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).
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.