Mike Sohocki's got a passion for handmade, locally sourced, cured meats. For his third celebration of all things sausage, salumi and bacon, the chef has reached across the region to help beef up the number of restaurants offering specials for Charc Week from Monday, July 20 to Sunday, July 26.
"I wanted Charc Week to be as broad and unifying as possible," Sohocki said. "I'm really proud of the restaurants that are opening up with a new guard, so to speak. There's a lot to be proud of."
The restaurants the chef is talking about include those whose kitchen are passionate about making products by hand, with thought and engaging their audience. "These guys are going out of their way to make something unique. I wanted there to be a connectedness between these people who give a shit so we can build familiarity and a brotherhood."
The lineup of San Anto restaurants offering char boards made wholly in-house next week includes Biga on the Banks, Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden, The Fig Tree, Cookhouse, TBA, Crossroads Kitchen at Faust, Cullum's Attagirl, The Granary 'Cue And Brew, Restaurant Gwendolyn, Kimura Ramen, The Last Word, Lüke, Mezcalería Mixtli, NAO at the Culinary Institute of America, Rosella Coffee Co., Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights and the upcoming Old Main Pub. Little Gretel in Boerne rounds out the list.
He tapped StarChef Managing Editor Will Blunt and Features Editor Caroline Hatchett for a list of Austin chefs to include. The restaurants include Contigo, Foreign & Domestic, Noble Sandwich Co., Salt and Time, Wink and Justine's Brasserie.
"We're encouraging people to post photos on the Facebook page, so it's self-policing," Sohocki said. "For the restaurants that are [abiding by the rules] it should turn into talking points. For these places, their hearts are in the right place and they're doing meaningful work."
At Restaurant Gwendolyn, Sohocki and his staff will offer an assortment of pickles, house made toast with butter and garlic, boudin, blood sausage, lardo, a pork belly ventreche au piment, a salt- and sugar-cured, skin-off belly that's been buried in spicy paprika. The result is a peppermint swirl.