The cooler temperatures and lower humidity this week have Houstonians wondering about the impending advent of fall. The end of summer’s scorching heat means it’s now safe to assemble outside.

Fall also delivers a complete lineup of cuisine events for the first time since 2019. The following several months will feature events devoted to barbeque, tacos, and, for the first time, caviar, with alternatives aimed to appeal to all tastes and price points. While the majority of the menus highlight local favourites, a handful feature outstanding culinary talent from Texas and beyond. Here’s a look at some of the most thrilling events of the season.

Pitmaster’s Bash, September 17th
This event will be held at Dozier’s BBQ in Fulshear and will include meals made with smoked wild game. Pitmaster Jim Buchanan has invited 14 top Texas pitmasters, beginning with two of the top five on Texas Monthly’s ranking of the state’s 50 finest barbecue joints: No. 2 on the list, John Bates of Interstellar BBQ (Austin), and No. 4 Ernest Servantes of Burnt Bean Co. (Seguin). John Brotherton of Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue (Pflugerville), Patrick Feges of Feges BBQ (Houston), Quy Hoang of Blood Bros. Barbecue (Bellaire), and Scott Moore of Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue are also on the magazine’s list (Tomball). A part of the revenues will be donated to the Fulshear Police Foundation. Tickets are $75 and feature sampling from the participants as well as live music by Morgan Obenhaus (beverages purchased separately). You can get them here.

Karbachtoberfest will commence on September 23.
This three-weekend festival, held at Karbach’s brewery in Spring Branch, includes live music, wiener dog races, a stein holding competition, and more. The brewery will highlight its seasonal marzen, which goes nicely with German cuisine like pretzels and sausage. Performers and other information may be found on the event’s website.

October 3rd, La Nuit du Caviar
DR Delicacy, the luxury goods shop behind the famed Truffle Masters culinary competition, is behind this celebration of everyone’s favourite high-priced item. The event, held at the Astorian near Sawyer Yards, will feature caviar dishes created by more than a dozen local chefs, including Jassi Bindra (Amrina), Roberto Crescini (Davanti), Nikky Vongthong (Hidden Omakase), Luis Roger (MAD and BCN), Alex Au-Yeung (Phat Eatery), and Benchawan Painter, winner of the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Rising Star Chef of the Year (Street to Kitchen). The Houston Symphony League will profit from a percentage of the revenues. Tickets begin at $450.

October 14: Two Saints and a Taco Tasting
This event, named after two of Houston’s favourite saints, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Arnold, will include more than a dozen local eateries competing for the title of “Best Taco” from both guests and a panel of media judges. Confirmed participants include Chilosos, Chuy’s, and Velvet Taco. Proceeds assist a student scholarship fund and are organised by St. Thomas University alumni. Tickets are $50 until October 4 ($75 after that) and include tacos and beverages.

October 21-23, Southern Smoke Festival
Southern Smoke has expanded into a three-day event for its first in-person event since 2019, with the H-Town Welcome Wagon on October 22, the intimate Southern Smoke on Ice on October 23, and the frenetic East Downtown Throwdown on October 24. Chris Shepherd, co-founder of the Southern Smoke Foundation, has enlisted the services of more than 60 chefs, including several of his fellow James Beard Award winners, Top Chef fan favourites, and plenty of local talent, to serve at each event. The weekend generates funds for the Southern Smoke Foundation, a non-profit Shepherd founded to aid hospitality employees in crisis situations like as medical difficulties, natural catastrophes, missed earnings, and other unforeseen events. The event’s website has complete information on timings, tickets, and VIP packages.

CultureMap presents The Tailgate on October 27.
The Tailgate, a new hallmark event for CultureMap, celebrates the culture of sports and the people that support them. Chef-driven cuisine and creative beverages will be served, as well as game-day-inspired activities, entertainment, and a spotlight on local sports-related charity. Past Tastemaker winners such as Street to Kitchen, d’Alba Kitchen & Cocktails, Pizaro’s Pizza, and many more will be participating. Local athletes will be on hand to promote their favourite causes. Everything will take place at Silver Street Studios. Tickets for general admission and VIP seating ($60-$99) are currently on sale.

The Butchers Ball will take place on November 12th.

13 Texas chefs will meet at Brenham’s Rockin’ Star Ranch to honour independent farmers and ranchers who are devoted to sustainable methods. Saturday night’s Butcher’s Baller Farm-To-Table Dinner will feature 10 chefs working on a five-course menu; the evening will also include live music and a hay ride. More than a dozen chefs will compete for the coveted Golden Cleaver at the Butchers Ball on Sunday, while another group will showcase their best live-fire dishes at the Ring of Fire. The event’s website sells tickets for $200 for the dinner and $175 for the Butchers Ball.

November 20th, Houston BBQ Throwdown
The famed Houston Barbecue Festival organisers host this event in which 14 restaurants compete to produce a meal that best represents the future of Houston barbecue. Brett’s BBQ Shop, Dozier’s BBQ, Harlem Road Texas BBQ, Roegels Barbecue Co, The Pit Room, and more will be present at Saint Arnold Brewing Co. General admission tickets ($75 for general admission, $130 for VIP) include samples from the competitors as well as Saint Arnold beer.