Shutterstock 401388355 kial89

Image: Shutterstock

It wasn't too long ago many Houstonians figured meat just came from convenient Styrofoam packages instead of living, breathing animals. Too many of us still do. On October 9, the Butcher's Ball will bring city slickers right to the farm, specifically Rockin' Star Ranch in Brenham, to celebrate the best of sustainable ranching practices.

The first-time event is a collaboration between Elaine Dillard, director of development and sponsorship for the Orange Show (Rockin' Star is her family ranch) and chef Jason Kerr. Kerr is currently working as operations manager for the Houston branch of Farm to Table, a locavore food distribution company started by John Lash in Austin eight years ago. The business already brings food to a few Houston eateries including Uchi and Snooze, but will expand operations now that Farm to Table's first Houston warehouse, at Beechnut and Hillcroft, passed inspection earlier this week.

Clearly, Kerr is passionate about local food. For this event, he and Dillard are focusing on meaty bits, inspired by Josh Ozersky-founded international event Meatopia. The centerpiece is a grand tasting of small plates created by 14 chefs from the Houston and Austin areas that border Brenham. Kerr says that he consciously chose a diverse group to represent many strata of dining. "They're all supporters of 44 Farms and Foodways Texas," he says. "If you think about Willow [Villareal, of Willow's Texas BBQ], he’s this up-and-coming barbecue chef, all the way up to David Cordúa, who has however many restaurants now."

Top Chef alum John Tesar will make the trip from Dallas, while Houston-area meat specialists will include Antoine Ware of Harold's; EJ Miller, late of Down House; Tommy Elbashary of B&B Butchers and Stefon Rishel of 51fifteen. Sweets will be provided by two pastry chefs, both Houstonians: Oxheart's Karen Man and Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar. Guests will vote on their favorite by tossing a wooden nickel in a jar at their preferred chef's station. The cook with the most coins at the end wins the "Golden Cleaver," an award which Kerr says he hopes will be functional.

Shutterstock 413514595 dszd6l

Image: Shutterstock

The food on those plates will already be broken down long before visitors arrive at 2 p.m. But around 2:30, Felix Florez of Black Hill Ranch will take apart an elk from the Rockin' Star herd. Not enough whole animal goodness? An entire pig will be roasting, too. And no pig pickin' party is complete without beer. In this case, it will be regional suds from Karbach BrewingPedernales Brewing Company and Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Lindsay Rae of Grand Prize Bar will sling cocktails.

A mini farmers market organized by Urban Harvest will focus on its favorite meat purveyors. Elements of the festival will be set up all over the ranch, under tents. But as the name implies, parts will be in Rockin' Star's upscale ballroom. Live music will play throughout the day, ending with headliner Leopold and His Fiction. Artist Galina Kurlat will show tintypes of Houston chefs, including some cooking that day.

All that meaty partying might be exhausting. The Butcher's Ball is way ahead of you. Buses from Houston to Brenham will be available to protect the meat drunk (or just drunk) from a risky drive home. 

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Filed under
Show Comments
In this Article

Editor’s Pick

Grand Prize Bar

Cocktails, Dive 1010 Banks St

A favorite of both service industry personnel and hipsters of every stripe, this Museum District hangout’s grungy, youthful atmosphere is replete with creati...

Harold's Tap Room

350 W. 19th St.

Cask wines; locally focused, handcrafted cocktails and local beers are the focuses at this downtown Heights bar. Food comes from chef Antoine Ware, who uses ...

Editor’s Pick

Fluff Bake Bar

$$ Dessert 314 Gray St.

There’s a friendly look to Fluff Bake Bar, owing to its space—as light and airy as a meringue—and the small milk bottles full of daisies that top its tables....

Oxheart Closed

$$$$ American/New American 1302 Nance St.

When Justin Yu came back to Houston from Copenhagen and opened Oxheart in early 2012, detractors claimed that a multicultural, vegetable-focused, tasting men...

Editor’s Pick

51fifteen Cuisine & Cocktails

$$$ American/New American 5175 Westheimer Rd.

Located on the second floor of Saks Fifth Avenue in the Galleria, this ultra-modern restaurant is attracting foodies as readily as it's bringing in ladies wh...

Editor’s Pick

B&B Butchers & Restaurant

$$$$ Steak 1814 Washington Ave

At lunch, the old-school deli slings swoon-worthy sandwiches like Hungarian salami and liverwurst on a warm Kaiser roll; at dinner, B&B’s swanky dining r...

Down House

$$ American/New American 1801 Yale St.

Down House is named after the famous home of Charles Darwin in Kent. It was there that he developed the theory of evolution, while working in the estate’s el...

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

$$ American/New American 3217 Montrose Blvd., #100

This Colorado-based chain is known for its elaborate line-up of morning foods and cocktails in addition to servers outfitted in superhero costumes and capes....

Editor’s Pick


$$$$ Japanese 904 Westheimer Rd.

The original Uchi in Austin earned chef Tyson Cole a James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest. The Houston location of this Japanese gem resides in the stil...