I once was told I look like one of the Meat Puppets. I’m assuming this person meant the band’s bassist Cris Kirkwood. I see a resemblance and it’s very flattering. I asked my colleague Jon Sparks if he’d take a photo of me and pair it with one of Kirkwood (as Kirkwood looked a while back). I’m also told I look like Weird Al Yankovic, Howard Stern and “the scientist in ‘Back to the Future.’ (Christopher Lloyd).” I even got “Eddie Money” one time. These people really thought I was him and sent their child over at McDonald’s to get my autograph.
Well, I turned into a “meat puppet” at Meat Fest, the annual shindig thrown by David and Lauren Barsotti. This year’s feast was Feb. 11 at the Barsotti home. I was lured from meat tureen to meat tureen as if I was being led by marionette strings. I began with the gumbo made of chicken and Andouille sausage and continued on to beef tenderloin, leg of lamb and then pork from the whole hog David smoked. I returned a few times to the beef tenderloin, which was the best beef tenderloin I’ve ever eaten. It was so tender and tasty.
I didn’t make it to the chicken wings, stuffed pork loin, pork tamales and oxtail raviolis.
Meat Fest began about eight years ago, David said. “It was just to have a big cookout before I gave up meat for Lent,” he said.
It was a Fat Tuesday event, but, David said, “I just happened to be off that Sunday, so it was a little more convenient for me.”
He originally didn’t call it “Meat Fest,” David said. “It was just really me inviting a few people over and cooking some food. And everybody started calling it ‘Meat Fest.’ I realized there wasn’t any changing it. It was going to be called ‘Meat Fest.’”
There were desserts, too. Melissa Pope made the rich, dense chocolate cake. She saved me a piece because I raved about it last year.
Shallis Gonda did the King Cake. I got the first and last piece. And I didn’t get the plastic baby, which means I don’t have to buy the King Cake next year. But who’d want to do that? Gonda makes a superb one.
Dave Scott from Dave’s Bagels was a volunteer at the 26th Works of Heart, held Feb. 10 at Memphis College of Art. Asked if he made a heart for the auction, Scott said, “I should have made a bagel heart.”
That would have been perfect. Maybe next year. The annual event for Memphis Child Advocacy Center features hearts made by artists.
This year, 108 artists participated, said the center’s communications and grants manager Beryl Wight. “They were all artists,” she said. “We didn’t solicit art from anyone else. Every year, our Works of Heart planning committee looks at artists to invite. Artists are offered a 12-inch wooden heart to use, if they choose. Many use it in inventive ways. Many don’t use it at all.”
I think they had to use the wooden heart in the old days.
How much was raised? “Our preliminary figure for next proceeds after expenses is $85,000.”
As Tin Man once said, “If I only had a heart.” Works of Heart guests who didn’t bid on a heart could say that. Those who weren’t the high bidder on the heart they wanted now might be saying, “If I only had THAT heart.”
About 400 people attended this year’s Wine for Wishes, the annual Make-A-Wish Mid-South fundraiser.
“We had 400 people in attendance at Wine for Wishes this year,” said the organization’s vice president of development Brooke Ehrhart. “The event raised more than $65,000.”
In addition to wine provided by Buster’s Liquors & Wines, the event featured Old Dominick Distillery signature drinks.
Charvey Mac provided the entertainment.