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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Headed West Again--The Rig Never Sleeps!

It's time for theEat Real Festivalin Oakland, California! One of our favorite events to be a part of takes place each fall in Jack London Square, right on the beautiful bay in Oakland. The festival celebrates local, affordable food as well as artisan products and procedure. In concert with local producers like Belcampo Farms, Jim 'n Nick's will use our traditional Southern smoking and cooking techniques while conjuring the adventurous spirit of our friends in Northern California. It's a culinary gold rush!
Join us this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Oakland!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jim ‘n Nick’s Celebrates With White Oak Pastures

Will Harris of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia is a great friend to Jim ‘n Nick’s as well as a member of the Fatback Collective Team. Will, along with his daughter, Jenni Harris and the rest of the team at White Oak Pastures farm in Southwest Georgia celebrated the opening of their brand new, on-farm chicken processing plant this past week.

The Harris Family has been raising cattle on this same farm since 1866. A few years back, Will made the decision to shift from conventional farming methods to a sustainable model that boasts humanely raised, organic, certified grass-fed beef. He has an on-farm beef abattoir and utilizes a Serengeti grazing model to aid in the health of the land, which translates into healthy cows and therefore, healthy, delicious beef. The grazing model is dependent on multiple species of animals and insects living and eating together in a symbiotic relationship. That is why Will and Jenni now raise chickens, sheep, ducks, geese, rabbits and turkeys all on the same land.

Their chicken production is in full force now with moveable chicken houses to provide the birds with fresh pasture to live on every day of their lives. In keeping with a commitment to animal welfare, Will believes that animals should be able to stay on the pasture their entire life, without being loaded onto trucks and shipped to processing facilities many miles away. That is why White Oak Pastures has now built a beautiful new poultry plant right on the farm.

Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q was proud to drive the rig down to Bluffton for the celebration and to show Will Harris and his family just how much we appreciate everything they are doing to make strides in sustainable farming and spreading their knowledge to others. Rodney Scott, fellow Fatback Collective member and owner and pitmaster of Scott’s Bar-B-Q in Hemingway, SC also made the trip to show his support. Nick Pihakus and Drew Robinson came up with a menu for the feast that showcased White Oak Pastures wonderful chicken, lamb and beef.BBQ Chicken, Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken and delicious roast chicken sat beside Lamb Burgers and old-fashioned beef cheeseburgers.Macaroni and Cheese, Potato Salad, Lamb and Beef Sausage and pimento cheese. Fresh cucumber and tomato salad, deviled eggs and Drew’s spicy bread and butter pickles provided cool, bright flavors. Kegs of Jim ‘n Nick’s exclusive Reverend Mudbone brew kept the party going along with tasty tunes from the Atlanta-based Mosier Brothers Band.

Congratulations to everyone at White Oak Pastures! We are proud to know you!