Gastro Non Grata talks meat, beer, and rock 'n' roll: Chef Chat, Part 2

Jeff Mitchell and Craig Drehmel like to eat thumb-and-forefinger style.
Jeff Mitchell and Craig Drehmel like to eat thumb-and-forefinger style.
courtesy of Gastro Non Grata

Gastro Non Grata, which started out as a series of food/beer/rock talk shows at the Triple Rock, has now grown into the balls-out extravaganza known as Vagabond Vacation--this Sunday at First Avenue. In part 2 of this 3-part series, we learn more about Gastro's founders, Craig Drehmel and Jeff Mitchell, and their meat-filled hopes and dream. (If you missed Part 1, check it out here.)

Where is your favorite place to be out of place?
We're both in agreement that Hmongtown in St. Paul is a wonderland of awesomeness. The papaya salads are made fresh in front of you, the sausage is good, you can buy knock-off fashion, knives, produce, pig uteri, and anything else if you ask the right guy. Make a field trip and prepare to feel very out of place, but embrace it.

What is your favorite dish from a Gastro Non Grata event?
Drehmel: Doug Flicker's pork meatball was an amazing thing of beauty I wish I could eat every day, paired with Left Hand Brewing's barleywine, it went to the next level.
Mitchell: Heather Hartman from Spoonriver did a Vietnamese pork salad we paired with Rush River Golden Axe that was one of the best food combinations we've ever sampled out.

What is your favorite eating utensil?
Drehmel : I'm starting to really enjoy chopsticks. I still have troubles at times, but damn I love Vietnamese noodle salads.
Mitchell :Thumb and forefinger. They're good for anything.

What is the hardest lesson you've learned?
Drehmel : Don't try to control the wave, just ride it out.
Mitchell: If you're not having fun, no one else will.

What show would you pitch to the Food Network?
Drehmel: Animal Testicles Gone Wild
Mitchell: Gastro Non Grata

Weirdest customer request
Drehmel : Vegan options
Mitchell: Vegetarian food

We have one last chat with the Gastro Boys tomorrow. See you then!

When: Sunday, June 27, 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
Price: $12 advance/$15 door. Includes three beer tickets and three food tickets
Where: First Avenue, 7th St. Entry, and Record Room

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Related Location

O'Gara's Bar & Grill

164 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55104


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