30 August 2010

DigIN: A Taste of Indiana Recap

DigIN to tasty eats, great beer and wine? Don't mind if I do! This past Sunday, Rodney and I woke up bleary eyed after a night of reveling at the Hoosier Beer Geek 4th Anniversary party and slathered ourselves with sunscreen in anticipation of a brand new slow food event here in Indianapolis, DigIN: A Taste of Indiana. DigIN was spawned by an Alice Waters (the slow food guru herself) event in 2008 that showcased local and sustainable food efforts in Indiana.

After the event a local chef (our good friend Neal Brown formerly of L'Explorateur and now of Pizzology fame) and the Indiana Department of Agriculture decided to start working together to redefine what "A Taste of Indiana" could be with regard to the developing local food movement. They brought together food producers, chefs, breweries and wineries for one celebration event, Dig-IN: A Taste of Indiana. This was a great event that showcased what Indiana is truly capable of with regard to great food and drink!

We tried many dishes from Indiana Artisians including chicken and noodles (Indiana handmade noodles); bloody marys made with Indiana Vodka and Indiana bloody mary mix; and amazing chocolate truffles!

We had nibbles of burgers produced from local cattle, topped with farm fresh eggs and local cheese.  One of my favorite dishes was from a chef at my alma mater, Butler University - their fresh gazpacho with lots of jalapenos and onions!  It was SO tasty and really well spiced.

We had perfect weather for the event; I just wish it could have been about 10 degrees cooler or the breezes had continued through the balmy afternoon.

We also were really impressed with the unique and innovative selections that each chef strived to enhance the event with, from many different takes on pork to lots of fresh caprese salads.

I really liked that the chefs also had lots of signs so you knew what you were getting into with your decadent eats at each location.  I was really impressed with the local goat cheeses and the quality of the pork that each of the chefs used!

I did appreciate also that the producers were on hand to discuss the dishes and the conditions in which they are growing their produce or how they raised their animals.  We actually talked to one of the producers from Gunthorp Farms in Northern Indiana about their animals and about the ingredients of our salad. 

Rod and I stuck to just one pint of Brugge Brasserie's Pooka (which was $4 a pint) but for just $1 more you got an awesome Drink Indiana/DigIN pint glass that was really nicely done (and it was filled with beer).  All in all this was a great event and I really hope that the people who put on DigIN decide to make this an annual event!


  1. What a fantastic event. I think it has the potential to grow larger each year. It was so good to see so many people eating local!

  2. My only complaint (and not really a complaint, more of a question) was why they were serving homebrew by the ice sculpture. There are 20+ breweries in the state - I have a pretty good feeling that random homebrew isn't a fair representation of what we're capable of.

  3. PS. nice photos rod or jess or whoever you hired.

  4. The homebrew was done by the Chef's Academy - so not really random and it makes sense. I took most of the pictures except the last one, that was all Rod.

  5. On the one hand, I think having the Chef's Academy serve homebrew is an important message that fits with an event like this. On the other hand, I think the long brewery lines were evidence that more breweries able to sell their product should have been there. I don't think the Chef's Academy was there taking the place of any of the breweries.

    Having the Chef's Academy there serving beer isn't really much different than having them there serving food.

  6. Thanks for mentioning Hoosier Momma's Bloody Mary Maker! Glad you enjoyed our contribution to such an awesome event!
    BTW, Hoosier Momma's Bloody Mary Maker makes a pretty darn good Red Beer or Michelada!

  7. One one hand, I am sure the Chef's academy's beer was decent. On the other hand, I would have suggested that one of the fine Indiana homebrew clubs could have supplied beer for the event. Nothing against the Chefs Academy, but the homebrew clubs (especially MECA brewers) can really make world-class beers. We have many award winning beers in our stable, and some of us have even teamed up with the Pros for Pro-Am competitions at the GABF.

  8. I just wanted to say that I appreciate your nod towards my multiple awards and my entry in this year's GABF Pro-Am. You are a scholar and a gentleman.