Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 58!
Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great week so far! For this special edition of Foodie Adventures, we’re taking you behind the scenes of the invite-only Foodie McFooderton Chef’s Alliance event, dedicated to showcasing great local BBQ, chefs, and local makers! 💜Also don’t miss our first experience with cooking lamb! 🙌
Foodie McFooderton Chef’s Alliance Event –
Rib Fest & Chef’s Potluck
Urban Wren, Greenville, SC
If you don’t know by now I’m kind of an extrovert. 😁 I am the happiest when I’m around people, spending time getting to know new faces and new stories from people that share similar passions and love doing good in their community. Jamie and I recently had the opportunity to attend a fantastic local event put on by a food group in Greenville called Foodie McFooderton. Yes, that is their name, yes I love it just as much as you do.
Since moving to the South, I’ve always loved BBQ, so this year’s Chef’s Alliance event and potluck that my friend Heather from Foodie McFooderton was throwing was bbq-themed and I could not be happier. I sat down with Heather to get a little more background info on the event, how it got started, and where she got the idea to have something like this.
How did you come up with the theme, does it change every year? Do some people or vendors always stay the same?
So the theme was basically bbq and ribs. It does change every year! The first year we did a 200lb pig roast. Everyone who participates usually comes back the next year, so technically we double it every year! It’s meant to be like a family reunion of sorts. The same people coming back, along with new people to get to know.Heather Campbell, Foodie McFooderton Founder
How do you go about picking the venue or what kinds of makers and food folks to invite?
The main basis of it is a new way to connect people and network. That’s why I don’t sell tickets. The people I invite as guests are bloggers, influencers, media, restauranteurs, and investors. People that can benefit from getting to know others in the group. The goal is to tear down the thought of seeing them as a competitor and getting to know them as a person and connect on the level of loving food, not who’s is better. I believe that if we can put that aside, eat, drink and laugh together, we can become a closer tighter food community. I do bring in people from other states and areas to help us get outside the box and a different perspective other than the same thing we see every day.
Next year, I will invite the same members of our chef’s alliance and add new ones! New venue, new culinary artists, and the same people coming back together to celebrate and connect with each other again. When chefs work normal events, they typically don’t get a chance to meet the other chefs, eat their food, and drink. They’re working the whole time. We encourage them to bring a worker and get out from behind the table and celebrate themselves for a change. We definitely accomplished that this year!Heather Campbell, Foodie McFooderton Founder
Some of the great vendors we got to introduce ourselves to included Christian from Blue Ridge Creamery, who had a couple of different types of aged cheeses, along with two sheep’s cheeses, which I very happily tried. There was also some creamy cheese with vanilla added, which we ate on top of a crusty baguette from Swamp Rabbit Cafe with strawberries. He talked to Jamie for a few minutes about how they have a dry-aging room that’s above ground (so technically it’s not a cheese cave) and Jamie definitely loved to talk with him about that, since he’s been to Wisconsin once or twice and wrote about cheese caves on the blog before.
They also had a couple of drinks that were themed for the event. Probably the most fun was the “Tequila Mockingbird”, which came with a cute little rubber duck on the top. Check out this cute photo from Heather about what the cocktail looked like. 🍹
The Cook Station was also there, serving up some delicious small bites. They called the first one a play on a McDonald’s McRib, (I’m still not 100% sure what was in that one). The one in the back was absolutely delicious and it was some sort of a fish salad (it was trout I believe), almost akin to a chicken salad, on a small piece of bread with pickled cucumbers and a garnish.
Jamie and I also tried drinks from our friends at Rejuvenation Company Kombucha. We are so proud of their progress in expanding their availability now in different local stores. We’ve followed them on Instagram for quite a while but we were happy to finally get to try their product! I’m not a huge kombucha fan for the same reason I’m not a huge beer fan, but I really enjoyed their flavors and it didn’t taste like you were drinking straight apple cider vinegar, which I definitely appreciated. I have tried quite a few kombuchas but I think that theirs is my favorite so far.
We also checked out the Ghost Tequila table, a local product owned and created by Chef Vince Bienish, who has 30 years of restaurant experience and works at the Cook Station occasionally as well. He was super fun to talk to and get to know. He was serving up tacos using the tequila, and watermelon margaritas using the tequila as well. It was quite strong but definitely tasted good in the margaritas.
The next stop was our friends from Snickering Coyote BBQ! I was so excited to see them here again as they had talked up their ribs to me when we first met a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t have any on the food truck to try. Let me tell you how fall-off-the-bone these things were, and soo good. I swear if I hadn’t eaten almost one of everything already I would have gone back for more. I ate it so fast I didn’t even get a picture.
We also got to meet the father-son team at Papi’s Tacos, which are probably some of the most authentic tacos I’ve had in Greenville so far. I don’t know why we haven’t made more of an effort to check them out, but we definitely will be visiting soon! They had a chicken mole taco with homemade blue corn tortillas and pickled veggies, which was fantastic.
We did make it to Dray Bar and Grill, with their version of a barbecue pulled pork sandwich using Jackfruit, and a mango slaw which was absolutely fantastic. We got to spend a few minutes chatting with Bob, the owner, who told us the story about how they started as a catering company and then turned into a ghost kitchen, and finally settled on the brick-and-mortar that they have today. The restaurant is actually named after his son’s dog Drayton, because they got the dog when they moved into Drayton Mills, so I thought the name was very apropos. The logo is a rendition of what their dog looks like too!
