Two San Francisco chefs, Justin Simoneaux of The Boxing Room and Ronnie New of Comstock Saloon, will help host an epic crawfish boil with several other friends at the Laytonville Rodeo Grounds in Mendocino County, August 31. The event will feature beers donated by about 10 West Coast breweries and music from three bands, plus six roast pigs to go with the 1,000 pounds of crawfish. The event, now in its eighth year, has raised thousands of dollars for charity. This year, recipients include close to 10 local organizations, including the Laytonville Rodeo Grounds, Laytonville Unified School District and Laytonville Healthy Start—plus two Louisiana beneficiaries.
Why Louisiana? Simoneaux and New are natives of the state, and they’ve been best friends since they met there in ninth grade. Both cooked at New Orleans–area restaurants as teenagers, and Simoneaux eventually followed New to culinary school in San Francisco. New has picked the Louisiana Youth Seminar, a leadership program he completed in high school. Simoneaux has chosen For the Bayou, a San Francisco–based conservation organization to protect Louisiana’s wetlands, where the chef spent his earliest years.