Food festivals marry two of our favourite things: food and festivities. But what’s even better is a culinary community-led equitable food festival with its heart in the right place! Commune–a two-week long first-of-its-kind “anti-food festival” by Indie Chef’s Community–is coming to Heights House Hotel (including poolside bar and restaurant Space Cowboy) in Houston this summer from August 21 to September 5.
The event promises to draw out more than 200 top-brass chefs, including over 20 Michelin stars, as many as 40 James Beard winners, and more than 20 Food & Wine Best New Chefs among them. Some of the notable names include Justin Yu from Theodore Rex; Turkey & the Wolf’s Mason Hereford; Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s in San Francisco; Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit in Washington DC; and Misti Norris of Petra & the Beast in Dallas, among others.
The festival aims to address systemic issues facing the hospitality industry with a single-minded emphasis on social justice and giving back to the community. As many as 45% of the participating chefs are female and 40% self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color). Commune will donate 50% of net proceeds from the first week to Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate.
Grover Smith, founder of Indie Chefs Community best summed up the upcoming culinary extravaganza as: “Commune was founded for the industry, by the industry. We wanted to create a space for chefs and hospitality professionals to come together, make incredible food, champion causes they’re passionate about, and support each other, the community, and the industry in the process…As a city that thrives on rich culture, diverse culinary offerings, and exceptional people, Houston felt like the perfect city to host this and I can’t wait to make it happen.”
Guests can look forward to a delightful fusion of collaborative dinners, classes, panel discussions, marketplace experiences and pop-ups at experiential dining compound COMMUNE.
EVENT LINEUP AT ANTI-FOOD FESTIVAL COMMUNE
NoLa La Land: Mason Hereford from Turkey & the Wolf will join forces with Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery of Konbi in Los Angeles for a mashup of their iconic sandwiches
Jewish Deli: Zoe Kanan (formerly of Simon & the Whale in New York), and MeMe’s Diner co-owner Libby Willis in Brooklyn will team up for their take on a classic New York Jewish deli.
Omakase: There will be omakase-style pop-ups from Moon Rabbit, Lucky Danger (Washington DC), Win Son (Brooklyn), Comedor, and Anju (Washington, DC).
Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate Collaboration: Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit and Tim Ma of Lucky Danger will create a prix fixe dinner in collaboration with 20 all-star chefs.
Twelve-course dinners: 24 chefs will team up for a string of memorable 12-course dinners over three nights.
Check out the full lineup of chefs and events at indiechefs.com.
Commune will cover food and travel expenses for all the participating chefs and ensure that chefs, staff and volunteers receive COVID-19 vaccination. Tickets will range from $50-$500 per event. Ticket presales for ICC mailing list subscribers launch on July 1, with general ticket sales will kick-off from July 6.
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