by Kellie Welborn
When walking into the beautiful, sparklingly new Smoking Goose, located at 407 N. Dorman Street on the Near East Side of Indianapolis, we were greeted by our restaurant contact, Andy Cochran, just back from a sales trip to Chicago.
The space, a labor of love for owner Chris Eley, “made you feel like you were in Chicago or somewhere on the east coast where you can actually still find small smoke houses,” said Chef Joseph Heidenreich. “It took me back to my childhood visits to my grandparents’ farm in Greencastle.”
Donning hairnets and long, white butcher coats, we headed through the soapy disinfectant area into a long room from which the smokers and a number of other meat preparation rooms are accessed. Behind each door, we found beautiful meats at different stages of the preparation process, meeting friendly butchers, smoker stokers, sausage makers and meat packers along the way. It was amazing to see this team in action.
Chef beamed like a kid in a candy store when hearing about a few of the products that he could get his hands on through Smoking Goose instead of having to ship them in from Chicago or across the globe. “It seems like they’re having an awful lot of fun dry curing and smoking these meats,” said Heidenriech. “Getting to know them and their products was fantastic. I’m excited about the opportunity to be more creative with my dishes at the restaurant incorporating things like lomo and duck prosciutto and knowing that they’re willing to provide us with exactly what we need.”
We left with an armful of samples that Chef excitedly added to a gorgeous meat tray for our guests to enjoy at Chef Joseph’s special bourbon-tasting event that evening. The bourbons, including Blanton’s, Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark 46 and Woodford Reserve, and the Smoking Goose meats received a big thumbs-up!
Currently, you can find several Smoking Goose products on the menu at Chef Joseph’s, including their delicious lamb brats and thick-cut, apple wood-smoked bacon. Chef’s menu changes every few weeks to keep things fresh and exciting for our guests as well as the guys in the kitchen. Once you taste one of these special dishes, you’ll want to come back and see what fabulous, new plates he’s preparing that incorporate this amazing, local product.