Similar to Bo Jackson, Alice Laussade is a skilled dual threat on the field of life. No, she doesn't play football or baseball, but she writes at a comedic elevation rivaling Dallas' sky erection (Reunion Tower), and she can throw one hell of a party -- all for a reputable cause.
Started as a backyard contest among friends, 2012 was the first year Meat Fight was open to the public. It's an event like no other held in town.
With 300 tickets selling out quickly and weighing down the upstairs floor at Sons of Hermann Hall, they were able to raise $20,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. With much appreciation and gratitude toward all involved, Alice had a bigger plan for the following year.
Hosted at Four Corners Brewery this year, with the same blue print as before, the city’s best chefs came together to cook barbecue -- something none of them typically dabble in at their restaurants.
Usually, you will find Omar Flores piecing together seafood dishes like a puzzle at Driftwood while Tiffany Derry can sculpt elegant American cuisine. Other notable chefs included, Brian Luscher, owner of the Grape, Neighborhood Services Chef Jeff Bekavac, David Uygur of Lucia with Nathan Tate from close by Boulevardier in Bishop Arts, and Café Momentum's Chad Houser, among others.
The twist to the contest was that the best barbecue slingers from across the state would be judging their meat products. After winning "best brisket" in 2012, Slow Bone's Jack Perkins was on the judging panel along with Tim Byres of Smoke, Stephen Joseph of Riverport Barbecue, Dallas' very own barbecue highbrow and Texas Monthly's Barbecue Editor, Daniel Vaughn, Stanley's Famous Pit's Nick Pencis, Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge, and the ZZ Top of barbecue, Lockhart Smokehouse's Will Fleischman.
Adding to the table of judges was a celebrity of sorts -- the ultimate kick in the pants. Nick Offerman is a man who knows as much about wood as he does growing a voluptuous mustache. He also portrays Ron Swanson on NBC's Parks and Recreation. On the show and in real life, he is the turbulent meat loving, government disapproving, whiskey guzzling craftsman.
Sporting a noble beard with an uncanny thirst for craft beer and hunger for smoked meat was Nick's brother Matt Offerman, who made the pilgrimage as a second guest judge. After a hearty conversation with Matt, one would discover his love of craft beer comes from being a brewer at Solemn Oath brewery in Illinois.
With 500 tickets selling out within 5 minutes this year, doors opened at 4 pm for VIP ticket holders and 5 pm for general admission. All in attendance were bamboozled by a cornucopia of cooked animal and yes, there were veggie options for the extra-terrestrials cloaked in human flesh walking amongst the carnivores.
Three teams slugged it out for idol-like trophies of gold spray painted animals. Team Notorious P.I.G. anchored by Derry took home awards for best ribs, sausage and fish while Luscher's band, Meatallica, carried the best brisket award back to their kitchen. Scrappy team, Cool Arrows, led by fearless leader and rib diver, Houser, unfortunately wound up empty handed -- but seemingly had a fun time doing so.
With the first annual 'Uncle Benjamin's Meatvember Beard Pageant' (which I made to the second round before a woeful dismissal) and live auction concluded, Laussade and husband Mike, made an announcement, followed by a raucous cheer from the crowd.
The total raised by Meat Fight for this year was $50,000, thus pulverizing last year's amount. And therefore, more than doubling her vision whilst raising the awareness of the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. Although being stalked by a woman convinced I was a reporter who had calmed Lady Gaga during an interview on Good Morning Texas, I give this two beefy thumbs up for a great night and an even better reason to break meat.