Wednesday, January 30, 2008

All You Need to Know Involving a Pig and an Ice Sculpture

Taste of Elegance -- The Big Pig: Next time you see Chef Brandon Hamilton, make sure you congratulate him as The Big Pig! In the presence of a giant melting pig ice sculpture, his dish of Pork Trotters with Shagbark Hickory Custard topped the field of nine in last night's Taste of Elegance at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. He'll go on to compete in the national competition later in the spring. Second was Chef Jeffrey Bane from The Chef's Academy with a braised hocks dish and third was Chef Josh Horrigan cooking for Spiceland's newest steakhouse -- Macaboos. Horrigan's dish -- that he calls Pork Wings -- might have "next big thing" written all over it. (He takes the tendon part of the foot behind the piggy ankle, braises it, then slathers it with sauce like chicken wings. As bar food, there's almost nothing better. And who doesn't love the whole "flying pigs" metaphor.) The event was presented by Indiana Pork in partnership with the Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Soybean Alliance (with a large table of Indiana wines from the Indiana Wine Grape Council.)

Hamilton (nee-14 West, nee Indianapolis Dine) is currently consulting with the Trader's Point Creamery Cafe on their new Friday and Saturday night dinner service. Thanks to the crack judging team -- Chef Tony Hanslits (of The Chef's Academy), Chef Dan Dunville (Meridian Restaurant and Bar), Chef Greg Schiesser (Indiana Downs), and Alan Wilhoite (Wilhoite Family Farms and National Pork Board member.

Good-bye, Oakley's, Hello InVie: The lovely Lisa Cunningham (our local Woman on Wine) has moved on to her next gig as a rep with Olinger's premium wine distribution group, InVie. You'll remember her from Oakleys Bistro where she's helmed the front of house and wine list for several years after long stints at Something Different and California Pizza Kitchen. Good luck, Lisa!

Brix Update -- Noah Grant's: They might be opening. Maybe. But under a new name. And there might be a raw bar. We don't really know for sure. Winecanine might know more. He has the goods on what might -- or might not be -- happening at Brix.

Happy Birthday to The Good Grape: Happy blog-a-versary to The Good Grape -- a national wine blog written by a local blogger. Read his wine commandments. Post them over the door to your cellar (or over your wine rack), and remember to enjoy! Jeff is a pal (and former colleague in a past life) and is a great addition to the wine blogging world -- and look for us to do another Good Grape/Feed Me Drink Me event soon. We promise! Plus, he pointed me to this which made me laugh.

Food Fight! Mark your calendars for the Food Fight Culinary Competition at The Chef's Academy benefiting PACE/OAR on Saturday, Feb 23. Looks like a good night of cooking competition, tasting, and cocktails. Snacks and wine from Mass Ave Wine Shoppe. Tickets are $50.


Jeff said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Braingirl.

It's the Mutual Admiration Society with love and fondness from Good Grape.


Neal said...

Congratulations Brandon, nice work to beat such a talented field. Be careful though, I'm not sure how beating one of your instructors is going to sit.

The pork tendon thing is way cool....I'm off to Kincaids now!

Anonymous said...

Brandon, Jeff, and Josh, way to represent the Chef's Academy! You guys rock! The team at Perfect Pick are so happy for you all. It is so cool to know so many "celebrities"! Keep up the fantastic work.

Teresa said...


Congratualtions! We look forward to watching you compete at the National Taste of Elegance.

National Pork Board