This past weekend was the second annual Imagine, Indulge, Imbibe (i3). The event went from five to fifteen teams and this year I had a much larger role as a board member. It was a whirlwind few months of planning and posting on social media like it was my job (wait, it is part of my job…), but the day finally came and the event was a success!
Fifteen teams, composed of a chef, bartender, and artist, were assigned a landmark along the Cultural Trail to use as their inspiration for a dish, cocktail, and piece of artwork. You read that correctly, fifteen different cocktails were provided.
I paced myself and was busy taking pictures and live tweeting, but I could definitely feel the cocktails by the time the three hours of the event had passed. I don’t like anything overly sweet, but the bourbon and beet juice cocktail was my jam. It was the ideal palate refresher between samples. See below for a copycat recipe.
My favorite dish was from Taxman Brewing (I had no idea they had a chef), which was a tiny toast served with perfectly roasted lamb. I am not usually a lamb fan, but this was seasoned and cooked perfectly.
My favorite dessert was Cindy Hawkins’ apple tart. Cindy is with Circle City Sweets and her inspiration was the Central Library. She chose to make Julia Childs’ apple tart because it is classic staple dessert and Julia Childs’ cookbooks are prominent in every library in America.
The complementary cocktail was full of cinnamon and a bit spicy, but I have no idea what was in it. Keep in mind that I am usually a beer or wine connoisseur and have only recently dabbled in the world of cocktails. Having your office located next to Hotel Tango also helps.
Plat 99 served a really fresh and colorful summer panzanella salad of yellow and red heirloom tomatoes, bread croutons, and basil. The winning dish was from Chef Dean Sample of the Meridian (fitting that his last name is Sample. Get it?). He served brisket on top of bread. It was good, but did not blow me away. However, a generous portion of brisket will win the hearts of most crowds.
It was fun to interact with the artists and learn more about their inspiration for their artwork. I especially loved the woman at the Kurt Vonnegut table that decoupaged letters out of pages from old Kurt Vonnegut books. I’ve had several Mod Podge incidents over the years, so I could relate to her endeavor.
Madame Walker was an ideal location and the space worked out well. The elevator may have broken shortly after the event started, but after eating fifteen dishes, I don’t think taking the stairs hurt anyone.
I am so proud of the board and of Pivot. I have always been passionate about Dig IN and I am finally at the place where I can invest my time and put that passion to use.
Shameless plug: You can still get tickets for Dig IN’s Taste of Indiana in August!
Chef Abbi Merriss of Bluebeard’s Cracker Jack dessert, inspired by Victory Field.
Taxman Brewing’s lamb dish.
The ‘working man’s’ duck meatloaf with a Coca Cola glaze, inspired by the Coca Cola Building.
A cocktail inspired by the Indiana War Memorials.
Cerulean’s Kurt Vonnegut inspired bourbon sandwich cookie
i3 Inspired Beet and Bourbon Cocktail
Recipe via Modern Wife Style
- half of a peach
- a few sprigs of thyme
- 1 tbsp simple syrup
- 1 oz of beet juice
- 1 oz bourbon
- tonic or club soda
- slice of lemon to garnish
- Muddle the peach, thyme, simple syrup and beet juice in a shaker.
- Add bourbon and ice. Shake it!
- Fill a low ball glass with ice and strain the drink over.
- Add a splash of tonic or club soda and a slice of lemon.