Munch Madness: A new DigIN event 

A new event from DigIN, the group that created A Taste of Indiana

DigIN: A Taste of Indiana is one Indy's favorite food and drink related events. Sadly, we have to wait until August to make our way to Military Park for a nearly endless supply of local bites and sips; but on April 18 the DigIN team is giving us an early gift to hold us over until the big show. Munch Madness is set to take place at The Athenaeum and 
click to enlarge Abbi Merriss - MARK LEE
  • Abbi Merriss
  • Mark Lee
 it pits four of Indy's best chefs against one another. Abbi Merriss (Bluebeard), Carlos Salazar (Rook), Matt Stum (The Local Eatery and Pub), and Dean Sample (Meridian Restaurant and Bar) are the incredibly talented chefs taking part in the competition. From the sound of it this will be an evening of madness.

The basics of the event are each chef will have 30 minutes to prepare an iconic Indiana dish (tenderloins and sugar cream pie, anyone?) Though this seems straightforward, the people at DigIN have come up with a plan to make it a little more insane by adding the option for the chefs to bid on and send speedbumps to hinder the cooking of their competition. These speedbumps will venture from having to prepare an entire dish with only a torch for heat to having a chef's most important tool, their beloved chef's knife, taken away from them.

click to enlarge Rook's Carlos Salazar - HEATHER BROGDEN
  • Rook's Carlos Salazar
  • Heather Brogden
The speedbumps are also where the audience gets to join in the process. DigIN's Director of Operations, Rob Gaston, explains, “When you purchase a ticket for Munch Madness, you must will select the name of the chef you’d like to support. The purchase price of your ticket will then go into the budget of your favorite chef. (Don’t worry about making the other chefs angry, since we won’t publicize the name of your favorite) Can’t decide? Well then help us out by encouraging your friends to buy. If the event is a sell out, then all the chefs will have equal money to begin the bidding.”

Sadly audience members won't be tasting the finished dishes (that will be left to guest judges and one lucky auction winner), but that doesn't mean there won't be food available for everyone, it wouldn't be a DigIN event without it. “Local restaurants will be serving up dishes for $5 a piece made of your favorite Indiana ingredients. Booths will be hosted by Shoefly Public House, Duos, Wildwood Market, and a special treat whipped up by the makers of Batch No. 2 mustard," says Gaston. You can also purchase wine, beer, and cocktails for $5 to enjoy during the event. A drink or two will definitely help with the cheers and jeers.

click to enlarge Will there be tenderloins? Probably.
  • Will there be tenderloins? Probably.

As the chefs finish their dishes, and you sip on your drinks and munch on your food, the judges will decide dish by dish which chef created the worst dish. Keep in mind this may have nothing to do with which chef is the best, it's hard to cook a worthwhile tenderloin with only a torch. The chef with the worst dish will be eliminated and by the end of the third round only one chef will be left standing as the winner of Munch Madness.

As with all DigIN events this event aims to “showcase locally owned restaurants, Indiana ingredients, and beers and wines. At all of [DigIn's] events we bring together the community of local food lovers and Hoosier food producers.” This is a chance for you to have fun and celebrate the incredible chefs and food producers we have in this city. It is an opportunity as a “foodie” in Indy to support an important non-profit food-based organization. In the words of DigIN, “The funds raised help us to pay a fair price for the food that is provided at Taste of Indiana. Farmers do not have to give away their hard earned income, restaurants don’t have to cut into their already slim margins, and as the ticket buyer you don’t have to drain your bank account to attend the event.”

Supporting local chefs, farmers, brewers, festivals, and people is always an important and fun experience (who doesn't love to eat and drink?) This event makes it easy as well, simply get your tickets, show up, and cheer for your favorites. 

Munch Madness will be at The Athenaeum on Monday, March 18, from 6 - 8 p.m. Join the madness by purchasing your tickets here and learn more about the event here

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About The Author

Cavan McGinsie

Cavan McGinsie

I travel. I eat. I drink. I meet. I record. I'm the Food & Drink Editor here at NUVO and I'm always happy to chat with people about anything over a coffee, beer, or meal. Let me know your thoughts on Indianapolis.

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