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May 8, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
The festival is made up of dozens of free classes that cover an impressive array of topics. This is the second year of the festival. The daylong event takes place Saturday, May 11, at the Main Branch of the library on York Street in Louisville.
Some of the topics that guest teachers will cover include how to make rockets, groom your pet, build a terrarium, take a conflict to small claims court, and much more. There are also a plentiful selection of food-related courses.
- How to set a table — and encourage good manners and great conversation (I’ll need a bigger table first)
- How to decorate mini-cupcakes — a series of quick lessons (Yumzies!)
- How to make delicious no-knead bread (You had me at “no-knead”)
- How to preserve food by canning — transforming seasonal fruits and vegetables to year-round staples, from jams to tomato sauce (One of my homemaker fantasies)
- How to make the lima beans that make Mayan Café famous (This class might fill up fast. Those beans are famous.)
- How to choose, sample and serve terrific cheeses (Does wine come with that class?)
- How to make spectacular salads — three recipes with varied ingredients, techniques and dressings (Oooh, this will probably be more than just ranch and cheese.)
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May 7, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Still struggling to think of something to do with your mom on Mother’s Day?
The Comfy Cow ice cream shop will offer mothers a free regular cup or cone this Sunday, May 12, according to an email from Comfy Cow. Don’t forget to treat yo’ self to a scoop, too.
Any other local Mother’s Day restaurant deals?
WINNER ANNOUNCED: Celebrity chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Michelle Bernstein enjoy Louisville, Southern cooking12
May 6, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
UPDATE: Congratulations to Keith and Linda, the winners of the giveaway! Check your emails soon for more information.
(Blogger’s note: Man, I have had so much good stuff to give away lately. I have a signed copy of Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s memoir, Yes, Chef, and a signed copy of Chef Michelle Bernstein‘s cookbook, Cuisine a Latina, up for grabs. For a chance to win, leave a comment at the end of this post telling me why you would like to win one of these books. For an additional chance to win, like the Ashlee Eats Facebook page, then leave a comment telling me you like the page. You have until Tuesday, May 7, at 11:59 p.m. to enter to win. I’ll contact and announce the winner Wednesday, May 8.)
And in full disclosure, Everywhere Society social network provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Culinary Council. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson knew how to win over the crowd at his cooking demonstration at Macy’s last week. He brought a bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon and handed out shots to the audience.
Samuelsson and chef Michelle Bernstein stopped by Louisville last week to share recipes and discuss cooking as part of the Macy’s Culinary Council demonstration at Macy’s at Oxmoor Mall.
Samuelsson is the winner of Bravo Network’s Top Chef Masters and a judge on the Food Network competition show Chopped. He is the chef/owner of Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club and American Table Café and Bar in New York City.
The demonstration was free and open to the public, there were only about 75 seats available, which made the show intimate and fun. The chefs whipped up dishes, talked a little about their background in cooking and took questions from the audience.
The Macy’s folks invited me to attend the event and interview the chefs (and provided the signed books — thanks, Macy’s!). Here are some highlights from the evening:
- Samuelsson and Bernstein are big fans of Louisville’s culinary scene. “Those of us who don’t live here will always want to come back,” Bernstein said. Some stand-out restaurants they mentioned included 610 Magnolia, Proof on Main, Holy Grale and Seviche. Samuelsson compared Louisville to cities like Austin and Brooklyn, places “where craft and artisanal matters.”
- Think you’re too busy to cook for yourself? It might be time to change your priorities, Samuelsson said. People have put too much value in food being convenient instead of healthy and homemade. “It’s a matter of where you put food on the value ladder,” he said.
- The chefs cooked Southern dishes with their own personal twists. “Everything that is comfort food (in the South) is $36 in New York,” Samuelsson said. Samuelsson made coconut fried chicken with collards and gravy using chicken from a leftover curry stew. Bernstein served shrimp braised with jerez wine, creamy grits, gremolata and crunchy garlic.
- Even though she’s an award-winning chef, Bernstein still has trouble getting her toddler son to eat. “He’s my worst critic,” she said. “He spits (my food) out at me.”
- Macy’s will feature 610 Magnolia and Milkwood chef Edward Lee at its next cooking demonstration. Get more information about that event here. Also, Samuelsson and Bernstein kept referring to Lee as just plain “Ed.” For some reason, this amused me.
May 3, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
You smell that? That mix of horse, bourbon and funnel cake? It’s Kentucky Derby in the air.
The Derby, aka the best two minutes in sports, is tomorrow at Churchill Downs, and the phillies run today in the Kentucky Oaks. These races cap off weeks of festivities in Louisville and the surrounding area.
