Books, brews, barbecue and ham: a rundown of upcoming foodie events

This ham will be served up tonight at Corbett's. What Roscoe would give for a hunk of that. (via Facebook)
This ham will be served up tonight at Corbett’s. What Roscoe would give for a hunk of that. (via Facebook)

There’s a dog at my heels convinced that he needs a potty break, an empty suitcase that I need to fill in the next 24 hours and a boatload of news and information that I want to share.

You could say I’m in a bit of a tizzy.

This is going to be a down-and-dirty post. There’s so much happening in Louisville and in my own life that I have to do some USA Today-style bullets to give you a rundown of all the fabulous food events happening in town and a couple of updates from Ashlee Eats HQ.

So take a deep breath, and pray that my dog, Roscoe, can hold his composure until I finish this post.

  • I submitted the first chunk of my manuscript to my publisher, History Press, at the end of last week. Granted, it’s still pretty scrappy, and I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I was super excited to hit my first book milestone. I’l celebrate with a trip to Baltimore this Labor Day weekend with the Mister during which I will gorge myself on crab and Italian food.

 

  • OK, strike the gorge part of that last bullet. After getting some not-so-great results on a health screening, I’ve been cutting back on the cheeses and red meats, aka, everything that makes life worth living. Maybe it was diner research for the book that knocked my numbers a bit out of whack, but I’ve decided to eat healthier at home and (when possible) out and about. Check out my Pinterest board, Healthier Choices, to see what I’ve been cooking. I highly recommend the red curry lentils.

 

An un-glamorous shot of the curry lentils I whipped up.
An un-glamorous shot of the curry lentils I whipped up. They tasted better than they look.

 

Roscoe has fretted himself into a state of severe disappointment, so I’ll keep writing. Open up your calendar in a new tab, because I’m moving on to the food events.

  • Fellow Louisville food writer Steve Coomes has a book out with the same publisher with which I’m signed. To commemorate the release of Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke, six high-profile Kentucky chefs are gathering tonight, Aug. 28, at Corbett’s: An American Place for a dinner inspired by country ham. Cost of the dinner is $95 per person and it includes wine and cocktail pairings with each course and a signed copy of the book (call Corbett’s at 502.327.5058 for reservations and hurry, because space is limited). Can’t swing the price tag? Buy the book and get inspired in your own kitchen.

 

 

Yes, this is a little bit of publishing nepotism, but I gotta support my fellow writers in the struggle to sell and hustle. And, they’re good guys and writers.

OK, Roscoe is officially dejected. He’s looking out of the window and contemplating my downfall. I have time for one more event listing:

 

  • The Home of the Innocents will host their annual Big Ol’ Backyard BBQ next Saturday, Sept. 6. This year’s theme is Luau Style, so I can only imagine the amount of savory, delicious pork that will be served up for a good cause. Chefs who will cook at the fundraising event include Fernando Martinez of Mussel and Burger Bar and Dean Corbett of aforementioned Corbett’s and Equus and Jack’s Lounge. Tickets are $50 (adults), $30 (seniors) and $20 (students 11-18). You can buy tickets by at www.homeoftheinnocents.org/bbq or by calling 502.596.1025.

 

bbq-event-info

 

The dog has officially started yelping, so it’s time to take him out. And pack. And finish this book. But one thing at a time.

Event alert: Butchertown Porktoberfest, Oct. 11, 2013

If you have an aversion to swine, look away.

BBQ smoked pork shoulders (Boston butt roasts)
BBQ smoked pork shoulders (Boston butt roasts) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still on board? Then you might be interested in the first-ever Butchertown Porktoberfest from 5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at The Pointe, 1205 East Washington Street.

Here’s a blurb about the event from the Butchertown Neighborhood Association:

This barbeque and pork inspired culinary competition will feature live music by Hog Operation and Johnny Berry, local brew from Apocalypse Brewery and food samples from more than 15 of Louisville’s finest restaurants. …

Participating restaurants include Atria, Cellar Door Chocolates, Decca, Farm to Fork, Harvest, Holy Grale, Jack Knife, Momma’s Pickles Mustard and BBQ, Monkey Wrench, Morels, RYE, St. Charles Exchange, Stellar Sweets, The Bristol and Wiltshire.

Don’t fret, vegheads (I say that term lovingly) — there will be vegetarian options at the event.

Admission is free, but bring some cash to buy samples, proceeds from which will benefit the Butchertown Neighborhood Association.

Butchertown Porktoberfest

5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11

The Pointe, 1205 East Washington Street

For more information: http://www.butchertown.blogspot.com/

For pork’s sake – Louisville will celebrate bacon at fundraiser this weekend

In the famous words of Emeril, pork fat rules. Photo courtesy Lara604 via Flickr.

Louisville bacon lovers, rejoice.

This weekend, there is a whole event dedicated to your favorite pork product.

The Louisville Visual Arts Association is throwing a Bacon Ball from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at The Historic Water Tower.

Here’s a blurb about the event from Greater Louisville Inc.:

The event includes tastings of many signature bacon dishes (including Fakin’ Bacon) from local chefs, and made with locally sourced pork. To clean your palate, enjoy fine craft beer provided by BBC, and make sure to bring some cash to try out some of the beverages and spirits at the cash bar.

