Gastro Non Grata: Shitty Barn Party

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

The Gastro Non Grata team took it to the road last weekend, all the way to Spring Green, Wisconsin. Along with Furthermore Beer, the team co-hosted the shitty barn party in the brewery’s old barn gathering place — a night of chef-driven food, locally brewed beverages, and home-grown talent.

Furthermore Beer was on tap, with favorites such as the Knot Stock, Three Feet Deep, and Proper. Making its debut for the year was also their Fallen Apple, a light-bodied cider-beer blend created with locally harvested apples.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

The Underground Food Collective, an underground catering team based out of Madison, teamed up with Chef Nate Berg of Chippewa Falls on the food. The menu featured a pasture-raised pig from Roller Coaster Farm in Darlington, WI. Jonny Hunter, from the Underground Food Collective, says: “I cold-smoked the loin, belly, and sirloins and braised the shoulders and hams.” The first course served was a pulled pork sandwich served on crusty french bread and topped with a mayo horseradish reduction, made by Chef Nate. Also served was sliced loin along with Chef Nate’s heirloom tomato vinaigrette.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Just Coffee, a 100% Fair Trade coffee cooperative out of Madison, parked their coffee truck on the lawn and served coffee, a brew they dubbed the “shitty barn brew,” and espresso drinks.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

The Art Department, an artist collective out of Madison, transformed the “shitty” barn with their art installations. Sorry, guys, but your shitty barn is no more — it is a true work of art. The Art Department’s Nina Bednarski and Craig Grabhorn were also onsite screening t-shirts.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Music was another theme of the evening, with three different bands taking their turn at rocking the barn. First up, The Chambermaids, based out of the Twin Cities, followed by Private Dancer, another Twin Cities band (pictured below). The final act was Droids Attack out of Madison.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

In addition to all the music and art activity, a traditional meat raffle was also held. Periodically throughout the evening, numbers were called for attendees to receive meat, provided by Cates Farm of Spring Green. Lucky winners received summer sausage, skirt steak, ground beef, and offal.

The party was a planned overnight event for some, with tents pitched in the large lawn. Bloody Marys and biscuits and gravy were on the menu for following day.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

For more photos from the Gastro Non Grata Shitty Barn Party, visit the Heavy Table Flickr stream.


  1. Adam Platt

    Am I the only one who finds food people who dub their work as “underground” pretentious in their carefully worn earthiness? Wonder how many t-shirts were sold?

  2. Kyle

    @Adam, give a read to my story about the Underground Food Collective when you have the chance.

    Specifically–they’re named “Underground Food Collective” primarily because they started their existence while working in the basement cafe called Catacombs in Madison, WI.

    Easy on the surface judgment there, buddy. Get it–surface? Underground? I could do this all day.

  3. Chris

    Adam –

    I spent $3600 to put this event on. Our guests donated about $3200 (which to be fair, is more than we expected.) Underground Food Collective did this gratis. Nathan Berg came down from Chipper Falls with four friends to help with prep and service. For free. The t-shirts were printed and sold for $10 (inclusive of the American Apparel shirts on which they were printed) and went to the artists who did a two-day mural install out of the goodness of their hearts. (FYI, I don’t know how many t-shirts were sold, but I can reasonably deduce it didn’t cover the cost of the artists time and materials, nor the charge incurred when they locked their keys in their car and had to call a locksmith out to rural Wisconsin on a Sunday.)

    We do these things for fun and to raise awareness. If these goals don’t suit your tastes, cool – don’t come and groove on a down-home venue, don’t eat delicious food raised, butchered and prepared by local people, don’t drink tasty beer and coffee made by individuals with tremendous passion and skill, don’t hang out by a campfire or listen to fantastic regional bands. But I for one would appreciate it if you would refrain from assailing the good-natured contributors to this event with your ill-informed snarkiness.

  4. Special K

    I unfortunately couldn’t go to this event (bummer) but I’ve gone to the Gastro Non Grata events here in the Cities and I am never disappointed. I’m really glad that there are groups like Gastro and Underground Food Collective to put on things like this. Thanks, guys!

  5. LiaM

    This was a fantastic event in every way I can think of, and I’m glad I was able to be there.

    A public thanks to Chris and Furthermore Beer for their hospitality!

  6. gastro non grata

    We sold 15 shirts and drove a big Ford Diesel 350 down that ate any profit we may have incurred.

    Much Love to Furthermore, Underground Food Collective, Art Dept., Just Coffee and Nathan Berg for making last saturday the most glorious kegger ever. Money can’t buy good times like that, it can only hope to be spent to make it happen.

    We’ve been doing Gastro Non Grata for about 3 years now and only in the last few shows have we gotten it to the point where it’s almost sustainable. Any money we make over our bare bone cost goes directly into the following show.

    All we want to do is someday down the road make enough of a profit where we can afford a nice steak dinner. Karma will show us the way out of the red.

  7. jonny

    Don’t defend me too much, UFC is plenty pretentious so maybe Adam has a point. But we don’t sell t-shirts, we only give them away.

Comments are closed.