Chileheads across the region, and even some around the world, are rejoicing as the Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Marketplace is scheduled to return to Thomas Family Winery & Rustic Bakery in Madison this April. The popular event was canceled last year because of concerns about Coronavirus. The Winery draws people from all over the Midwest, and some foreign countries in some years, and 2020 wasn’t possible.
“The event in 2021 will be just one day on Saturday and a great Chilehead Brunch on Sunday” said Elizabeth Thomas, co-owner with her husband Steve of The Thomas Family Winery, host location of the event. “Call it CovidLite if you want. We know a lot of people are still juggling schedules and some are just getting out. It’s also an outdoor event- weather permitting.”
Most of the popular event features will be there, including sponsor and brainchild of the “Big Green EggFest,” Steinhardt Heating and Air Conditioning. Steinhardt’s are the Madison area representatives for The Big Green Egg Co., and from 12 noon – 5 pm will delight fest-goers with waves of spicy delights from the green ceramic cookers. “We plan on showing folks how to use these smoker/grillers to cook all types of food, from salads, appetizers to Bbq and smokey desserts” says Jake Stuart of Steinhardt’s. Demonstrations and menus will be a feature of the Big Green EggFest.
The Indiana Hot Luck, the feature of this event that started it all, will be moved to Saturday evening, 5-8pm. “26 years ago, Jim and Abbie Campbell, then of ‘Mild to Wild Pepper and Herb Co.,’ and we concocted this event before the winery had 1 year under our belts,’ Said Steve Thomas. “They’re to blame for most of this fun!” The “Hot Luck” is just like a potluck, but folks bring large, spicy covered dishes and recipes to share and trade with the other guests. People bring fiery African dishes, southwestern, Asian and a myriad of other surprises!
The Chilehead Brunch, the Sunday morning gathering, is moving over to the Off Broadway Taproom on Main Street! This collaborative venture is one of the culminations that Thomas has been wanting. “We have always wanted Madison as a whole to have some fiery fun with us. If you haven’t been to the Taproom for Sunday brunch, then you’ve been missing something special. So Ryan Shaw, owner of the Taproom, Elizabeth and I got our heads to together and we’re sharing the event!” he said. “They already have some nice spicy offerings, so they’re going to crank up the heat and bring it to the table!” The Brunch is 10 am-2pm.
Music is always a part of the Chilehead experience. “Head-lining the music will be the Rivertown Ramblers, headed by Jerry King of Vevay,” said Elizabeth Thomas. “They are a hot rockabilly band. They have fans from all across the Midwest.,” Music starts at 8pm.
Thomas Family Winery is located at 208 E. Second Street in Historic Downtown Madison, Indiana. For more information, call 812-273-3755, For more information about the winery, visit the website. Also, check out the Facebook page or event here.