Houston’s popular suckling pig chef competition returns this Sunday. The throwdown is scheduled for Sunday, September 20, from 4 to 7 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets are $88 and include admission, unlimited food samples and beer from 8th Wonder. There are some still available at the Go Pig Or Go Home! web site.
For the past three years, the event has been held at Kata Robata, but this year it is being held at 8th Wonder at 2202 Dallas. General Manager Blake Lewis had this to say about the venue change:
“Go Pig or Go Home was a unique culinary event started at Kata Robata three years ago. Its success was amazing and the following it built was exciting. However, at the end of the event last year, we at Kata felt it had reached capacity for the space and that threatened the spontaneity and spirit of the gathering. Go Pig is now at a new location as a new event with new organizers. We wish them well as we at Kata look for innovative and fresh ways to enjoy our fans and the city’s culinary community."
The new host, 8th Wonder, has selected OpHeart as this year's charity beneficiary, and it will receive a portion of the event proceeds. OpHeart supports pediatric cardiac care by providing revolutionary 3-D printed versions of infants’ hearts to doctors in advance of surgery. The doctors are able to study and work on these exact-replica “practice hearts” before performing surgery on their patients.
There's no shortage of talented chefs to compete this year. Here's the list:
- John Avila, Black Hill Meats ranch
- David Cordua, Cordua Restaurants
- Robert Del Grande, RDG Bar Annie
- Jason Gould, Cyclone Anaya’s
- Jonathan Jones, El Big Bad
- Jose Hernandez, Radio Milano
- Ryan Hildebrand, Triniti
- Richard Kaplan, Weights + Measures
- Peter Laufer, Royal Sonesta Hotel
- Vidal Elias Murillo, La Fisheria Downtown
- Greg Lowry, Bradley’s Fine Diner and Pour Society
- Matt Marcus, Eatsie Boys
- Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar
- Alex Padilla, Original Ninfa's on Navigation
- Omar Pereney, Peska
- Monica Pope, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
- Arnaldo Richards, Pico's Mex Mex
- Micah Rideout, Tarakaan
- Randy Rucker, Bramble
- Justin Turner, Bernie's Burger Bus
- William Wright, Helen Greek Food and Wine
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Houston's most musical food fan, Bun B, is helping judge the competition this year. Joining him are past winning chefs Ronnie Killen of Killen’s Steakhouse and Killen’s Barbecue, and Michael Pellegrino of MAX’s Wine Dive and Añejo Tex-Mex. Brian Ching, former Houston Dynamo star and current managing director of professional women’s soccer team the Houston Dash, will be lending his tastebuds to the challenge, as will KHOU Channel 11 morning anchor Lily Jang.
Attendees will have their own chance to vote a winner for the People’s Choice award. Live music will be by Houston alternative band Potbelly.
The winning chef will be awarded a full-size champion title belt and while the winner can wear it if he or she wants, chances are it will be more appropriate as an impressive trophy to hang in that person's restaurant.
Best of all, there will be roasted pork, beer and lots of good-hearted chefs ready to compete, raise money for charity and have a good time in the process.