Bobby who? Here are the celeb chefs I want to see open a restaurant in Louisville

Bobby Flay. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
Bobby Flay, bein’ all cool. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

It’s a good thing I’ve settled my imaginary beef with Bobby Flay. It looks like this celebrity chef is making serious googly eyes at Louisville.

The Courier-Journal reported back in September that Flay was scouting possible locations to open a restaurant in Louisville. And Insider Louisville is hearing some buzz that Flay’s going to set up in the former Burger’s Market on Grinstead Drive.

I used to have an unreasonable dislike for Flay. I didn’t like how he rolled into town with his Food Network show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, like he owned the joint and challenged chefs. Quit showing off, Flay. Then I met him in person when I was a reporter on the red carpet at the Barnstable Brown party. He was actually pretty nice, which completely squashed the rivalry I had built in my head.

So, I’m cool with Flay coming to Louisville. It’s just that there are a few other celebrity chefs and TV personalities that I would like to see make a restaurant home in Louisville. Come along with me as I play pretend with folks I’d like to see in our city:

You better WERQ, Ree Drummond. (Photo courtesy Food Network)
You better WERQ, Ree Drummond. (Photo courtesy Food Network)

I love me some Ree Drummond. The woman cooks, writes and takes beautiful pictures on her blog, The Pioneer Woman. Her approachable demeanor and hearty meals fit for life on the ranch make her a wonderful addition to the Food Network lineup. I’d welcome Ree’s downhome charm in a Louisville restaurant. Picture it: Ree greeting guests, her husband stopping in from the ranch with some kind of carcass he killed himself, and lots of wood paneling.

Not your most crisp collar, Ina. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
Not your most crisp collar, Ina. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

One of the loftier goals of my life is to become the black Ina Garten. My closet will be filled with crisp button-down shirts. I will pop collar of said shirts. And I will whip up meals that include lots of lemon zest for the wonderful moments when my Jeffrey pops in to see what I’m up to. I imagine that Ms. Garten’s restaurant could fill the shoes that La Coop in NuLu will leave. Ms. Garten would serve food of the French countryside in a candlelit dining room with citrus centerpieces. And she would never spill ratatouille on her fresh shirt.

Oh, Alton. You slay me. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
Oh, Alton. You slay me. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

Alton Brown is a great teacher on the show, Good Eats. You get a little history, a little science and a lot of fun in each episode. Why not show off his teaching skills with a lot of science in an open-concept kitchen? I see foam garnishes, dry ice and lots of sous vide.

What celebrity chef or food personality would you like to see open a restaurant in Louisville?

Bits and Pieces: Damaris Phillips, Wild Turkey and other Louisville food news, 8.16.13

Blogger’s note: I haven’t been under a rock for the past week or so. Rather, I’ve been under the thumb of The Man. My responsibilities at the day job really kicked into gear this week. After 10-hour days of looking at a computer screen, I had to give my mind and eyes a break from the digital world when I got home. I think I’m past the worst, though. So, onward!


Damaris Phillips, winner of Food Network Star. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
Damaris Phillips, winner of Food Network Star. (Photo courtesy of Food Network)
  • A big ol’ congratulations to Louisville native Damaris Phillips, who won the reality competition Food Network Star. Damaris is a culinary arts instructor at Jefferson Community and Technical College. (Eater Louisville)
  • "Dinner Impossible" chef Robert Irvi...
    “Dinner Impossible” chef Robert Irvine giving his verdict on finished item (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    And speaking of Food Network, celebrity chef Robert Irvine brought his show, Restaurant: Impossible, to Louisville this week to revamp Coach Lamp Restaurant and Pub in Germantown. The restaurant received a makeover and is now Brooke and Billy’s Back Patio. Insider Louisville has a good write-up of the changes. (Insider Louisville)

  • Lawrenceburg, Ky.-based Wild Turkey Distillery has a new rye and bourbon combo called Forgiven, a product that was created by accident. (Business First of Louisville)
  • Anybody heard about the cronut, the croissant/doughnut hybrid that has become wildly popular in New York City? Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Cafe has its own version called doughssants. Good luck getting one — these things sell out fast. (Eater Louisville)

Paula Deen, a podcast and everything I missed during my social media blackout

This has been a crazy couple of weeks. Technically, kind of a crazy year. But let me start in the present.

