Get your fork and knife ready because Dig-IN: A Taste of Indiana, is back. The finest festival in local Hoosier cuisine is set for Aug. 28 at White River State Park from 12 p.m.- 5 p.m. Dig-IN showcases Indiana’s finest chefs, food minds, wineries, breweries and ingredients. The event boasts more than 30 Hoosier chefs who will be whipping up cuisine made with 100 percent local ingredients. The chefs won’t just be cooking though; they will also be discussing their recipes and ingredients with visitors.
Among the chefs giving demonstrations are JW Marriott chef Brendon Cheney, who moved to Indianapolis from Las Vegas where he worked at the MGM Grand and The Rio Hotel and Casino; Christopher Eley of Smoking Goose & Goose the Market, which has received national attention since opening on North Delaware Street in Indianapolis. Greg Hardesty of recess and Miguel Santana chef at The Northside Social will be there, too.
Also attending the event are chefs from across the state like Aaron Butts, chef at the gourmet restaurant Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, known for his true farm-to-fork creations. Chef Douglas Rennie and Marla Rennie, who own Just Rennie’s Cookies in Evansville, will make melt-in-your mouth desserts and Jeff Ford, owner of J. Ford’s Black Angus in Terre Haute, and the former sous chef at Larry Bird’s MVP Club will cook up Hoosier meats.
“Dig-IN combines the best Indiana has to offer in the way of food and culinary creativity,” said Ann Schmelzer, program manager for entrepreneurship and diversified agriculture with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
Visitors will also be able to guzzle some of Indiana’s finest adult beverages as The Indiana Wine Grape Council and Brewer’s of Indiana Guild will provide wine and beer tastings. Local soft drinks and water will also be available.
After last year’s success Dig-IN will also host a variety of other programming including live music, urban gardening exhibits, education discussion panels, and local expert Q&A sessions.
“Last year, we found people really enjoyed the food, the speaker series, the entire atmosphere of celebrating and focusing on Indiana from farm to fork,” said Neal Brown of Neal Brown Hospitality Group, which operates Pizzology and the soon-to-open downtown Indy restaurant, The Libertine.
The event costs $20 in advance and $30 at the gate; children 3 and under get in free. For more information visit DigINdiana.org or call: 317.607.8715.
Interested in volunteering? Volunteers are needed to help with hospitality, ticket sales, children’s’ activities, chef/speaker/band assistance and other tasks. Volunteers at least 18-years-old are asked to attend a training session in advance and work a minimum of 2.5 hours. Volunteers receive free parking, free admission and a T-shirt.
For more information or to complete a volunteer application, visit www.digindiana.org/volunteer/. Applications are due by Aug. 15.