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Fiery Foods

Thomas family prepares for
19th annual 'Hot Luck' event

Weekend activities feature food dishes,
music, chili vendors

(April 2015) – The tantalizing smell of spicy fresh baked bread from a wood fired oven is the newest addition to the 19th annual Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Marketplace, set for April 10-12 at Thomas Family Winery, 208 E. Second St., in Madison, Ind.
“We will be baking bread in the wood fired oven in time for Hot Luck and Fiery Foods, said winery co-owner and Hot Luck and Fiery Foods host Steve Thomas. “ I guarantee it.”
The oven is a wood-fired side flue Scotch oven that is fashioned after ovens used in the 17th century.

Photo courtesy of John Sheckler

Steve Thomas delivers a dish of hot and spicy food at last year's Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Marketplace.

Thomas first read about wood fired ovens in 2002, broke ground in 2011 and laid the first block in 2012. He stepped in to help when Historic Madison Inc.’s staff was having trouble getting their historic 1930s oven to work at the historic Sullivan House.
“I had to learn how to bake in it since I was using it,” he said. “It was a primer and hands-on experience from the ground up. We needed to learn what to do, especially concerning temperature.”
The spicy breads and focaccia available at Hot Luck will be joined by a cornucopia of spicy foods from around the world. Chileheads from at least seven states and a few foreign countries gather each year for this festive experience.
Highlights of the event include a wide variety of hot and spicy food vending areas, amateur salsa contest, “Hot Luck” pitch-in dinner and music. Guests can sample salsas, sauces, purchase dried and fresh spices, hot breads, chili powder, vinegars and even pepper plants.
The Fiery Foods Marketplace opens with a pitch-in dinner on Friday night. ChileHeads will bring the hottest imaginable fiery foods and recipes for sharing. Mild dishes are also available for those less adventurous souls.
“The rustic breads we’ll be baking fit right into not only the Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Marketplace, but also into the whole winery theme” Thomas said. “We’ve always specialized in hand-made cheeses, salami and other foods, along with our wines. Now these hearth-baked breads can be enjoyed by our patrons along with everything else.”
Saturday highlights include a salsa contest with the winner receiving the coveted “Sombrero Grande.” Also during the day on Saturday, the chileheads flow to the winery side lot to see grills and hot pepper demonstrations under the two large tents provided by event sponsor Steinhardt Heating & Air Conditioning and their Big Green Eggs. The wide variety of demonstrations features everything from appetizers and entrees to desserts, and allows visitors to interact and ask questions with experienced chileheads who been making their own hot specialty dishes for many years.
“I love to see the vendors expand out there and offer even more demonstrations.” said Thomas. “The area includes a fire ring big enough to accommodate cooking a huge pot of gumbo or other fiery dish. There are also areas suitable for visitors to bring their own hibachi grills.”
Chefs, hot pepper farmers and grill masters will cover all aspects of the “Fiery Foods” theme, showing ways to spice up the meals with hot peppers and a variety of sauces, including The Big Green Egg Co., The Thomas Family Outdoor Food Co., Capshew Cellars Vinegars, Gary D’s Hot Sauces, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheeses and Marion’s Greenhouse.
The Indiana Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Marketplace offer free admission. Children are welcome. Saturday evening will feature an evening of entertainment by Greg Ziesemer & Kriss Luckett.

• For more information, call (812) 273-3755 1-800-948-8466 or visit  the website: www.thomasfamilywinery.us.

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