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The Possibility of Pigs : The Hog and The Barrel Dinner at Proof on Main

On November 14th, Italian and Southern cuisine will hit if off in a big way at Proof on Main’s annual The Hog and The Barrel Dinner.  This year the event, which brings together Proof’s Chef Levon Wallace and guest chefs from places far and near, will welcome Chef’s Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis, Tennessee.  If anyone knows their way around a hog, it’s a couple of guys from one of the barbeque capitols of the world.

The Hog and The Barrel Dinner is a celebration of the other white meat.  And tail, and snout, and head and jowl.  Hog and Barrel literally goes whole hog.  When asked which was each chef’s favorite part of the pig or which part they were most looking forward to taking a crack at, each had a hard time answering.  Chef Wallace likens it to having to choose a favorite child, adding, “every single piece of the pig is so delicious and I intend on using every single piece. Everyone should be eating as much pig as possible.”  Chef Hudman says that he and Ticer are “loving the jowl. If you can cure the jowl, then grill them.  It will blow you away.  The jowl has astounding flavor.”

Oh, yeah…did we mention there will be Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon?  The fabled spirit will be the bourbon on hand for the event, with each course being paired with a different bottle, sadly not per person!  Everyone gets more excited when Van Winkle is involved.  Proof and 21c have a long relationship with the Van Winkles and Ticer says he and Hudman “have a great relationship with the family.  We love Pappy Van Winkle.”  Pappy has been in the news of late with theft of dozens of cases from the warehouse here in Kentucky.  Bottles are sold at auction for upwards of a thousand dollars.  Everyone loves it, and everyone wants it.  Says Hudman, “we can’t get enough, but that is everyone’s problem!”

Chef Wallace is excited to work with the pair, saying that he had followed their work but didn’t meet them until Atlanta Food and Wine Festival earlier this year.  “They had this really great chicken skin and waffle thing that was really, really good.  I was walking around and I finally just ran into them.”  Wallace says that they were all I love your work, hey I love your work and hit it off.  When deciding whom to invite to this year’s Hog and Barrel it was a no-brainer.  “I see this as an opportunity to be able to invite guest chefs into my house, so to speak.  These are chefs that I really respect and admire. What a great way to show hospitality to these chefs.  I mean, at the core of what we do is hospitality.  It’s just a really great opportunity for everyone involved.”

“It is an absolute party and at the core is Kentucky.  Bourbon and pigs.  Best bourbon you can get your hands on and the best chefs I could possibly invite to Proof at the moment. It is a unique experience.  Last year, you saw this sense of community happening at the tables between everyone having this shared experience.  Yes, maybe it was the bourbon getting everyone a little happy towards course three but you started to see the little camps forming at these tables.  Sharing good food and good bourbon is a very emotional experience and lets the walls fall down between people, creating this magical time.”

Chef Hudman adds, “It’s going to be a great event. Any chance that we get to hang out and cook with good friends and drink the best bourbon we know we’re going to have a great time.”

The Hog and The Barrel Dinner. Proof on Main. November 14th, 2013 at 6:30pm.  $125.

> Call 502.217.6360 to enquire about reservations