s this event that is held out at an iconic Texas BBQ joint that is practically a ranch, nestled between live oaks, and nearly twenty of the local area’s most esteemed chefs and pitmasters will each be creating a tasting plate just for the event, with the theme being beef and fire grilling/smoking”, I would hope your response would be “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”, because that’s really how I felt about it. If that description was too long for you, let me tell you how the promoters summed it up:
CHEFS. FIRE. MEAT.
I purchased a ticket nearly immediately after reading about Live Fire, which is organised by the Austin Food & Wine Alliance (not Ron Swanson as you might expect) and held out in the grounds of the Salt Lick. Though the menu and chef lineup alone was enough to get me on board, you should know that the event also involved an abundance of local breweries, vineyards and distilleries, and sampling their various fermented wares was all inclusive.
And may I just say…epic. Despite the relentless drizzle that activated BurgerMaryFro, I had a great experience and loved being able to sample the creative bites from so many renowned chefs in the one place. I wanted to share a few of my stand out favourites with you:
Let me start with the dish that was the absolute star of the evening, presented by Jesse Perez from Arcade Midtown Kitchen in San Antonio – Toasted chile and garlic skirt steak with jalapeño jelly, cherry tomato relish and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Sorry folks, this one may not have the highest “food porn” visual appeal, but it was a superbly balanced dish. The jelly and relish both had great complexity of flavour without being overpowering, the skirt steak (which can be tougher than an old boot) was cooked to perfection and the toasted pumpkin seeds added a great pop of textural crunch. Absolutely delicious. I took a peek at their full menu and now have their Australian lamb chops with pasilla fig mole set firmly in my sights.
So all in all – GREAT SUCCESS! I’m definitely in again for next year.
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Fort Worth is experiencing a renaissance of incredible barbecue, and fast becoming one of the MUST VISIT destinations for Texas BBQ pilgrimages....