Eat Kentucky: A Southern Food Podcast
EK 17 - Hello, Chef Dolly! - Adrian Miller, The Soul Food Scholar

EK 17 - Hello, Chef Dolly! - Adrian Miller, The Soul Food Scholar

May 6, 2020

Adrian Miller, the Soul Food Scholar, is a Denver, Colorado based James Beard Award winning author and food historian as well as a certified barbecue judge and former White House advisor to President Bill Clinton.

In this episode Adrian and I talk about Lexington, Kentucky chef Dolly Johnson, an African-American White House chef for two presidents and who was discovered by a young Theodore Roosevelt. Much about Dolly remains cloaked in mystery, but she was in high demand in the highest halls of power. But she left all of that to return to her home in Kentucky.

Adrian writes about her in his book The President’s Kitchen Cabinet. He and I discuss White House chefs as well as the idea of Soul Food, the subject of his James Beard award winning book.

Plus, Adrian and I discuss barbecue and his time in Bill Clinton’s White House.

 

Adrian Miller Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

'African American Cooks In the White House: Hiding In Plain Sight', by Adrian Miller

Adrian Miller on Somewhere South with Vivian Howard video clip

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EK 16 - Life’s a Circus - Marianne Eaves, Kentucky’s First Female Master Distiller

EK 16 - Life’s a Circus - Marianne Eaves, Kentucky’s First Female Master Distiller

April 28, 2020

Marianne Eaves made bourbon history when she left Brown Forman and was named master distiller of Castle & Key Distillery in 2015, making her the first female master distiller in Kentucky since Prohibition. A year ago Eaves shocked the bourbon industry when she resigned from the Woodford Country distillery to pursue other opportunities.

In this episode I catch up with Marianne Eaves and find out what has happened over the past year. The answer includes a circus, Broadway, and a new baby. Plus, Marianne and I discuss her visits to distilleries around the country, a deep dive on small barrels, and what bottle Marianne would pick from the store shelves.

Marianne Eaves Website | Instagram | Facebook

Broadway TED Talk

 

 

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EK 15 - Matt On Mitch - Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio

EK 15 - Matt On Mitch - Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio

April 21, 2020

This episode’s guest is not only a restaurateur, but also the founder and host of Kentucky Sports Radio, Matt Jones. He is the co-author, along with Chris Tomlin, of the New York Times Bestselling book Mitch, Please, which is not only a tour of all 120 Kentucky counties, but a critique of Kentucky’s longtime United States Senator Mitch McConnell, as well as an autobiographical recounting of Jones’s decision of whether or not to challenge the Senate Majority Leader.

Matt and I take a deep dive into his book, discuss frustrations with the political process, and also three recurring characters in the narrative: New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Senate candidate Amy McGrath, and a mysterious figure we only know as The Tracker.

Plus, we discuss how restaurants such as his sports bar KSBar are doing during the current shutdown, prospects for reopening restaurants, the great East-West restaurant divide that he discovered during his tour of Kentucky, and, of course, whether or not sports will come back soon.

Matt Jones Twitter | Instagram

Mitch, Please, published by Simon & Schuster

Kentucky Sports Radio

 

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EK 14 - Southern Foodways - Melissa Booth Hall

EK 14 - Southern Foodways - Melissa Booth Hall

April 15, 2020

The Southern Foodways Alliance was founded two decades ago by John T. Edge in Oxford, Mississippi as part of the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Their mission is to document, study, and explore the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. The SFA hosts and sponsors events and seminars, produces documentaries, publishes a regular journal called Gravy, as well as producing a Gravy podcast.

Co-hosting that podcast is Melissa Booth Hall who serves as managing director of the SFA and who originally hails from Middlesboro, Kentucky. Melissa is a graduate of Centre College and the Chase School of Law, but decided Southern food was a lot more fulfilling.

In this episode, Melissa and I discuss the state of restaurants in the South during the pandemic shutdown and how people are coming together to help restaurant workers, including through the Lee Initiative from right here in Kentucky.

