Hogs for the Cause: When NOLA sizzles at Crystal Bay

Hogs for the Cause

Music lovers know that Crystal Bay Casino often features the best bands from New Orleans. This week it also will bring NOLA’s top chefs.

A Lake Tahoe version of one of the nation’s largest barbecue competitions, Hogs for the Cause West III, is a two-day fundraising event to benefit families of children with brain cancer. Crystal Bay Casino’s event is hosted by Silence of Da Hams, the winning team in the Whole Hog category of last March’s festival, which had more than 80 sizzling crews and raised $1.3 million.

Crystal Bay Casino General Manager Bill Wood befriended the Silence of Da Hams chefs at the 2014 event in New Orleans. CBC has had its own Hogs for the Cause since 2016. Two local families received a grant for financial assistance a year ago.

“Both families were required to travel out-of-state for highly specialized treatment for their child, and the financial assistance from Hogs for the Cause was absolutely essential in paying for the costs of travel including hotels, gas and food,” said Marina A. Murphy of Renown Hospital. “One mother was especially grateful for the speed with which she received the funds, as the family was informed with very little notice of the need to bring their daughter to Utah for treatment.”

The Cause Gala will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Crystal Bay Steak & Lobster House. The celebrity chefs from New Orleans are Chris Montero (executive chef of Napoleon House), Jared Ralls (former executive chef and partner of La Boca and Primitivo) along with Justin Kennedy (general manager/head chef of Parkway Bakery and Tavern). Each chef will prepare a specialty course paired with fine wine. Prizes also will be raffled off during the multi-course dinner. Seating is limited for this event; tickets are $125 per person, with ages 21 and older only.

A New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival-flavored event follows Saturday afternoon. The Silence of the Hams crew will be joined by local chefs for a barbecue competition in the courtyard behind the casino

“Our chefs will have spend the entire night preparing several different smoked offerings,” CBC Marketing Director Carley Balint said in a press statement. “One menu highlight that will be served is Cochon De Lait, one of Acadiana’s most famous and delectable dishes — marinated, pit roasted young suckling pig thin sliced and served on a poboy.”

Jazz and hip-hop band The Lique from Las Vegas and Reno funk and soul band Jelly Bread will perform from 3 to 7 p.m. The free event is from 1 to  8 p.m. and all-ages can attend. There will be a silent auction with items donated by local businesses. All proceeds from the food and drink sales and auction go to the nonprofit Hogs for the Cause Foundation.

And about that music: Galactic, one of New Orleans greatest bands, will open up the event with a concert in the Crown Room on Thursday. Local funk heroes Mojo Green will play the Red Room after-party. On Friday night, songman Todd Snider will present his unique show on the Crown Room stage, followed by a rising young gun from the blues world, Matthew Curry. Ween tribute the Dean Ween Group will perform Saturday night, along with pop-rocker Gene Evero Jr., who will play the free Red Room after-party.

Hogs for the Cause started in 2009 when a group of folks hosted a pig roast in a park to raise money for a boy named Ben Sarrat. Ben had been diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer. In that first year, roughly 200 people showed up to watch a pig turn slowly on a spit and raise money to help Ben’s family.

For information on sponsorship, call Bill Wood at (775) 690-3060. Sponsorship packages include the Gala, VIP access along with complimentary food and beverage to the afternoon party, a private, hosted VIP meet-and-greet with the chefs prior to the Saturday evening show, and tickets to each of the three Crown Room shows.

For information, or if you wish to make a donation to the Hogs for the Cause Outdoor BBQ silent auction, contact Carley Balint (775) 833-6333, ext. 1203. For additional information on the Hogs for the Cause Foundation, visit the website at www.hogsforthecause.org.

  • Hogs for the Cause West III
    Sept. 13-15, 2018
    Where: Crystal Bay Casino
  • 9 p.m. Thursday in the Crown Room: Galactic featuring Erica Falls, $30. Mojo Green plays the free Red Room after-party.
  • 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Crystal Bay Steak & Lobster House: Hogs for the Cause Gala, $125 per person. Must be 21 years old.
  • 9 p.m. Friday in the Crown Room: Todd Snyder, seated show, $27 in advance or $32 on the day of the performance. Free Red Room after-party features Matthew Curry.
  • 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the courtyard (free): Silence of Da Hams and local chefs barbecue includes Cochon De Lait, a staple of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Live music from 3 to 7 p.m. with The Lique and Jelly Bread. All ages are welcome and proceeds from the food and drink sales and silent auction all benefit the Hogs for the Cause Foundation.
  • 9 p.m. Saturday in the Crown Room: The Dean Ween Group, $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the show. Free Red Room after-party features Gene Evaro Jr.

    Tahoe Onstage

    Tahoe Onstage
    “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” Galactic featuring Erica Falls get the weekend started Thursday.
    Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
    Mojo Green
    Jenes Carter and “Professor” Kevin Thomas of Mojo Green.
    Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
    The indescribable Todd Snider wears the Crown of headliner on Friday.
    Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
    Tahoe Onstage
    Matthew Curry returns to the Red Room with his blues.
    Kurt Johnson / Tahoe Onstage

    Jelly Bread

    Tahoe Onstage
    Cliff Porter, left, and Dave Berry of Jelly Bread.
    Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
    Deen Ween Group
    Deen Ween Group points to Saturday’s show in Crystal Bay.

    Tahoe Onstage / Larry Sabo

    Larry Sabo / Tahoe Onstage
    Piper Robinson plays bass with Gene Evaro Jr.


ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.


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