Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eat Real Festival 2011--Back from the Golden State!

We had a great time with everyone out in Oakland, California this past weekend at the Eat Real Festival. Now in its 3rd year, the Eat Real Festival celebrates thoughtfully produced food and those who do the good work to bring it to the public in a creative and affordable way. While most of the purveyors are local to the Bay Area, our friendship with the folks who started Eat Real, Anya Fernald, and Belcampo Meats is our inspiration to take the rig all the way across the country to give the people of Northern California a taste of how we cook using their products while at the same time, we learn from them. It's a great exchange of ideas, tastes and good times. Many thanks to everyone who helped us out and to everyone who stopped by our "Southern Kitchen" on wheels.

John Haire from The Pink Pig and Jim 'n Nick's in Charleston, SC was the captain of the vessel for much of the time there.

Cindy Maas and Donna Smith constructed sandwich plates.

From our rig, placed right next to the water, we cooked fire roasted corn, pulled pork, and beef brisket, played some funky tunes and had a lot of fun getting to know so many nice folks in Oakland.

Pitmaster Drew Robinson throws his hands in the air.

David and Todd shucked hundreds of ears of corn.

Nick Pihakis chops grass-fed beef brisket from Belcampo Meats.

Brian Lyman from Jim 'n Nick's in Atlanta, GA and Rodney Scott from Scott's Bar-B-Q in Hemingway, SC prepare fresh Niman Ranch pork for the smoker.

Rodney chops and sings. It was a good day.

We got some temporary help from some young prep cooks.

Some old friends stopped by as well.
Kelly, Weston and John Bakkagaurd from Jim 'n Nick's in Birmingham, AL catch up.

Our dear friend Bill Niman visited with us and filled us in on what is going on at his farm, BN Ranch.

Caleb Zigas, the director of La Cocina in San Francisco.

Southern Foodways Alliance member, Cheryl Pochapin lives just a couple of blocks from Jack London Square in Oakland. It's great to connect with SFA friends on the other side of the country!

Nat Gunter from Cultivate Wines, and Lily Peterson from Saintsbury Winery came by to visit on Sunday. Nat's originally from Alabama so he followed the smoke signals from Napa to get some authentic BBQ.

There was a butchering contest where our own pitmaster, Drew Robinson assisted "Dave the Butcher" who defended his title from last year. (more on that battle to come)

Surrounded by farms, the Bay Area is rife with producers like Belcampo who provided us with grass-fed beef, Acme Bread, who made our slider buns each day, Niman Ranch who supplied pork and Dwelley Farms in Brentwood, CA where we got the corn we cooked on the fire. Our Alabama buddies, Wickles Pickles provided the sweet/spicy pickles that went on top of our sandwiches.

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