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).
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, April 15, 2014:
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.
Easy crafts in time for Easter
The Cane Fire Film Series presents “The Great Flood” on Monday, April 14, at the AcA.