DIG IN is the foodie event of the year. Hoosier foodies from all over the state travel to Indy to experience 48 offerings from the best chefs and culinary ninjas that Indiana has to offer. Five years ago, DIG IN was just an idea. I was an intern at the State Department of Agriculture and there was this idea to have a food festival of sorts where all of the food would be locally sourced. Department of Ag was tapped to provide some volunteers and the rest is history. I have divided this into helpful tips for next year, the lineup (aka show me the food!), and other rambling thoughts. While this post does not feature a recipe, I do hope the following visuals and descriptions inspire you to get in the kitchen. I’ll also be writing a follow up post soon – I am thinking grits!
Remember it’s all about good quality ingredients. Some of the best dishes are often the simplest. Napolese served heirloom tomatoes with cottage cheese, but not with the run of the mill kind that you buy at the grocery store. Circle City Soups served a mushroom cap with a dollop of goat cheese and a red pepper. Simple, but I could have downed those all day.
Elastic waistbands or anything expandable. I would stay away from pants on this day, ladies. Anything loose and forgiving because you’re about to cross 48 items off your passport. I couldn’t find my trusty Gap Kids expandable pants, so I went with a skirt my mom made. However, she only gave me one pocket. Also, a purse with a cross strap. Out of the way, but helpful to store your stemware when you’re not enjoying a craft beer. Rinsing between beverages is key here. Comfy shoes. This is not the day to try out your new pair of espadrilles. Converse or sandals and you’re golden. Also, speed is not a factor. Ease into the day – Start slow and let yourself have a few hours to work your way through the tents. Gates open at 12 and they kick you out at 5. So find a spot on the grass and camp out in the shade to recharge before you hit the next set.
That said, the handy map inside your passport is your friend. Study up and plot your course. This is not amateur hour and vendors do sometimes run out of samples. Union 50 had a short day and said see you later by 1:00. Sunglasses and sunscreen are important and it might be smart to re-apply. Lastly, hydrate yourself and not just with beer. I was impressed with the volunteers and the hardworking DIG IN staff’s hustle to ensure no foodies went thirsty, especially on such a hot day.
It is a beautiful day to be a foodie in Indiana!
This should be DIG IN’s motto. It starts innocent (watermelon gazpacho) and then escalates quickly (why hello mac and cheese with prosciutto).
18 On The Square: Pulled Pork and Smoked Sweet Corn Salsa
240sweet Artisan Foodworks: BBQ Goat and Sweet Corn Cake
Bea’s Soda Bar: Honey Blossom Crème Soda
Bee Coffee Roasters: Crimson Coffee Soda
Cerulean: Corn Pound Cake with Mango and Lime
Circle City Soups: Pintxo of Mushroom and Goat Cheese
Circle City Sweets: Grilled Peach Shortcake with Wildflower Ridge Honey Lavender Creme
Citizen Hash: Tijuana Bacon Street Corn
Cobblestone Grill: Pork Carnitas with Avocado Mousse, Sweet Corn Relish and Cilantro Green Tomatillo Salsa
Delicia & La Mulita: Carnitas with Yogurt-Tomatillo Salsa
Duos Indy: Scnabeltier Raclette with Heirloom Potato and House Pickle
Fresh Artistry: Hoosier Stuffed Tomatoes
Gates Catering: Sweet Corn Gnocchi with Grilled Fischer Farms Pork Belly, Blistered Anaheim Peppers and Traders Point Fleur de la Terre
Goose the Market and The Smoking Goose: Smoked Beef Sammy
J. Ford’s Black Angus: Oriental Brisket Steamed Buns with Pickled Chilies, Honey Ginger Scallion Mayo and Cilantro Greens
Joseph Decuis: Wagyu Manga Meatball Bahn Mi
Just Rennie’s Cookie Company: Just Rennie’s Cookies
Lasalle Grill: Braised and Chilled Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast
Late Harvest Kitchen/The North End BBQ: Rabbit Sausage with Giardiniera and Country Mustard
Local Eatery and Pub: Chicken and its lunch…. Cured, Braised and Grilled Chicken Drummettes, Corn Meal, Bacon Root Vegetable Gravy
Meridian: Hot Brown-Roasted Turkey, Bacon Jam, Mornay Sauce, White Bread, Tomato Salad
Mesh: Pickled Shrimp with Fried Toast
Napolese: Heirloom Tomatoes & Cottage Cheese
Natural Born Juicers: TBD
Northside Social & Kitchenette: Pancetta Mac & Cheese
Nourish: Duck Confit Chilaquiles
OAKLEYS bistro: Red Chile Braised Duck with Scallion Masa Pancake and Lime Cilantro Crema
One World Catering: Goose with the Golden Egg – Saffron Pickled Egg, Smoking Goose Salumi, Raita, Tulip Tree Tuile
Peterson’s Restaurant: Chicago Style Duck Bratwurst
R2GO + R bistro: Confit of Chicken Thighs, Watermelon Soup + Watermelon Salad
Scratchtruck: Blackstrap Molasses and Sriracha Pulled Pork
Severin Bar: Stone Ground Grit Bar
Shoefly Public House: Peri Peri Roasted Sweet Corn
Soulshine Market: Eggplant Shawarma
Spice Box: Chicken Panache
Spire Farm-to-Fork Cuisine: Mushroom Ragout with Gnocchi, Jowl Bacon and Smoked Corn Coulis
Taxman Gastropub: Cheese and Cracker
The Loft Restaurant at Traders Point Creamery: Composition of Tomatoes, Farmers Cheese and Indigenous Sunflowers
The Oceanaire Seafood Room: Roasted Elk with Corn and Pickled Jalepeno
Tinker Street Restaurant and Wine Bar: Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Relish
Tulip Noir: Chilled Sweet Corn Buttermilk Soup
Union 50: Beer-Braised Serrano Lamb Sausage
Valley Kitchen & Bar: Brush Your Shoulders Off
I know, you’re drooling just reading this list. In case you’re wondering, I did not conquer all 48. Close, but not all.
Spicy grilled corn
I never did find this dish, but the sign was photo worthy!
pancetta mac and cheese from Northside Social (goat cheese in the sauce!)
the cutest sous chef I ever did see at Peterson’s booth – her napkins started to blow away and I helped her hold them down
They served Chicago Style Duck Bratwurst on a sandwich. FANCY!
Pork Carnitas with Avocado Mousse, Sweet Corn Relish and Cilantro Green Tomatillo from Cobblestone Grill
Grilled Peach Shortcake with Wildflower Ridge Honey Lavender Creme from Circle City Sweets
Habanero peach popsicle from Nicey Treat – I really liked this one, but I noticed some people chuck it after a few bites. It was spicy. Beer was appreciated after this!
Smoked Beef sandwich from Goose the Market
Pickled Shrimp with Fried Toast from Mesh on Mass
Pintxo of Mushroom and Goat Cheese from Circle City Soups
Corn pudding with sausage
the grits bar from the Severin Bar
Corn Pound Cake with Mango and Lime from the Cerulean
After discussing with my posse, LP and Ali, I will most likely be re-creating the grits bar with assorted toppings, but all of the samples have inspired me to try something new. Cooking is about experimenting and you really can’t go wrong!