On Sunday, October 30, Pig & Punch returns to San Francisco, with all kinds of punches, cocktails, music, and of course, all-you-can-eat food from some of the Bay Area’s favorite spots in Trick Dog, Osito, Jo’s Modern Thai, and Che Fico.
Tickets ($50) can be purchased here.
To learn more about the event, and its very significant and central charitable component, we spoke to its founder, Josh Harris of Trick Dog and the Bon Vivants.
Resy: First some background: How did Pig & Punch come to be? What is it, and why bring it back to SF this weekend?
Josh Harris: Pig & Punch began as a little barbecue that the Bon Vivants held in a park in New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail 2010. We saw the event as way for cocktail industry professionals to have fun and give back to the community. The idea was simple: great pig food, huge punches, and killer live music and offer it all for one ticket – a limited-edition tank or t-shirt – and donate all proceeds (and additional sales of merch) to charity.
The event was so fun we decided to take it on the road with stops in Miami, Austin, Portland, New York, and San Francisco.
In the decade since its inception, Pig & Punch has raised $639,854.62 for youth organizations, schools and The Bon Vivants Scholarship, and facilitated more 10,562 volunteer service hours.
To bring it back to our city where we have been trying to bring businesses back to life and people are coming back to restaurants and bars? That feels like a great time.
To bring it back to our city where we have been trying to bring businesses back to life and people are coming back to restaurants and bars? That feels like a great time.— Josh Harris
You’ve got a killer lineup of awesome local chefs. What can diners expect on the food front?
Everyone in the industry is stretched thin and we were wary of not wanting chefs to feel put out by asking them to participate. We recognize the challenges of just doing normal business so the chefs were all relationship-based.
We’re really excited about what Seth Stowaway and Osito are doing and are stoked to see his perspective presented at Pig & Punch. Our team loves Ostito and we want people to get to know the restaurant, too.
David Nayfeld at Che Fico has a similar philanthropic spirit and we have a lot of synergy with him, chef de cuisine Evan Allumbaugh, and their team.
Our colleague Laurel and my wife Ruby worked with chef Intu-on Kornnawong at Jo’s Modern Thai when she did pop-ups and became close with her. We are thrilled she is bringing flavors to Pig & Punch that have not traditionally been in the line up.
And of course, Timmy Malloy from Quik Dog and Trick Dog bringing a new Quik Dog special to the party.
Pig & Punch
Spicy pork sugo with creamy heirloom cornmeal polenta and pickled shishito peppers
Jo's Modern Thai
Grilled pork jowl; herb salad with fried garlic and jaew tamarind dressing; pickled green papaya and long bean
Spiced blood sausage, mashed kabocha squash, pickled husk cherries
Quik Dog + Trick Dog
"Quik Rib” BBQ Pork Sandwich, with kale salad and autumn pickled vegetables
And of course, there will be drinks. What are you working on there?
Regardless of what guests want to drink, they’ll do so from custom reusable hot-cold Fellow Carter Cup, sponsored by Toast, the use of which will eliminate up around 10,000 single-use plastic cups from the event. This was a big sustainability initiative for this year both for New Orleans and San Francisco. I’m grateful to those sponsors for underwriting the initiative.
While 40-gallon trash cans have been a Pig & Punch signature, we have evolved the service to something that’s exciting and not typical: Eight punches will flow out of the side of our tap trucks from kegs. Real sweet-looking, classic rides. One of the eight punches is non-alcoholic.
There will be a highball bar where guests can create their own highballs. Pig & Punch is not about fancy cocktails; it’s all about simple drinks and delicious food.
And we’ll serve local Fort Point Beer.
The most important part, though, is the fundraising component. What can you tell us about the Bon Vivants Scholarship project, and why is it so important to you?
Pig & Punch benefits The Bon Vivants Scholarship in partnership with ScholarMatch, which helps first-in-their-family-to-college students in the Bay Area get to and through university. A scholarship has been something we discussed for years in connection with our other philanthropic efforts, but we had never found the right partners to help bring it to life until ScholarMatch. It has always been important to us when choosing partners that we feel a strong connection to their values as an organization, and also that the money we raise and donate will make an immediate, long-lasting, and significant impact.
It was ever more clear that, as a community, we needed to redouble our efforts to create a more racially just and equitable society.— Josh Harris
It was ever more clear that, as a community, we needed to redouble our efforts to create a more racially just and equitable society. Accordingly, after two years, we adjusted our criteria for our Bon Vivants Scholarship in 2021 to focus more on promoting racial and social equity through the power of a college education.
Beginning with the scholarship award in 2021 and moving forward, The Bon Vivants Scholarship is awarded to a young Black student residing or attending school in San Francisco. Contributions to The Bon Vivants Scholarship Fund will cover scholarships and in-depth support services for five students as they work their way towards college graduation and the launch of their careers. Tax deductible donations can be made directly to The Bon Vivants Scholarship.