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2nd Annual Butcher's Ball to Benefit Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

40 of Texas’ top chefs, butchers and culinary leaders converge to support sustainability while raising funds for local farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Harvey

BRENHAM, TX – Following a successful inaugural year that showcased 13 Texas chefs competing for the Golden Cleaver award to a crowd of nearly 500, The Butcher’s Ball is back – scheduled for October 15, 2017 at beautiful Rockin’ Star Ranch in Brenham, TX! The meat-focused food and drink event aims to highlight local ranchers adhering to ethical and sustainable ranching practices.

Due to the widespread devastation across southeast Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey, many local farmers and ranchers experienced loss to their businesses. The Butcher’s Ball will be raising funds through our charity partner Piggy Bank, in conjunction with the Trust for Conservation Innovation, to be distributed directly to those growers and producers who were affected by the storm.

This year’s Butcher’s Ball will welcome over 40 leaders in all aspects of the industry. Guests will eat, drink, dance, and learn through a lineup of programming including:

  • The Golden Cleaver showdown

  • A live music series headlined by Texas legend Dale Watson

  • Butchering from Texas’s award-winning butchers

  • Panel discussions focusing on issues facing the food industry featuring an array of culinary leaders including Ford Fry, Felix Florez and Brady Lowe

  • Cocktails and spirits curated by Julep’s Alba Huerta

  • An early morning Boucherie v. Matanza competition hosted by Felix Florez of Black Hill Ranch

All spread amongst Rockin’ Star Ranch’s luxurious ballroom, pool, arena, and fields.

Rockin' Star Ranch

Field and Farmer's Market at The Butcher's Ball. Photo by Emily Jaschke

Chefs from across the state will prepare dishes utilizing every element of the five main culinary proteins: beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and seafood. Supported by our ranching partners 44 Farms, Black Hill Ranch, Louisiana Foods, Liberty Provisions, Three Sisters Farms, and Yonder Way Farm, the following chefs will be competing for the Golden Cleaver Award – voted on by the public based on their favorite dish:

Ara MalekianHarlem Road Texas BBQ (Richmond)

Ben RunkleSalt & Time (Austin)

Benjy MasonDown House (Houston)

Bobby MatosState of Grace (Houston)

Brek WebberTin Roof BBQ (Atascocita)

Dawn Burrell Uchiko (Austin)

Dominick LeeKiran’s (Houston)

EJ MillerRiel (Houston)

Jeff WhiteBoiler House (San Antonio)

Martin SayerNobie’s (Houston)

Monica PopeSparrow Cook Shop (Houston)

Oliver Sitrin Blind Butcher (Dallas)

Patrick FegesFeges BBQ (Houston)

Russell Kirkham Artisan’s (Houston)

Ryan Hildebrand FM Kitchen & Bar (Houston)

Ryan SavoieSaint Arnold Brewing Company (Houston)

Willow Villarreal – Willow’s Texas BBQ (Houston)

In addition to the competition aspect of The Butcher’s Ball, two butchery demonstrations will take place throughout the day. Texas Beef Council 2017 Butcher of the Year Bryan Butler of Salt & Time in Austin, and Richard Knight, formerly of Feast and Hunky Dory and now heading the Breaking Bread Pop-Up Series will lead the demos, with the finished products to be auctioned off during the event’s silent auction, raising money for farms and ranches affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The Golden Cleaver - photo by Emily Jaschke

The Golden Cleaver. Photo by Emily Jaschke

Panel discussions featuring leaders in the food industry will educate the public on the purpose and practice of sustainable, hormone-free farming and ranching. Atlanta-based Restaurateur Ford Fry, whose Houston restaurant State of Grace opened in 2015, will join Black Hill Ranch’s Felix Florez, Tejas Heritage Farm’s David Glover, 44 Farms’ Steve Harrison, and Cochon555 & Piggy Bank’s Brady Lowe for an interactive discussion to spotlight the ways in which these culinary leaders are making waves in the industry and encouraging others to follow suit.

If that’s not enough, live music from the Texas country legend Dale Watson and His Lone Stars will headline the outdoor stage, with support from White Ghost Shivers, Will Van Horn Trio, and Vinyl Ranch – hosted by Craig Hlavaty of Newsfix and the Houston Chronicle.