Want to go? Buy your tickets today — Try It Local (a Groupon-like service that focuses on local businesses), is offering a 50-percent discount on tickets. You get two tickets for $25 instead of $50. Click here for more information on the deal.

Still not convinced? Your money will go toward a good cause. Proceeds from Bacon Ball will benefit the Art Supply Fund for Jefferson County Public School students, Children’s Fine Art Classes & Open Doors programs, as well as LVAA’s newest program, Artebella Daily.

Read more about the event and the local bacon scene (including some pecan bacon peanut brittle) in the Courier-Journal.

The $10 Challenge: Mark’s Feed Store

I lived in Louisville for 17 years, but there was a lot of stuff I missed.

I didn’t discover all the shops along Bardstown Road until freshman year of college. I didn’t go to the Kentucky Derby until I was assigned to cover the event for the Lexington Herald-Leader two years ago. And I drove on Frankfort Avenue for the first time in February.

But the latest $10 Challenge made me hang my head in shame.

How could I spend the most formidable years of my life in Louisville, yet miss out on the greatness that is Mark’s Feed Store?

Sure, I had heard of Mark’s Feed Store. But for the longest time, I thought the business was a livestock supply company. So color me surprised when a friend told me about the great and inexpensive barbecue on which she feasted at Mark’s Feed Store. Those context clues were enough to inform me that:

  1. Mark’s Feed Store feeds people, not animals.
  2. The restaurant was ripe for a $10 Challenge.

Continue reading “The $10 Challenge: Mark’s Feed Store”

The $10 Challenge: Finley’s Hickory Smoke Barb-Q

Family can really come through for you sometimes.

There are the times they haul your daybed, overstuffed couch and other hefty items down two fights of steps, into a U-Haul, and back up two flights of steps when you decide to move.

There are the times they form a caravan of Cadillacs, Saturns, and decades-old Mercury Cougars to watch you graduate from college.

And there are the times they pick up the tab when you’re out of cash for the $10 Challenge.

My mother bought me a meal from Finley’s Hickory Smoke Barb-Q during a recent visit to my childhood home. Because it was a surprise, I didn’t get a chance to research the restaurant beforehand, a rarity in my Challenge history. So please excuse this shorter-than-usual post.

But a brief look at a take-home menu and a conversation with Mommy Eats provided some information about this small barbecue joint. Most dinners, which come with two sides, are only $7.99 and include meat selections such as pulled pork and slabs of ribs. The side dishes reminded me of the items someone might pull out of a wicker picnic basket: macaroni salad, potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw are just a few available.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much research to know some good barbecue when you see it.

Daddy Eats and Uncle Eats (see what I’m doing here?) each had the rib dinner. There was definitely some food envy going on when I saw them pick up bones covered in juicy pork. The bones reminded me of something in the extras of a Flinestones DVD.

For me, Mommy Eats ordered the pulled pork sandwich dinner with coleslaw and baked beans. I expected to receive just one sandwich. Instead, I opened the Styrofoam container and was greeted with two buns (the bread kind – get your mind out of the gutter).

Pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw and baked beans.

Tender pulled pork slathered in a rich sauce was piled on two hamburger buns. The meat was plentiful, messy and good. These were sandwiches that needed silverware, a moist towelette and a Tide stain remover. It was my kind of meat.

But the joy ended with the side dishes. The coleslaw was soaked in mayonnaise, leaving it almost inedible. The baked beans weren’t bad, but they didn’t have a distinct sweet or savory flavor – they just existed.

The meat alone was worth the $7.99 Mommy Eats paid. I just wish the sides could match the greatness of the meat.

The Stats:

  • Finley’s Hickory Smoke Barb-Q, 1504 Berry Boulevard, Louisville, Ky.
  • Pulled pork sandwich dinner with coleslaw and baked beans: $7.99
  • Total (with tax): $8.47

Mission: Accomplished

Bits and pieces: The Blind Pig, Guy Fieri and other food news from the web, 8.16.10

Cutest. Pig. Ever. Too bad I like bacon so much.
  • The Blind Pig, a gastropub in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, earned itself a nice mention in the New York Times recently. I haven’t visited the Blind Pig, touted as “Butchertown’s premier swine dining establishment,” but with dishes like vanilla ice cream fritters and pecan-bacon brittle, I’ll have to visit soon.
  • Tyson Foods and singer Neil Young will work together to help relieve hunger along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, according to an article from the Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek. Tyson will donate 100,000 pounds of chicken products in conjunction with special concerts Young has planned in late September in Mobile, Ala.; Panama City and Pensacola, Fla.; and Biloxi, Miss. Young and Tyson are also asking concert-goers to bring non-perishable food to donate to the effort.
  • I’m just going to quote straight from the Guardian in the UK for this item:

Artificial meat grown in vats may be needed if the 9 billion people expected to be alive in 2050 are to be adequately fed without destroying the earth, some of the world’s leading scientists report today.

That’s right folks. Meat grown in vats. This is an interesting article that explores some real issues we will face sooner than we expect.

  • The New York Times profiled one of my favorite Food Network personalities, Guy Fieri, in an article that compares the chef to Sarah Palin (in a surprisingly accurate, non-offense way, if you can believe that). My dream is to have my own version of his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in which I travel across the country and eat at local places.

Picture courtesy of be_khe via Flickr