NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Dat Dog and Son of a Saint mark their 8th National Hot Dog Day together with their annual celebration on Saturday, July 23, from 3–5 p.m., at Dat Dog Magazine, located at 3336 Magazine St. The event is highlighted every year by the appointment of a new “Son of a Saint ‘Dog.” This year continues a fresh take on the beloved tradition– a “Top Chef”-style competition, complete with a panel of celebrity judges paired with Son of a Saint mentees, will choose  the new ‘dog from recipes submitted online by hot dog lovers everywhere. The winning Son of a Saint ‘Dog joins the House Specials menu at all Dat Dog locations for the next year, and proceeds from each ‘dog sold are donated directly to Son of a Saint’s program dedicated to mentorship and transforming the lives of fatherless boys across Greater New Orleans.

An open call for ideas from the community for the next great Son of a Saint ‘Dog began in 2020, stemming from the need to minimize public interaction at the height of  COVID without sacrificing the chance to come together and choose a new version of this important hot dog. The community involvement, coupled with the fun of a “Top Chef”-style competition, has not only encouraged hot dog enthusiasts to take a chance at winning the coveted Son of a Saint ‘Dog Competition trophy, it has also helped increase awareness of the Son of a Saint organization and their mission. Son of a Saint supporters and Dat Dog lovers everywhere are invited to send in their ideas via an online submission form. 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

Three finalists chosen from online submissions will be invited to present their creations before a panel of four celebrity judges, including two-time James Beard Award Winner Chef Alon Shaya, WGNO Meteorologist Brooke Laizer, Urban South’s Director of Brewing Operations Alex Flores, and New Orleans Saints Superfan Leroy “Whistle Monsta” Mitchell. Each judge will be paired with a Son of a Saint mentee, and the two will work together in their critique of each hot dog. This addition to the panel of judges directly aligns with of Son of a Saint’s nutrition education and culinary programming, which mentees engage in during all stages of their participation and enrollment. 

The public is invited to watch the judges’ critiquing process and the proclamation of the winning ‘dog. Returning as 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.

Son of a Saint partner and favorite local brewery, Urban South Brewery, is returning to this year’s National Hot Dog Day Celebration with a keg of their newest “Building Lives” brew collaboration with Son of a Saint. Variations of this limited edition beer, sold exclusively at the Urban South taproom, are developed quarterly, with proceeds from the drink series donated to support Son of a Saint’s many services to the community. The current Building Lives beer is a spicy margarita sour, brewed with sweet Valenica orange, lime juice and a hint of chipotle pepper. Urban South is donating a keg to the event so that guests will be able to enjoy complimentary tastes served in exclusive 8th Annual National Hot Dog Day Celebration cups. The free beer is available while supplies last to event guests aged 21 and older. 

“Our partnership with Dat Dog continues to yield tremendous support for our mission, and this year’s continued collaboration is more needed than ever,” says Son of a Saint Founder and CEO Bivan “Sonny” Lee III. “We’re excited about the newest elements being introduced this year, including hosting the event at Dat Dog’s Magazine Street for the first time, and including our young men on the judging panel. I can’t wait to welcome all our friends, partners and supporters in-person, and sustain this important tradition.”

“National Hot Dog Day with Son of a Saint is our hot dog highlight of the year,” Dat Dog’s Director of Marketing Laurie G. Fisher notes. “We’re happy to be a part of such a fun tradition with such a worthy- and valuable- organization!”

The winning Son of a Saint ‘Dog recipe will be chosen by the panel of judges during the event on July 23 at 3:00 p.m. 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, age 21 and up, will be treated to free beer donated by Urban South Brewery, while supplies last. The beer is a spicy margarita sour and part of their charitable “Building Lives” family of brews in collaboration with Son of a Saint. National Hot Dog Day is July 23.