The smell of smoked meats wafted through Four Corners Brewery and beyond Sunday as some of the best chefs in Dallas competed for trophies — and bragging rights — at Meat Fight 2013 benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The brainchild of Alice “Cheap Bastard” Laussade, who hosted the first competition in her backyard, Meat Fight has become the hottest food ticket in town. Three teams of chefs — dubbed Meatallica, Cool Arrows and Notorious P.I.G. — did renditions of pork ribs, brisket, sausage and a salmon “wild card” for hundreds of hungry carnivores.
Judging this year’s entries were barbecue experts and pitmasters Daniel Vaughn, Jack Perkins, Nick Pencis, Will Fleischman, Tim Byres, Stephen Joseph and Justin Fourton. But the judge that caused the most stir was Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman, who could not have been more gracious. Dude signed autographs and took pictures with damn near everyone in the brewery. He even hugged a baby.
It should also be noted the Offerman’s presence at Meat Fight started off as a joke. Laussade asked him via Twitter (because why not?), and a few other fans begged. Within two hours she had a call from His People, and a couple of days later it was a done deal. He also brought his bearded brother and fellow woodworker Matt.
In the midst of the meat mayhem, Offerman judged a few beards — Brandon Green claimed that prize — and scribbled “fish is bullshit” on his judge’s card in reference to the salmon. Lausadde’s husband, Mike, promised to auction off that little note next year.
In a heartfelt moment, during the introduction of the teams, Cool Arrows captain Chad Houser asked the crowd to raise a glass to the late Randall Copeland, his former Cool Arrows teammate and beloved Dallas chef who died unexpectedly earlier this year.
As for the winners, Notorious P.I.G. — Tiffany Derry, Nathan Tate, Eric Dreyer and Cody Sharp — swept the competition, taking home honors for best sausage (Tate), best pork rib (Sharp) and best wild card (Derry), making the team a shoo-in for the overall grand prize. But Meatallica’s Brian C. Luscher would not be bested for his brisket.
Meat was not the only star of this show. Four Corners poured the beers; Noble Coyote provided the coffee; Garden Cafe brought the greens; and Hypnotic Donuts, Swiss Pastry Shop and Pop Star Handcrafted Popsicles served the sweets.
Between the ticket sales, merchandise sales, and funds raised during a rather rowdy auction — which featured items like a golden ticket for Pecan Lodge to skip the line and the Nick Offerman “You Had Me At Meat Tornado” Package, including a piece from the Offerman Woodshop — Meat Fight is adding $50,000 to the MS Society coffers. That’s more than double last year’s proceeds.