After a two-year hiatus, Butcher’s Ball is ready to pick back up where it left off. The fifth installment of this rollicking food and music festival is taking place in Brenham this Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13. More than 50 top Texas chefs and pit masters will display their skills, along with a primo lineup of Texas musicians.

Little more than an hour’s drive from Houston, The Butcher’s Ball will be hosted at the end of a secluded country road on 200 acres just outside of Brenham at one of the Texas countryside’s most unique venues. Welcome to Rockin’ Star Ranch, a dramatic getaway featuring a 7,000-square-foot ballroom. It is also a working ranch with herds of elk, oryx, Black Angus cattle and quarter horses.

Butcher’s Ball benefits Urban Harvest, which creates a more sustainable local food system for Houston by providing access to locally-grown produce at a weekly farmers market that hosts more than 100 vendors.

Enjoy the live music lineup at Butchers Ball. (Photo by Emily Jaschke)

Houstonians Elaine Dillard, Jonathan Beitler and Jason Kerr dreamed up The Butcher’s Ball in 2016 as a way to spotlight businesses, organizations and individuals who engage in and support sustainable and ethical farming and ranching practices. The popular festival features cooking competitions, demonstrations from notable chefs (this weekend’s lineup is a who’s who from not only Houston, but across Texas), discussions, tastings and, of course, live music. The goal is education, but the fun is real.

This year’s Butcher’s Ball festivities will begin with a multi-course farm-to-table dinner prepared by 12 acclaimed chefs on Saturday, November 12 from 5 pm to 9 pm. Then, the full festival will take place on Sunday, November 13 ― with the gates opening at 12 pm. The Golden Cleaver Competition encourages attendees to cast their People’s Choice vote for the best bite of the day.

Some of the big-name food talent coming this year includes chefs like Tiffany Derry (Top Chef Season Seven), Sasha Grumman (Top Chef Season 18), Jo Chan (Top Chef Season 19) and pitmaster Ara Malekian (BBQ Brawl Season Two).

BB – Sip specially curated craft cocktails and mocktails at Butcher’s Ball. Photo by Emily Jaschke
Sip specially curated craft cocktails and mocktails at Butcher’s Ball. (Photo by Emily Jaschke)

These are chefs on a mission in many ways thanks to the cause at the heart of the Butcher’s Ball.

“I grew up watching my grandfather as a cattle rancher and over the years I recognized that, gradually, chefs were paying more to work directly with the farms and ranches for better quality, healthier products, so we created this event as a platform to make those resources readily available all,” Butcher’s Ball co-founder Elaine Dillard says.

The chefs and butchers will utilize products raised or grown by 19 local farmers and ranchers such as The Farm at Bald Hill, Harrison Hog Farm, Whitehurst Farm, Marble Ranch, Three Sister Farms, HeartBrand Beef and Falcon Lake Farms. Expert mixologists also will be on hand mixing craft cocktails and refreshing mocktails too.

Tickets range from $175 to $350 for this food and music extravaganza and can be purchased here.