October 05 - 05
Houston, TX

SAVE THE DATE! The big bash returns in 2024. Join us on Saturday, October 5 as we host some of the F+B industry’s most talented chefs and personalities and throw a party to support F+B in crisis nationwide. You’ll eat your share in big and bold bites; have your choice of superb wine, beer, and spirits; and enjoy outstanding live music to enhance the chow-down experience. Proceeds will benefit Southern Smoke Foundation, which has distributed more than $11 million to F+B workers nationwide. Help our cause and rock out with us this October!


Get Tickets
The Throwdown
$ 225
General Admission
$ 500
Lexus VIP
Saturday, October 05, 2024
  |  3:00–8:00PM

Discovery Green |
1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010

This is our big day. Dozens of the best chefs in America will gather at Discovery Green in Downtown Houston to serve up everything from smoked meats to scrumptious pastries. But, you know … there’s so much more: We’ll have the best wine, beer, and spirits, live music, and Lexus VIP ticket-holders will receive special perks including a comfortable space to enjoy the fun.

General admission tickets: Your ticket includes all of the food, drinks, and live music you can handle starting at 4:00 p.m.

Lexus VIP tickets: Lexus VIP tickets include all of the food, drinks, and live music you can handle starting at 3:00 p.m. (early admission ending 4:00 p.m.). VIP tickets also include access to the exclusive air conditioned Southern Smoke Festival 2024 Lexus VIP area inside The Grove and gifts from the Southern Smoke Foundation gift wheel!

Proceeds will benefit Southern Smoke Foundation’s mission to support food and beverage workers nationwide.

Eat well. Do good.

One night in 2015, Chris’s friend and former sommelier Antonio Gianola asked if Chris could host a fundraiser for the MS Society. After learning Antonio had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier that week, Chris decided to throw a party with some of his chef and pit master friends and ultimately raised $181,000 for the MS Society.

The event grew each year, with more chefs from around the country traveling to Houston to raise money for a great cause. When Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and the food and beverage industry, we quickly changed our mission for both the Southern Smoke Festival and the Foundation to provide financial assistance to anyone in the food and beverage in crisis nationwide. We continue to serve up flavors from some of the country’s best chefs at our annual festival, all to benefit our fellow industry workers across the U.S.

Food & Wine magazine calls our three-day weekend “unmissable.” The Houston Chronicle calls it “an over-the-top barbecue-beer-and-wine festival.”

We call it our favorite way to get together. Every time you buy a festival ticket, piece of merch, or bid on an auction item, the profits directly support our Emergency Relief Fund and general operations, which gets industry individuals financial help just as soon as they need it. Grants have been used to pay for essentials like groceries, clothing, and medications, and have covered the cost of car repossessions, rent, natural disaster damages, lost wages, and more.

To date, we’ve distributed more than $11 million directly to people in need, and with your support—by wining and dining your way through the weekend—we’re able to help even more of those in need.

Cheers to a damn good time.

What is Southern Smoke Foundation?

Southern Smoke Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded by Chef Chris Shepherd in 2015 for people in the food and beverage industry. Through our Emergency Relief Fund, we provide funds directly to people in need that are battling health crises, winter storm damage, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events. Through our mental health program Behind You, we provide no-cost counseling to F+B workers in multiple states. We are the safety net for the American food and beverage industry. Our mission is to take care of our own each and every day.

Where’s my money going?

Southern Smoke Festival is Southern Smoke Foundation’s largest fundraiser. Money raised for our main event The Throwdown will go toward Southern Smoke Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, which directly impacts food and beverage workers in crisis nationwide. Money raised for Respect the Rosé will go toward Behind You, Southern Smoke Foundation’s program providing no-cost mental health counseling to F+B workers in multiple states. Approximately 15 percent of all funds raised will go to Southern Smoke Foundation’s general operations to ensure the organization can run at its highest capabilities. View Southern Smoke Foundation’s impact to-date here.

Are festival tickets available?

Tickets will be on sale this summer.

Are sponsorship opportunities still available?

Absolutely! We have some awesome partners at our side, and we love getting to know more rock stars who want to support our mission for the 2024 festival and beyond. Want to chat? Please contact Caroline Nabors at caroline@southernsmoke.org to inquire about sponsorships.

Can I come and go from the event?

There is no re-entry for any of our Southern Smoke Festival events.

What happens if it rains?

All events are rain or shine. The event will not be rescheduled, and we will not issue refunds.

Is the festival kid-friendly?

We will be checking IDs at the door at all events, and you must show your ID to enter and drink alcohol. Anyone over the age of 3 must purchase a ticket. Strollers are not permitted. There are no discounts for a child’s ticket.

Is the festival pet-friendly?

No, we will not be permitting animals at any of the Southern Smoke Festival events. *With the exception of medically advised service animals.

Will the festival have vegetarian options?

Each participating chef will be featuring a dish of their choice. We will post each chef’s dish prior to the festival. 

Can you bring outside food and drink into the event?

No food or drink is permitted into any of our Southern Smoke Festival events.

Four Seasons Hotel Houston

1300 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77010

We’re so honored to have the Four Seasons Hotel Houston as the Official Hotel Sponsor of Southern Smoke Festival 2023! The Four Seasons Hotel Houston is located in the heart of the city. With its boldly stylish rooms and lavish amenities, the Four Seasons Hotel Houston redefines the idea of modern indulgence in a luxe hotel experience.
Together, we keep the fire burning.

Southern Smoke Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that brings together foodies and culinary titans while supporting members of the food and beverage industry nationwide in crisis. There are few things we love more than throwing a huge party, but we definitely can’t do it without our sponsors.

We are grateful for the people, organizations, and businesses that put their weight behind Southern Smoke Festival. You all rock. If you’re interested in helping us make Southern Smoke Festival 2023 the best it’s ever been, then we’d love to hear from you.

Our annual auction offers an exceptional assortment of notably sought-after items such as a collection of the finest wines, rare and valuable spirits, extraordinary one-of-a-kind culinary and wine events, unforgettable travel experiences from around the globe, and unique experiences that are highly coveted by our enthusiastic bidders. Uncork your spirit of giving and consider making a donation.

Interested in sponsorship?