Crystal Bay Casino is importing some flavor from the Big Easy this weekend, joining with nonprofit group “Hogs for the Cause” to put on a two-day spread of savory cuisine and upbeat music, all for the benefit of families with children undergoing treatment for brain cancer.
Spanning Friday and Saturday, July 8-9, Lake Tahoe’s first “Silence of Da Hams” event will feature four chefs from New Orleans alongside performances by Bay Area funk band the Monophonics and Grammy Award-winning Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.
The fun kicks off Friday night with the Silence of Da Hams gala in Crystal Bays Steak and Lobster House, replete with a multi-course meal, raffle and fine wines, after which Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen take the stage for a free concert in the Crown Room.
Hailing from Kent, England, Cleary relocated to New Orleans as a young man, immersing himself in the city’s vibrant music scene. A multi-instrumentalist who favors the piano, Cleary has worked with and produced artists such as Ana Popovic, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Eric Burdon and Taj Mahal. Raitt, Mahal and others have recorded compositions by the British musician.
Cleary and his Absolute Monster Gentlemen took home the award for Best Regional Roots Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards for the 2015 album “Go Go Juice.”
On Saturday, guest chefs Mike Brewer, Chris Montero, Justine Kennedy and Jared Ralls will team up to prepare Cochon de Lait, a New Orleans delicacy of marinated, pit-roasted suckling pig, served thin-sliced on a po boy. The meal will be served in Crystal Bay’s back parking lot, along with live entertainment, a full bar and a silent auction.
The fun-filled weekend wraps up Saturday night with a Crown Room performance by the Monophonics, a Northern California funk band that has become something of a staple at Crystal Bay. The Monophonics played the Crown Room on New Year’s Eve this year, filling the room with funk-loving visitors and locals alike.
The New Orleans-based non-profit Hogs for the Cause started in 2009 to throw a benefit barbecue for a boy named Ben Sarrat who had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. After 200 people turned out for the worthy cause, the organizers realized that they were on to something. Now, the organization is one of the largest nonprofit BBQ outfits across the country. Hogs for the Cause holds its primary event each year in early April at City Park festival grounds in New Orleans, along with other events year-round.