If you’re a fan of locally grown food – or let’s face it, food in general – you will want to get familiar with Dig IN: A Taste of Indiana.
Dig IN, taking place Aug. 30 at White River State Park, is a one-day farm-to-fork festival that showcases our state’s top chefs, growers, producers, wineries and breweries. More than 40 chefs, 18 breweries and 10 wineries will be on-site offering everything from a twist on traditional Hoosier favorites (Pancetta Mac & Cheese from Northside Social) to the unique (Roasted Elk from Oceanaire) to sweet treats (Grilled Peach Shortcakes from Circle City Sweets).
Chefs will come from across the state, including Chef Aaron Butts of Joseph Decuis in Roanoke and Chef Douglas and Marla Rennie of Just Rennie’s Cookie Company in Evansville. Of course, local Downtown favorites will be there as well: Napolese, Cerulean and Tinker Street to name a few. (Speaking of Tinker Street, the Tomato Gazpacho dish is calling my name – see restaurant list below).
“The Indiana food scene is exploding, and we’re sending chefs to cook at the James Beard House in New York as well as winning awards like Jonathan Brooks being named best new chef from Food and Wine,” Director of Operations Rob Gaston. “There are so many new things to be excited about this year, from the chefs competition, to food history tours put on by the Star, and all of the new chef participants.”
Besides the food, stick around and enjoy live music in a shaded spot: The New Old Cavalry, Chad Mills and Mikial Robertson will all be performing. New this year will be a chef competition, in partnership with Chefs Night Off Indy and Indianapolis On Deck, as well as a refillable water station from Bottle Free Indy. New producers and restaurants to this year’s event include: Bea’s Soda Bar, Soulshine Market, Cobblestone Grill, Taxman Gastropub, Lasalle Grill, Spire Farm to Fork, Tulip Noir and Tinker Street.
Come to the festival hungry (yes, that means consider skipping breakfast) and wear loose clothing (skinny jeans are a definite no). Once you enter the festival, you will receive a passport and from there, it’s game time. Familiarize yourself with the restaurants and chefs at Dig IN so you can map out your route and prioritize your samples. Mentally prepare for long lines at some chef tables. Know that the end result will be worth the wait.
Now, the moment we have been waiting for… Drum roll please… Your official roundup of the dishes at this year’s event, all of which include locally sourced ingredients from farmers and producers all over Indiana.
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: Live at the BBQ
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: Sweet Potato 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
Plus, dishes from Bluebeard, Milktooth, Recess and FARM Bloomington in the VIP tent.
Tickets to the event are $35 through Aug. 24 (save $10); $60 for early entry; $120 for VIP; $10 for children ages 5-10; FREE for children 4 and under.