Honey Do

When my wife first got invited up to Providence by the National Honey Board to attend a Honey Summit as an all-expense paid guest chef, I thought it was some kind of trick. Nobody is that lucky, I said. They probably want to sell us time shares in Rhode Island or advertorial space in an obscure, bee-related trade publication. Out of an abundance of caution I decided to accompany her despite the fact that I was not, technically, “invited.”

As it so happens I had my own ulterior motives. I love honey in ways that would shame a bear. So my suspicion of them was merely a projection of my own insecurities and the Honey Summit was exactly what it professed to be — a professional outreach program to promote the use of honey as a natural sweetener in bakeries across the US. It was held at Johnson & Wales in a lecture hall overlooking the Providence River. Such a beautiful setting might give the aspiring culinary student the misimpression that a restaurant career involves academic workshops and PowerPoint presentations rather than chefs throwing pots at one’s head and pointing out one’s physical shortcomings, I joke to my wife, who ignores me. I kick back at our table, systematically gnawing my way through the honey-flavored lollipop centerpiece as I soak up the nuances of various grades of honey. Then I hear the dreaded phrase, “We will now assemble in teams for bench time.” Continue reading Honey Do

“Bite This” features Louisville restaurants this Monday

Several weeks ago F&D  reported that a Cooking Channel TV show was filming in Louisville.  Monday, Sept. 1, those of you who watch such stuff can see the results on “Bite This,” hosted by someone called Nadia G., who first came to a modicum of what passes for fame on TV food shows with another so-called cooking show, ‘Bitchin’ Kitchen.”

In Louisville, Nadia and her crew visited Milkwood to sample some smoked pork shoulder, Harvest to dig into a bowl of burgoo, and Eiderdown, whose dish was not described on the press release. Continue reading “Bite This” features Louisville restaurants this Monday

Tuscan wine dinner at Lilly’s

Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 27 and 28, 1147 Lilly’s, Bardstown Rd., will host special guest chefs Gina Stipo and Lea Ann Vessels who will create a 5-course Italian dinner featuring the foods and wines of Tuscany.

Gina Stipo has lived for 14 years in Siena, and runs Ecco La Cucina, a cooking school there. Gina has recently relocated to Louisville. Lea Ann Vessels imports premium olive oils and balsamic vinegar under the Oliva Bella label. Continue reading Tuscan wine dinner at Lilly’s

Bourbon and Broadway dinner at Varanese

Thursday, Aug 28, 6:30 p.m., Varanese, Frankfort Ave., will  celebrate the start of the new Broadway in Louisville theater season with a 4-course dinner inspired by shows on the new season’s schedule. During the meal, diners will sample tastings of Four Roses Bourbons, or cocktails made with Four Roses.

Four Roses Brand Ambassador and Historian Al Young will be the featured guest speaker. Door prizes will be given, including  season tickets to the Broadway in Louisville 2014/15 Season. Continue reading Bourbon and Broadway dinner at Varanese

Ham dinner at Corbett’s celebrates Coomes’s book

Thursday, Aug. 28, at 6:30 p.m., Corbett’s: An American Place will host a 7-course dinner to celebrate the publication of “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke,” written by local author, Steve Coomes.

Six Kentucky chefs–Dean Corbett, Shawn Ward, Mark Stevens, Ouita Michel, Richard Lewis and Jay Denham–will collaborate on the dinner, which will, of course, feature country ham in each course. Continue reading Ham dinner at Corbett’s celebrates Coomes’s book

Three new restaurants to join the scene

A flurry of activity in the local restaurant world has seen two new eating places open, and another one set to open for November.

Dark Star, Crescent Hill’s favorite dive bar, has relocated to 6325 Upper River Road, in the former home of Eva Mae’s on Harrod’s Creek.The new Dark Star has several comfortable rooms, as well as a deck overlooking Harrod’s Creek.

Lee Mayfield, who has worked for Blind Pig, North End Café and Café LouLou, has come aboard as chef of Dark Star. The menu includes shrimp cocktails, mussels, oyster fritters, a variety of burgers and other sandwiches, a spinach and goat cheese salad and a fresh catch of the day. Continue reading Three new restaurants to join the scene

Restaurant Comings & Goings – Fall 2014

A recent vacation road trip to the East Cost and back unreeled one green vista after another — the Bluegrass, West Virginia’s forested mountains, the rolling lush fields and tree-covered hills of the Southern Tier across lower New York State, and thick, billowing stands of corn in Ohio and Indiana. Where we traveled, the country looked healthy, robust, full of vitality.

As does the restaurant scene in the Louisville Metro area. Just the numbers suggest a quarterly surge of restaurant business optimism. Twenty-five new restaurants have opened or soon will open in Louisville and Southern Indiana, and three other businesses have added new locations since the last issue of F&D. By comparison, 15 restaurants that have closed during that time, and three multiunit brands closed one location. So, after a cold, challenging winter for eateries, the pleasantly mild weather seems to have brought new energies. Continue reading Restaurant Comings & Goings – Fall 2014

Louisville restaurateurs move south for new venture

Louisville chef Bobby Benjamin, of La Coop: Bistro a Vins and restaurant concept guru Brett Davis, one of the owners of DC Management Corp. which owns Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar, have opened a new restaurant, Union Common in Nashville, Tennessee.  The “modern steakhouse concept” opened its doors last week at 1929 Broadway in the Music City.

Benjamin started his restaurant career in Nashville before moving to Louisville to cook at the Oak Room at the Seelbach Hilton, from whence he was tapped to create La Coop. Now that he has established the bona fides of that NuLu hotspot, he’s taken the reins as executive chef at Union Common, a steakhouse with an emphasis on small dishes and shared plates.  Continue reading Louisville restaurateurs move south for new venture

Incredible Dave’s closes abruptly

In F&D’s listings, Incredible Dave’s, 9236 Westport Rd., was shelved under “Entertainment Dining,” with places that offered performances, like The Bardstown and Derby Dinner Playhouse, or amusements, like Joe Huber’s Family Farm.

Incredible Dave’s offered a wide-ranging menu and a full bar, but before, after or while dining, you or your kids could bowl a few lines, run an obstacle course or play video games. Alas, all that fun in now kaput; Incredible Dave’s has closed two years after trying to reorganize after a bankruptcy.

Spirited cooking class at Moonshine U.

Thursday, Aug. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m., Moonshine University, 801 S. 8th St., will offer a cooking class, Bourbon in the Kitchen with Albert Schmid, a Sullivan University professor and author of “The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook.”

Schmid will discuss and demonstrate bourbon’s culinary appeal in the during the two-hour class, where he will will give students tips on pairing bourbon with food and creating bourbon-infused dishes. Continue reading Spirited cooking class at Moonshine U.