I’ve been absent or only halfheartedly involved in the interwebs for the past two weeks because I’ve focused on completing my application for grad school. I sent my materials off yesterday (almost 24 hours before the deadline — improvement!).

Applying to grad school is part of my 2013 “if not now, then when?” mindset. This YOLO attitude has left me with:

  • A tattoo

My tattoo. I shall call her... Lulu.

  • The shortest haircut I’ve ever had


  • The gumption to further my education

Since my graduate school application is officially out of my hands, it’s time to channel my anxiety into other useful pursuits, like blogging and cleaning out my inbox (I’m not ignoring you, I promise). Here are some highlights of what’s happened that I haven’t had a chance to properly dish on:

  • Paula Deen lost her damn mindDon’t even get me started. Seriously. I’ve debated sticking my toe into this hot-topic debate, but I tend to want everyone to play nice in the sandbox and not talk about politics, sex and race relations. HOWEVA, I feel very disappointed in her comments and what this says about where we are as a country in terms of empathy and understanding amongst people of different racial backgrounds. *sigh*
  • Mad Men’s sixth season endedThis has nothing to do with food or Louisville. But it was a major event in my life.
  • I have a podcast! I’ll devote a whole post to the podcast this week. The short story is that I’m the host of Deliciously Louisville with Ashlee Eats that you can download at Special thanks to Dan Vonderheide for making this happen.

Bits and pieces: Sandra Lee, royal wedding cake and other food news from the web, 3.29.11


  • Word’s out about the wedding cake of Prince William and his fiance, Kate – it’s going to be a fruit cake. It sounds like it will be very, um, British. (Time)


  • Cupcakes in a jar – the next dessert trend? (The Kitchn)



  • Need a little oomph in your sex life? Try eating some saffron, according to a group of researchers. (Gawker)


  • Food Network host Sandra Lee grates my nerves a bit, but her rise to fame is pretty interesting, and her advocacy to end child hunger is admirable. (New York Magazine)

Bits and pieces: Starbucks’ Trenta, Flavor Flav and other food news from the web, 2.7.11

Put this in your cup and drink it. Photo courtesy of DieselDemon via Flickr.
  • Starbucks recently introduced a 31-ounce Trenta size for iced coffee. Not only is the mega-cup larger than the average human stomach, but you can fit a whole bottle of wine in there. (Eater)


  • There’s a big stink going on in Maine – and it’s all about whoopie pies. Some people want to make the whoopie pie the state’s official dessert. Others think it’s a bad idea to such a title to a dish whose main ingredient is lard, especially when obesity is prevalent throughout the state and country, and want the blueberry pie to reign. Oh, the things that divide our nation. (Boston Globe)


  • Flavor Flav is opening a fried chicken restaurant in Iowa. Ummm … yeah. (Eater)


  • Celebrity chef and author Jeff Henderson of Food Network‘s The Chef Jeff Project has written a “community cookbook” called America I Am: Pass It Down Cookbook that chronicles African-American history through cuisine. Excuse me while I add this book to my wish list. (NPR)

Bits and pieces: Man v. Food, the 5-second rule and other food news from the web, 10.4.10

