NEW ORLEANS – Dat Dog and Son of a Saint come together again on Wednesday, July 21st for their 7th Annual National Hot Dog Day Celebration at Dat Dog Freret, located at 5030 Freret St., New Orleans. Per tradition, the next “Son of a Saint ‘Dog” will be selected, this year in a “Top Chef”-style competition by a panel of celebrity judges from recipes submitted by enthusiasts online. The winning Son of a Saint ‘Dog is featured on Dat Dog’s House Special menu year-round at all locations, until the next National Hot Dog Day when a new arrangement of Dat Dog’s gourmet sausages and unique toppings is selected. The sale of each special ‘dog is a direct contribution to Son of a Saint’s program, dedicated to mentorship and transforming the lives of fatherless boys across Greater New Orleans.
Last year’s COVID restrictions required the usually open-invite event to scale back. Now, with general COVID safety guidelines becoming more flexible and higher vaccination rates in the New Orleans metro area, the customary hot dog dressing competition between local celebrities and role models who want to create the winning Son of a Saint ‘Dog has come back to its true form. Similar to last year’s recipe submission process, Son of a Saint supporters and Dat Dog lovers are invited to submit their most delicious ideas online. The link can also be found on the Dat Dog website, www.datdog.com, Dat Dog’s National Hot Dog Day Celebration Facebook event page, and in Dat Dog’s Instagram bio.
The crowd-sourcing technique proved popular among hot dog hopefuls eager to participate in the tradition, so a “Top Chef” spin has been added for this year’s event on July 21. Three finalists chosen from online submissions will be invited to present their creations before a panel of celebrity judges, including two-time James Beard Award Winner Chef Alon Shaya, WGNO Good Morning New Orleans host Tamica Lee, and Urban South Head Brew Master Alex Flores. Sausage spectators are invited to watch the judges’ critiquing process and proclamation of the winning ‘dog. Master of Ceremonies for the event will be WVUE FOX 8 anchor Rob Krieger, who is an avid supporter of Dat Dog and the National Hot Dog Day event.
Joining in the National Hot Dog Day fun is another beloved local business and Son of a Saint partner, Urban South Brewery. Urban South is developing limited editions of various brews for its “Building Lives” brew collaboration with Son of a Saint. Proceeds from the Building Lives drink series will be donated to facilitate the success of Son of a Saint’s many services to the community. Urban South is donating a keg of the current Building Lives beer, a fruited sour brewed with guava and banana, to the event so that guests will be able to enjoy complimentary cups of the already sold-out taproom exclusive. The free beer is available while supplies last to event guests aged 21 and older.
“Our partnership with Dat Dog has been tremendous and this year’s continued partnership is more needed than ever,” says Son of a Saint Founder and CEO Bivan “Sonny” Lee III. “We are thrilled to continue this event in our usual tradition, welcoming all our friends, partners and supporters in person at Dat Dog’s Freret Street location. We’re looking forward to great fun, delicious food, and true camaraderie, as we crown another champion and choose the Son of a Saint ‘Dog that will help our mission.”
“This is the event we look forward to the most every year!” Dat Dog’s Director of Marketing Laurie G. Fisher notes. “The tradition is not only lots of fun, but we also enjoy how it allows us to help spread the message of Son of a Saint’s mission.”
The winning Son of a Saint ‘Dog recipe will be chosen by the panel of judges during the event on July 21st . Three finalists will be chosen from the form submissions and invited to attend the event and present their recipes to the judges in a “Top Chef”-style competition. The hot dog will become the featured Son of a Saint ‘Dog on Dat Dog’s menu for the next year. Spectators at the competition will be treated to free beer donated by Urban South Brewery, while supplies last. The beer is a fruited sour and part of their charitable “Building Lives” family of brews in collaboration with Son of a Saint. National Hot Dog Day is July 21.