Southern Smoke, the foundation from Chris Shepherd of UB Preserv and One Fifth concepts, has already donated more than $1.3 million to charity. Now, there’s going to be a new opportunity for the organization to raise even more money for organizations like the Gulf Seafood Foundation and Legacy Community Health, and the MS Society — and for funds to help local restaurant industry professionals handle financial burdens.
In addition to fall’s annual outdoor food and wine event Southern Smoke Festival, Shepherd is launching an event this year called Southern Smoke Spring. The idea is to help guarantee the funds for year-round assistance for the Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Fun, and the plan is to host a series of dinners throughout the city this April with a starry roster of visiting chefs.
“Southern Smoke Spring will give our guests the opportunity to spend more time with our visiting chefs than is possible during the festival. Instead of one bite, you’ll get multiple courses and a lot of conversation,” Shepherd said in a press release. “Each dinner will be a celebration—of friendship, great food and wine and community.”
Tickets will go on sale at Southern Smoke’s website on Tuesday, March 5. So far the schedule includes a $350-per-person steak dinner with pit master Aaron Franklin at Georgia James on April 14 and a $200-per-person classic French dinner with Jamie Malone — chef and owner of The Grand Café and Eastside Restaurant in Minneapolis — at UB Preserv on April 15. There will also be a finale dinner on April 18 at One Fifth, with details on that still in the works.
The whole Houston restaurant scene will pitch in on April 16 and 17, when 20 restaurants (so far) around the city will feature a steak dish using beef donated by 44 Farms to help raise money for Southern Smoke. Those participating include Xochi, Coltivare, The Pass & Provisions, The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, and many more: click here to see all the restaurants joining in and head to the website as more details like dish descriptions are released.