In the mid-May, I had the opportunity to photograph at Hot Luck, the new food and drink festival in Austin, Texas put on by the team behind Feast Portland. To say it was epic is an understatement. It had many of the telltale signs of Feast: high caliber chefs and sponsors, impeccably organized details, and water bottles at every turn. Yet, it had its own distinct voice and felt undeniably Texan.
The festival began with Hi, How Are You, a gathering at Franklin Barbecue to kick off the festival. Highlights included Roy Choi's Korean-BBQ fusion bowl, Peter Cho's Traeger-grilled blood sausages, and Sara Kramer's smoked sweet potato with Moroccan black olives, labneh, and trout roe. And the Underwood Frosé, the perfect antidote for the muggy weather. I'd heard about Franklin's famous bbq, but had never tried it before. That evening gave me my first taste, and I was even invited into the smokeroom (see the black and white photo below), which was incredible and even warmer than I could imagine. I'm surprised my camera didn't melt.
Day Two of Hot Luck brought festivities at East Austin's Fair Market, a larger event that still maintained a backyard-gathering vibe. There was more meat, not only the daintily composed bites, but also gnawing-at-the-bone portions. It was a meat fest, to be sure. My favorite spot was the Underwood and Stumptown pavilion with unicorn floaties for lounging and steel barrels with cans of wine and cold brew floating around on flamingo cupholders. It was fun and a great spot for relaxing when the evening started to wind down.
It was an awesome group of photographers at Hot Luck, 5 of us in total, including my dear friend Sarah Natsumi Moore. It was such a pleasure to photograph alongside Sarah, an incredible artist in so many respects. We met years ago in Amsterdam and have been peer mentoring each other in our businesses (and life) for a couple of years now. She is such an inspiration and I loved watching her work and seeing the way she captured the same atmosphere in her own unique style. It took the festival to a whole new level for me. More to come on Day 3 and 4 of Hot Luck!