Acclaimed bartender and owner of Houston’s Julep Bar, Alba Huerta, will curate the day’s beverages, while poolside cocktail demonstrations from Lainey Collum of Yauatcha Houston and Robin Berwick of Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails will provide an interactive experience for guests. An extensive silent auction featuring art, food, and experiences all benefiting our local farmers and ranchers, and a Farmer’s Market curated by Urban Harvest and featuring local food and artisan vendors, will round out the day’s activities.

Felix Florez and his team from Black Hill Ranch - Photo by Emily Jaschke

Felix Florez and his team at Black Hill Ranch. Photo by Emily Jaschke

New for 2017, Felix Florez will be hosting an early-morning event on the same day – Le Boucherie vs. La Matanza. French & Spanish (respectively) for the tradition of slaughtering a hog and assigning different cuts of meat to volunteers to make into dishes that feed the whole village, Team Boucherie and Team Matanza will compete against each other for the best slaughter, break-down, and preparation of dishes utilizing a hog from Florez’s own Black Hill Ranch. Competing in Le Boucherie vs. La Matanza are:


Graham LabordeKillen’s

Jeff WeinstockCake & Bacon

Joe Cervantez Brennan’s

Matt Lovelace – formerly of Triniti

Mike NuttCafé Rabelais

Randy Evans H-E-B


Alex Padilla Ninfa’s on Navigation

David CordúaAméricas

Javier Lopez - Sysco

Kevin Callahan - Ritual

Peter Garcia El Meson

Philippe GastonIzakaya

Tickets to attend Le Boucherie vs. La Matanza are a $50 add-on and include breakfast and morning cocktails & juices. Ticket purchasers will also have the unique opportunity during Le Boucherie v. La Matanza to cook with the chefs, assisting in preparing dishes throughout the morning and living the “chef life.” A portion of every ticket to participate in the Le Boucherie v. La Matanza will go to Piggy Bank, a genetic sanctuary for heritage breed pigs practicing open access agriculture (OAA) to benefit small family farms. Piggy Bank founder and Cochon555 CEO Brady Lowe will be on hand discussing his vision for safer, more enlightened farming practices through the sharing of genetics, livestock, and information.

Bites from Harlem Road Texas BBQ - photo by Emily Jaschke

Bites from Harlem Road Texas BBQ. Photo by Emily Jaschke


Tickets for the 2017 Butcher’s Ball are $100 for adults and $25 for children 12 & under.

- Reserved VIP tables for 10 are available for $1500.

- Transportation to and from Houston to Brenham is available for an additional $30.

- Tickets for Le Boucherie v. La Matanza are $50 and must be purchased with a ticket to the Butcher’s Ball.

- 20% of each ticket will go to the fund set up through Piggy Bank in conjunction with the Trust for Conservation Innovation that will directly benefit local farmers and ranchers who sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey.

For tickets and additional information visit

The Butcher’s Ball is generously sponsored by Rockin’ Star Ranch, Lone Star Beer, 44 Farms, Louisiana Foods, Don Q Rum, Rioja, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Oasis Texas Brewing Company, Topo Chico, Batterson Printing, Steel & Stone Knife Shop, Gerald Franklin Agency – Dick Wills, Texas Premium Charcoal, DLG Ice Factory, Serenity Knives, YETI, Lucio Tailoring, Little Joy Recycling, Fluff Bake Bar, Royers Pie Haven, and Eat My Pralines.

Sponsorship opportunities are available by visiting

About Rockin’ Star Ranch:

Located at the end of a secluded country road on 200 acres just outside of Brenham, TX, Rockin’ Star Ranch is a luxurious getaway only and hour’s drive from Houston. The ranch is defined by simple architecture and native landscaping, and is considered a working ranch with herds of elk, deep, oryx, Black Angus cattle, and quarter horses. Rockin’ Star Ranch features a 7,000 sq ft. ballroom that will serve as the main hub of The Butcher’s Ball, as well as a horse arena, pool, and guest cottages dotted throughout the property. For more information visit

About Piggy Bank:

Piggy Bank is an open access model for the good food movement that is positioned globally and practiced hyper-locally. Piggy Bank’s mission is to create a heritage breed pig sanctuary that provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms. The sanctuary aims to better the future of our food by creating a community for safer, more enlightened farming practices through the sharing of genetics, livestock and information. To assist with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Piggy Bank has set up a donation program through the Trust for Conservation Innovation where 100% of donations will go directly to those farms and ranches that were affected by the storm. Learn more at

#Food #BBQ #ButchersBall #Houston #Brenham #Meat #Sustainability #HurricaneHarvey #PiggyBank #Fundraiser #DaleWatson

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