But enough about the races. Let’s talk food.
I wrote a piece for WFPL’s blog that outlines some tips for finding getting into restaurants during this busy weekend. And I have some plans of my own that include trips to Queen of Sheba and Wild Eggs.
I want to hear from you guys. Where and what are you eating this Derby weekend?
Bits and Pieces: Drinking ordinance, Kentucky Derby Festival and other Louisville food news from the web, 4.26.13Leave a comment
April 26, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
- The blog Megabites Louisville has a write-up about three food-centric Kentucky Derby Festival events. My vote is for Winefest. (Megabites Louisville)
- The organizers of the Taste of Frankfort Avenue are looking for volunteers, a great way to get access to a tasty event. The event will take place from 5-8 p.m. June 23 at the Clifton Center. (The Clifton Center website)
- 21c Museum Hotel will host the James Beard Foundation‘s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change from May 12-14. According to the foundation, the event is “designed to provide chefs with the tools and support they require to lead and advocate for food-system change.” Louisville chefs Levon Wallace of Proof on Main and Kathy Cary of Lilly’s will participate. (James Beard Foundation website)
- The Louisville Metro Council approved an ordinance that will allow liquor to be sold at restaurants starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of 1 p.m. (WFPL)
- A new restaurant called Derby City Roadhouse is set to open next week in the space that formerly housed City Café in Mid City Mall. (Insider Louisville)
April 24, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Local Louisville grocery stores are having their moment.
Insider Louisville profiled Sean Reynolds, an entrepreneur who plans to open Reynolds Grocery Store in Clifton next month. The store, which will be located at 1813 Frankfort Avenue, will be “closer to an indoor farmers’ market/Paul’s Fruit Market model than a full grocery.”
Reynolds will join a growing line-up of grocery stores that offer regional food at reasonable prices. Here are some of my favorites and what I turn to them for:
- The Root Cellar. This relatively new store has two locations in Old Louisville and Germantown, and is $1,000 away from creating a Root Mobile to deliver produce to food deserts in South and West Louisville. Great for seasonal produce, farm-raised meat, dairy and eggs.
- Paul’s Fruit Market. The Paul’s location around my way hits its peak between 5 and 6 p.m. That’s when office drones like me run in for last-minute ingredients to complete weeknight meals. Paul’s has a little bit of everything in its selection, from cheese and crackers to pasta and pesto. Great for fruit baskets, fresh orange juice, deli meat.
- Frank’s Meat & Produce. If your parents where raised in Louisville, ask them about Frank’s. More than likely, they made frequent stops to this grocery store on Preston Highway. I don’t know what’s better at Frank’s — the hot lunches that never break $10 or the butcher’s counter with its steady supply of fresh meat. Great for meat, lunches, hard-to-find snacks.
What is your favorite neighborhood grocery store in or around Louisville?
April 19, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Updated April 25: Congratulations to Anne, the winner of the $20 Dishcrawl discount! Check your email for more information about how to redeem your prize.
Blogger’s note: Interested in a $20 discount for the next Dishcrawl Louisville event (a bourbon-themed, Derby-centric crawl through Fourth Street)? Leave a comment on this post that answers the following question: “What is your favorite part of Derby?” For two extra chances to win, like Dishcrawl Louisville on Facebook and follow Dishcrawl Louisville on Twitter, then come back and tell me you did all that. You have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 21. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 22.
A new organization has arrived in Louisville to showcase some of the best food the city has to offer.
Dishcrawl organizes events across the country that turns food lovers into tourists in their own town. For $45 per ticket, participants are guided to four restaurants within walking distance of one another to sample dishes from the businesses. The participating locations (with the exception of the starting point) are kept secret until the Dishcrawl is underway. It’s like a dinner party, social gathering and scavenger hunt all in one.
Louisville is the latest addition to the participating Dishcrawl cities. Dishcrawl Louisville’s inaugural event, a NuLu/East Market Street-based evening, took place this week, and a bourbon-themed Derby crawl will take place along 4th Street on May 1.
I got a chance to tag along for the Nulu crawl. Here is an outline of some pros and cons of the experience.
- You will eat food and visit restaurants you might not have experienced on your own. The four stops on the Nulu crawl were Against the Grain Brewery, Taco Punk, Rye and Ghyslain, places that several of the participants told me they had never visited. Though I’d visited these restaurants before, I got to eat food I had never tried, such as Against the Grain’s seitan “chicken” wings (it did taste like chicken!) and Rye’s pork and pistachio galantine (it’s like fancy bologna!).
