Surf and turf was taken. Pig and Plough works just fine. The supper series slash fundraiser, which commences in mid-September, is a thankful development in the Lafayette food scene: a consolidation of the elements that make the Hub City a place of great and diverse cuisine — chefs from competing restaurants collaborating with each other and with local food producers, promoters, planners, artisans and partisans. It’s a coming together of virtually every niche within the local foodie scene. And it revolves around a simple premise: the shorter the distance between the table and the farm, the better (and more nutritious) the meal and, as important, recognizing the Lafayette eateries and chefs who help keep our local food producers busy by purchasing their products.
|Photos by Tracy Fontenot|
|From left: Lucius A. Fontenot, Jonathan Kastner, Jeremy Conner (standing), Tyler F. Thigpen and Abi Broussard-Falgout|
Executive Chef Jeremy Conner at Village Café got the cabbage rolling: “Pig and Plough was born when I voiced my desire to encourage the sourcing of local foods by area restaurants by celebrating local farmers and artisans and the local restaurants that patronize them.”
Conner approached Tyler Thigpen, who writes a farm-to-table column for IND Monthly and is the president of the nonprofit Acadiana Food Circle, to get Pig and Plough off the ground. Thigpen soon pulled in Denny and Katie Culbert, kindreds in the “eat local” movement who also produce a supper series, Runaway Dish, and an amazing new food journal of the same name. Denny Culbert is a food photographer whose work has also appeared in these pages. Fellow photographer Lucius Fontenot rounds out the Pig and Plough brain trust.
Perhaps the best thing about the series is that it benefits Acadiana Food Circle, which helps connect small, local farms with consumers and restaurants. AFC is part of the larger farm-to-table movement getting traction nationwide, a movement that even larger retail grocers like Rouses, Super 1 and others are becoming increasingly attuned to as evidenced by the presence of locally sourced products — everything from meat and dairy to vegetables and baked good — on their store shelves.
Pig and Plough commences on Monday, Sept. 16, at Village Café in River Ranch when Conner teams with Manny Augello and Abi Broussard of Bread & Circus Provisions for “Pig and Plough presents Village Circus.” The event will include a gourmet meal with drink pairings. There will also be a vegan option.
Augello adds that the collaborations break the old restaurant mold that emphasizes competition. “The environment then shifts to one of learning instead of recipe secrecy; that synergy along with the sharing of resources puts more money into the hands of the small producers, which in return allows them to create a better product.”
At $75 per person, the inaugural Pig and Plough is pricey for the average restaurant patron, but Thigpen adds that the series also plans “more casual, laid-back events with food that is just as fresh and local and delicious, but more accessible” at other venues.
Ultimately, Pig and Plough, like Runaway Dish and the work of Acadiana Food Circle, is about both creating a viable, sustainable marketplace for the mom-and-pop farmers and food artisans in Acadiana to earn a respectable living as well as educating the food consumer on the burgeoning source of the delicious and nutritious in our own proverbial backyard.
“The bond that is established between a chef and a grower is a special thing because both parties truly care about the process of growing and preparing food,” notes Thigpen.
For Augello, whose business model relies almost entirely on locally sourced products, supper series like Pig and Plough are ultimately about the producers. “This is a great launchpad for folks just starting out on new ventures or looking to expand in their market,” he says. “These sort of exposures give you immediate feedback on your product.”
To make reservations for “Pig and Plough Presents Village Circus” call Village Café at (337) 981-8085 or log on to OpenTable.com (click on Village Café).
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
A refreshing twist at a Lafayette institution comes served with a black bean salad stuffed avocado
Marijuana source of disputes for HOAs; experts say still safe to fly; Russian-supported attacks on Ukraine and more national and international news for Friday, July 25, 2014.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Three bedroom Sunset Victorian or three bedroom Opelousas Acadian home
Louisiana designer commissioned for NYC Awards gift
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
INDEats and EatLafayette want to give one lucky foodie and friends the most memorable meal — here’s how you can win
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia
The city prosecutor has released the case file for Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion’s simple battery complaint against Superintendent Pat Cooper, and the seven witness statements given to police illustrate two very different scenarios.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Citing conflicting witness accounts, the city prosecutor will not pursue Tehmi Chassion’s allegation of simple battery against Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Smoked meat, fresh sides and the best boudin around
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers opens on Johnston.