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Meaty Fundraising

Meat Fight hits six figures in proceeds to help people living with MS

Meat Fight hits six figures in proceeds to help people living with MS

Fearsome Forcemeat winners at Meat Fight 2014
Fearsome Forcemeat, the winners of both the sweepstakes and people's choice. Photo by Cecily Johnson
Aaron Franklin and Justin Fourton at Meat Fight 2014
Aaron Franklin (left) and Justin Fourton judged the barbecue. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter
Daniel Vaughn at Meat Fight 2014
Texas Monthly barbecue editor was also a judge at Meat Fight. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter
Meat Fight 2014
The judges deliberating during Meat Fight 2014. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter
Cotton candy at Meat Fight 2014
There was cotton candy with meat sprinkles. Photo by Cecily Johnson
Alice Laussade and Brian Luscher at Meat Fight 2014
Meat Fight founder Alice Laussade and Brian Luscher during the live auction. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter
Meat Mystics at Meat Fight 2014
Meat Mystics told meat fortunes. Photo by Robert Strickland
Meat at Meat Fight 2014
Chefs competed in four categories: brisket, pulled pork, sausage and shoulder clod (wild card). Photo by Robert Strickland
Meat Midway at Meat Fight 2014
Attendees playing games on the Meat Midway. Photo by Robert Strickland
Meat Fight 2014
There was meat at every turn at Meat Fight. Photo by Robert Strickland
Meat Fight 2014 crowd shot
Meat Fight had 750 attendees this year. Photo by Cecily Johnson
Meat Fight 2014
Many of the chefs stayed up all night smoking meats. Photo by Robert Strickland
Jack Perkins at Meat Fight 2014
Judge Jack Perkins. Photo by Robert Strickland
Chad Houser at Meat Fight 2014
Competing chef Chad Houser. Photo by Nicholas McWhirter
Shooting gallery at Meat Fight 2014
Another game along the Meat Midway. Photo by Cecily Johnson
Fearsome Forcemeat winners at Meat Fight 2014
Aaron Franklin and Justin Fourton at Meat Fight 2014
Daniel Vaughn at Meat Fight 2014
Meat Fight 2014
Cotton candy at Meat Fight 2014
Alice Laussade and Brian Luscher at Meat Fight 2014
Meat Mystics at Meat Fight 2014
Meat at Meat Fight 2014
Meat Midway at Meat Fight 2014
Meat Fight 2014
Meat Fight 2014 crowd shot
Meat Fight 2014
Jack Perkins at Meat Fight 2014
Chad Houser at Meat Fight 2014
Shooting gallery at Meat Fight 2014

There are charitable events, and there are food events, and there are some events in Dallas that do both. But none does it quite as wacky as Meat Fight, which just raised $100,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through its annual barbecue competition.

This year, in addition to miles of meat — and the longest Texas-smoked sausage in Texas, courtesy of Brian C. Luscher — there was a game-filled Meat Midway, Meat Mystics telling meat fortunes and meat-dusted cotton candy. Fans, undeterred by the rain and cold, were determined to savor every last bit of barbecue, as well as pastries from Swiss Pastry Shop, bacon doughnuts from Hypnotic and Four Corners beer. Thankfully, Noble Coyote was pouring hot coffee, and samples of Knob Creek bourbon also helped VIPs combat the cold.

Meat Fight is now in its third year as a public fundraiser; technically it started in 2010 in founder Alice Laussade's backyard before moving to a "real" venue in 2012. This year, four teams composed of top Dallas chefs — including Chad Houser, David Uygur, Eric Dreyer, Danyele McPherson, Janice Provost, Brian Zenner, Nathan Tate and many more — competed for bragging rights in categories such as brisket, pulled pork and sausage. They were judged by pitmasters like Aaron Franklin, Justin Fourton and Nick Pencis, as well as Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn.

Behold this year's winners (which includes people's choice for the first time):

  • Brisket: Graham Dodds (from team Meat the Cleavers)
  • Pulled Pork: Cody Sharp (Notorious PIG)
  • Sausage: Oliver Sitrin (Fearsome Forcemeat)
  • Shoulder Clod (aka Wild Card): Jeff Bekavac  (Fearsome Forcemeat)
  • Team Sweepstakes: Fearsome Forcemeat (Bekavac, Danyele McPherson, Sitrin, Andrew Dilda)
  • People's Choice: Fearsome Forcemeat

Every year Meat Fight gets a little bigger — from 250 in 2012 to 500 in 2013 to 750 this year at the Green Warehouse near Trinity Groves — and the proceeds rise accordingly. Thanks to ticket sales, raffle and live auction, the event doubled the take from last year. A portion of those proceeds, Laussade says, will help fund an original bike program with the National MS Society called Operation: Meat Bike, through which they will donate bikes to people who have been diagnosed with MS, because regular cardio has been proven to decrease symptoms.

The remainder of the money will be donated directly to the National MS Society to help with research and programs and, ultimately, to find a cure for MS.