- The food is tasty. Some of my favorites were the aforementioned seitan, the chorizo and potato taco from Taco Punk, and the dessert trio from Ghyslain, a bistro and chocolatier. That chocolate changed my whole world view.
- The food will fill your belly by the end of the night. Taco Punk provided the most generous portions of the evening. All of the crawlers received three tacos and a side of chips. That, on top of the other restaurant samples, made for a filling dinner.
- A Dishcrawl = fun date night. There were several couples at the event, and they seemed like they were having a blast. But the Dishcrawl was also fun for the groups of friends and solo attendees. Everyone mingled and got to know new people. Good times.
- You walk off some of those calories you eat. I had walked about a mile by the time I made it back to my car. My pedometer was pleased.
- The price is in “Treat Yo’ Self” territory. Tickets to join a Dishcrawl event are $45 per person. This is a lot of money for regular, working people.
- Some portions are tiny. With the exception of Taco Punk, the restaurants provided food that was more amuse-bouche (thanks, Top Chef) than appetizer-sized, which was disappointing to a big-dish American like me.
- The crawl goes on rain or shine. We managed to avoid the big torrents of rain during the Nulu crawl, but I packed an umbrella just in case. But I wasn’t looking forward to crawling in the rain, which would have made my experience soggy.
The next Dishcrawl Louisville event is Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. If you have a spare $45 and are looking for something new to do around Louisville, I say go for it. If you have a spare $25 and you’d like to win a discount on the next Dishcrawl Louisville event, leave a comment, like Dishcrawl Louisville on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
April 17, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Live in Louisville, New Albany or Clarksville? Like sub sandwiches? Then today is your day, friends. Jimmy John’s, the “freaky …
Bits and Pieces: Butchertown Market, Southern Living and other Louisville food news from the web, 4.12.13Leave a comment
April 12, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
- You still have one day to pledge your financial support to the Louisville Public Media spring membership drive. Technically, you can donate any time, but you get cool stuff during the fund drive. I was lucky enough to be a part of a volunteer group that Melissa, aka Loueyville, organized to work the phones Thursday night. Find out more about making a donation here.
- Louisville got a shout out in Southern Living for being one of the South’s top 10 “Tastiest Towns.” Durham, N.C., won top honors. We’ll get ‘em next year. (Southern Living)
- Louisville Originals, a local-restaurant coalition, has filed a lawsuit against Asiatique co-owner Pabs Sembillo for alleged embezzlement. (Insider Louisville)
- “Cunningham’s, a popular Fourth Street restaurant known primarily for oversized fish sandwiches, is listed for sale for $675,000, but the son of the owners says he may take over the store’s operation and remove it from the market.” Well, that’s clear as mud. (Courier-Journal)
- Chipotle will open its second Louisville location at 10331 Westport Road in front of Home Depot. (Business First of Louisville)
- Erika Chavez-Graziano, the owner of Cellar Door Chocolates, plans to open a restaurant in Butchertown Market called Jackknife. The restaurant, set to open in July, will serve brunch and lunch. (Insider Louisville)
- Susan Hershberg, the owner of Wiltshire on Market restaurant, will open another storefront at 901 Barret Ave. called Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Cafe. The eatery will serve baked goods, soups, sandwiches and coffee. (Insider Louisville)
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April 5, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
The owner of The Root Cellar has worked hard to bring farm-fresh, local food to Louisville, and now he wants to take his market to the streets.
Ron Smith, founder of The Root Cellar food markets, has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 for the creation of The Root Mobile. Ron’s goal is “to transform an old bus into a mobile market bringing our farm fresh food to the people who have the least access to it.”
The Root Cellar is located in two brick-and-mortar locations — the original store at Third and Hill streets in Old Louisville and the corner of Kentucky and Swan streets in Germantown. So why put produce on wheels? Here are some of Ron’s objectives:
• increase the access to local foods in our community by taking The Root Mobile to neighborhoods called food deserts
• raise awareness for the need to change the paradigm of food delivery
• create a new business opportunity for The Root Cellar
• provide input into those areas of the South/West Ends of Louisville that would best support a permanent location for a third store
I regularly shopped at The Root Cellar when it first opened in 2011 and I lived right around the corner. Ron is not only one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, but he really cares about the community and the ability to access local food. I’m happy to see that he has taken on this project, and I happily pledged my support on Kickstarter.
As of Thursday night, The Root Mobile has raised $4,833 toward the big $10,000 goal. The project needs to raise the money by April 29 to be funded. If you’re interested in contributing to The Root Mobile, visit the Kickstarter page here.