Next stop was Six-and-Twenty Distillery and The Spinning Jenny. Jamie had a drink from here and he really enjoyed it, I believe Six-and-Twenty was on the beer passport last year, so I think we’ve been there at least once.
Next door was Bobby’s BBQ, which I already have a double date planned there in the near future. They brought a sausage with them that had pickled veggies on it and Jamie and I really really enjoyed it. Looking forward to tasting more of their barbecue soon!
White Wine and Butter Catering was also there and had a seafood mac and cheese that Jamie’s said was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try it, because, you know, dairy intolerance.
There were a couple of folks that I personally didn’t get to, and I’m not sure if Jamie did either, so we made a slideshow of them to make sure they felt the love!
Nard’s Barbecue, which I believe is another barbecue food truck, was there serving ribs (not pictured here), along with Young’s BBQ, which looked absolutely delicious. Chef Tania Harris was also there, a former pastry chef at The Lazy Goat and now runs her own catering company! She created a goat’s milk rice pudding with macerated beets and candied pecans, which looked absolutely phenomenal. I heard it was fantastic but at this point, I was so full I didn’t have quite enough room to try it. 😂 Vault & Vator had a table with a lovely sounding hibiscus cocktail (one of my favorite flavor notes), and there was an awesome candle maker there called Hooarte.com, who was charring the corks for their candles on site that night! Pakita Picnics had a great table set up as well, Moroccan themed!
Saving one of the best for last, I got to see my friend Kristin from Wildflower Cupcakes there, who debuted a new lemon cookie with blueberry goat cheese frosting, which absolutely gave me shivers. Such a fantastic balance of flavors – the sweetness and tartness from the blueberries and goat cheese gave such a good punch to the Sweet Lemon cookie. It was delicious! We also got to try her chocolate raspberry torte (gluten-free friendly), which was so decadent, I could have eaten about three more of those.
Finally, one of the big stars of the event was Chef Dorian Hunter, who was the MasterChef season 10 winner and now lives close to Atlanta! I got to spend a few minutes chatting with her about her story and the dessert that she brought. She was so super sweet to talk to.
She mentioned how Gordon Ramsay was a very sweet person, (because I definitely asked what he was like in real life), and said that going through a competition like MasterChef really helps you to understand not only your own strengths and weaknesses but really who you are as a chef and how you operate under pressure.
The dessert she brought was her “Drunk ‘n chocolate” cake, which was a dark chocolate cake with, I believe, a chocolate caramel frosting and little hazelnut toffee nuggets sprinkled along the bottom. I think I ate two of those, they were so good!! These days, she owns a catering company and does online cooking classes. Chef Dorian noticed that the more chefs she ran into, they either enjoy cooking or baking more, and she said she’s really happy she loves doing both! I think I’m more of a baker, but I do still love whipping together a good dinner if I have the time to sit down and plan.
We also got to meet a lot of people that I had only known as Instagrammers, or people that we interact with as pimento and prose online quite a bit, but never really met them in person. It was so great to actually be able to put a face to a name for a lot of these folks! We were also happy to reconnect with some of our foodie friends and meet new ones! I’m very excited to have been able to attend this event and absolutely loved the whole experience.
They also had some great artists, comedians, and bands there for entertainment for the night, which definitely kept the party going! There was a great live painting completed by local artist and coffee roaster, Brandon Seabrook Nelson, and music from Kings Ransome and Trey Duncan. It was held at Urban Wren last Saturday which is always a gorgeous place. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one if they will have us back. So grateful to have been able to continue to make all these great foodie connections and new friends this weekend.
Is there anything you’d like people to know about the event overall or for next year?
We are scouting new spots for 2022 already. Urban Wren wants us back but we are surely going to double in size again, so I’ll be needing a new spot. Next year, we will do an evening brunch theme! The most important thing to know, is all these participants bring their skillset for free. I also don’t charge them anything to participate. When we all do what we do best, we can all benefit from it. These people are givers. 💜 They are people who want to connect. People who want to grow. People you want to sit down to dinner with.Heather Campbell, Foodie McFooderton Founder
Grilled Lamb Chops
Lots of times when Jamie and I are in the grocery store ,we’ll see an ingredient that catches our eye. We might not know what to do with it at the time, but we definitely snag it and decide to either recipe test or do something with it for dinner that week.
Last weekend was no exception. After coming back from the foodie event we were inspired to do more with food and ended up buying some lamb chops at the grocery store.
My idea was to do some sort of a Mediterranean-inspired marinade and then put them on the grill, but Jamie ended up wanting to keep it really simple with some good pepper and salt and grilling them in the cast iron pan like you would steak. While he did that I put some veggies in the oven to roast. We picked green beans and carrots this time with a little seasoning; along with the lamb, everything turned out absolutely delicious.
It definitely tasted more along the lines of a steak, but it still had that grassy kind of flavor that you get from lamb. It was super buttery and I definitely could have had a couple more of these little puppies.
So how was your weekend, Foodie Friends? What are your favorite ways to support your local restaurants and makers? What’s the next business we need to review? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share 🤗