  • TV chef Alton Brown has a few things to say about the show Man v. Food, and they aren’t too nice. In an interview with Zap2It, Brown called the Travel Channel program “disgusting” and said that it glorifies gluttony. But that hurt the feelings of Man v. Food host Adam Richman, according to, who responded via Twitter: “Alton Brown: MvF is about indulgence-NOT gluttony-& has brought loads of biz to Mom-n-Pop places. You were my hero, sir. No more.” Ouch. I’m a fan of both MvF and Brown’s Food Network program, Good Eats, so I wish Brown and Richman would just bro-hug it out and teach me how to grill a perfect sirloin.
  • I love kitchen gadgets, but they are often one-trick ponies that sit dusty in the back of the cabinet. Real Simple Magazine has some useful tips on repurposing rarely used appliances, such as making calzones on a waffle iron.
  • Noreen Malone, a writer over at, got sick of reading articles about grocery shopping on the cheap in response to the recession. So Malone took a different approach – she shopped at Whole Foods for the most expensive dinner for two. She didn’t actually buy anything, but her article provided an interesting look at how indulgent one could be in the grocery aisles (a half-pound tuna steak for $22.99/pound – no, ma’am).
  • I’m a huge fan of the website Jezebel, and this flowchart is one reason why: “A Guide To Eating Food Off The Floor.” It’s a humorous look at the situation we’ve all been in – a tasty morsel has landed on a potentially germ-ridden floor. Decisions, decisions.

3 reasons why Emeril will draw a crowd at Fork, Cork & Style

Good news: I am writing articles about local food events for I’ll occasionally post articles from the website on the blog and vice versa. Here is an article that appeared Friday about celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse coming to Louisville.

Food, wine and celebrity chefs will take to the track this weekend as part of the inaugural Fork, Cork & Style event from 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Churchill Downs. Restaurants from across the country will offer up regional favorites that have been featured on TV shows from Man v. Food to Saturday Night Live. High-end vintners will pour the good stuff at a grand wine tasting.

But the highlight will surely be scheduled cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

It’s been nearly two decades since Emeril debuted his first show, How to Boil Water, on the Food Network. Since then, he’s become a superstar chef with a full resume that certifies the talent behind his fame. Here are three reasons why Emeril is and will continue to be one of the best celebrity chefs:

  • He brought entertainment to the kitchen. In the heyday of Emeril Live, Emeril had a house band, celebrity guests and a full studio audience on deck just to watch him create in the kitchen. Cooking became theater, and everyone wanted a ticket.
  • He created his own cooking catchphrases. You didn’t see Julia Child yelling when she threw a palmful of spices into a pan. “Bam” and “kick it up a notch” crossed over from a Food Network soundstage into the pop culture lexicon, right up there with “bling” and “fo shizzle.”
  • He bounced back from failure. Anyone remember Emeril? This sitcom was as smelly as two-week-old buttermilk, and it was canceled after 11 episodes. But that was back in 2001. Since then, Emeril left behind the scripts and went back to the stove. The chef is now on five TV shows and one radio show, proving that his venture into comedy wasn’t the shark-jump of his television career.

For more information about Fork, Cork & Style and to buy tickets, visit the event’s website.

Paula Deen to visit Louisville-area casino, butter supplies expected to dwindle

Paula Deen is the white, Southern grandmother I never had.

Butter is her best friend. She’s saucier than Béarnaise. And that accent – God love her.

Paula Deen will be close by Friday as she celebrates the opening of The Paula Deen Buffet at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, a casino is Elizabeth, Ind., right across the river from Louisville. There is will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. followed by an $80 brunch, according to Horseshoe. I’d scoff at the price, but all proceeds will go to Blessings in a Backpack, a charity that sends kids home on Fridays with a backpack full of food to fight childhood hunger.

Paula Deen’s website has a delicious description of her buffet, which offers such Southern staples as fried chicken, gumbo and grits. I don’t foresee heading to Savannah to try Paula Deen’s delicacies any time soon, so a trip up to Indiana might be my best bet.

The Stats

  • Grand Opening of The Paula Deen Buffet
  • When: 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, 2010
  • Where: Horseshoe Southern Indiana, 11999 Casino Center Drive SE, Elizabeth, Ind.
  • Cost: Brunch after Paula Deen’s ribbon cutting is $80, proceeds benefit Blessings in a Backpack
  • To make reservations: Call Horseshoe at 800.872.4366.