The Feed: Ukiyo Opens, And Oprah Discovers The Cake Bake Shop

Here’s what’s cooking in Indy this week.
After months of anticipation and a few unexpected delays, Ukiyo (4907 N. College Ave., 317-384-1048), chef Neal Brown’s Japanese-inspired restaurant and sushi bar, opened last week alongside its sister pop-up lunch spot, Moon Rabbit Ramen. Local foodies lit up their social media feeds with camera-ready bowls of steaming ramen, Japanese pickles, and crunchy pieces of matcha-sprinkled karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken).

Gwendolyn Rogers’s popular Broad Ripple restaurant and bakery The Cake Bake Shop (6515 Carrollton Ave., 317-2572253) is so chock-full of celebrity photos and testimonials, it’s hard to believe it’s taken this long for Oprah to board the Cake Bake train. All of that changes next month when the famous cakes make their first appearance on the O List, the popular round-up of Oprah’s favorite things in O, The Oprah Magazine. Rogers told The Indianapolis Star that she’s been wooing Oprah for months, and after four different cakes were sent to the magazine, they made it to the final round of deliberations, where Winfrey herself gave the final approval for inclusion in the March issue. Look for it on newsstands February 27.

Celebrate Fat Tuesday on February 13 at Indianapolis City Market for the Market Gras Gumbo Cook Off. City Market is teaming up with Tomlinson Tap Room to host some of Indy’s favorite chefs, who’ll be dipping up their signature gumbo recipes, with French bread from Circle City Boulangerie. Tickets are $15 for adults. ($10 for ages 6-17; free for ages 5 and under.)

Devour Indy Winterfest kicks off January 22, and many of the participating restaurants have already posted their three-course menus online.

Crowds have been lining up for Crispy Bird (115 E. 49th St., 317-744-0000), the latest addition to Martha Hoover’s Patachou kingdom. And while the fried chicken is tasty, we have a soft spot for the savory and warm black-eyed peas with crispy collard greens. So that was us doing the chicken dance when we saw that chef David Hoover shared his recipe for the dish with the folks at Tasting Table. Be prepared to spend some time making it (confit eggs are a commitment), but if it delivers on the flavors of the restaurant, we’ll consider it time well spent.

Speaking of Martha Hoover; another day, another round of love from the national press. This time it was Vogue magazine, which heralded Hoover for her longtime commitment to sustainability in local food. While there were plenty of kudos for the James Beard–nominated restaurateur’s environmental initiatives (composting, water filtration, LED bulbs), the editors also applauded Hoover for her holistic approach to company management.