Melissa discusses her work with the SFA, how she went from Middlesboro High School to Oxford, Mississippi, and how she honed her kitchen skills by cooking through Southern Living magazine. Plus, Melissa and I commiserate about the loss of March Madness for Kentuckians, and we have a  flashback to 1980s 13th Region high school basketball.

Southern Foodways Alliance Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Gravy Podcast

The Lee Initiative

Save Local Restaurants

 

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EK 13 - Somewhere South - Chef Vivian Howard

EK 13 - Somewhere South - Chef Vivian Howard

April 7, 2020

Chef Vivian Howard’s new show Somewhere South recently debuted on PBS stations across the country. The show is her follow up to the wildly popular series A Chef’s Life. Chef Howard was the first woman to win a Peabody award for a cooking show since Julia Child, and she was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award’s Best Chef Southeast five consecutive times.

Somewhere South takes Chef Vivian to different Southern locations where she investigates dishes that are universal to all cultures. In the fourth episode of the series, Vivian’s exploration of pickles brings her to Kentucky, where she visits Lexington, Woodford County, and Whitesburg.

Along the way Vivian is guided by Chef Sam Fore, who you can hear discuss the visit in episode 9. Sam takes her to visit Woodford Reserve Distillery as well as to see Smithtown Seafood’s Chef Agnes Marrero. Then Lora Smith of the Appalachian Impact Fund takes Vivian to Letcher County where Regina Niece and Carolyn Sturgill show how they make chow-chow at the CANE Kitchen in Whitesburg.

In this episode, Vivian Howard and I discuss her new show and her visit to Kentucky. She tells about her first visit to a holler, her unexpected run-in with an Osage orange, as well as her first visit to a Kentucky distillery. We also chat about the group Brown in the South, and Louisville Chef Edward Lee’s appearance on the Dumpling episode of Somewhere South. Also, Vivian and I talk about the situation facing restaurants during the current shutdown, which was just beginning when she and I spoke.

A special thank you to Andrea Weigl.

Vivian Howard WebsiteInstagram | Facebook

A Chef's Life/Somewhere South Instagram | Facebook

Cane Kitchen

Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites

Brown In the South

 

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EK 12 - Paducah Forever! - Chef Sara Bradley of The Freight House

EK 12 - Paducah Forever! - Chef Sara Bradley of The Freight House

March 17, 2020

This episode’s guest is someone many of you are familiar with from Bravo’s Top Chef Season 16, which featured Kentucky locations and ingredients.

Chef Sara Bradley operates the Freight House in Paducah, Kentucky, a farm to table restaurant that also features one of the top rated bourbon bars in the country.

Sara discusses her busy travel schedule, the fun of being a new mom, and her decision to pursue the culinary arts after finishing UK. Plus, Sara pulls back the curtain on being on Top Chef, the pressure she felt as the hometown chef in season 16, and why she turned down a spot on the new Top Chef season. Sara also shares her favorite bourbon picks and how pregnancy has expanded her palate to include a new spirit that’s not from Kentucky.

All that, and why she never wanted to move back to Paducah, but now says it’s “Paducah forever!”

Chef Sara Bradley Instagram | Facebook

The Freight House Website | Instagram | Facebook

Top Chef Season 16

Garden & Gun: An Angel's Share In Kentucky

 

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EK 11 - Bourbon & Ham - Chef Newman Miller of Maker’s Mark

EK 11 - Bourbon & Ham - Chef Newman Miller of Maker’s Mark

March 3, 2020

For this episode I traveled to the town square in Bardstown, Kentucky and visited Chef Newman Miller at the Harrison-Smith house, a 240 year old structure that now serves as a private event space. You may have seen Chef Miller on season 16 of Top Chef when the popular show visited Maker’s Mark distillery, where Newman serves as chef at Maker’s Star Hill Provisions. Newman was also recently on the SEC Network’s TrueSouth when John T. Edge visited Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Newman and I discuss his time growing up in Washington County, his first job at Louisville’s Brown Hotel, his time in Scotland, and what eventually brought him back to Kentucky. Also, Newman explains the opportunities that exist in Kentucky’s growing food and hospitality scene. Plus we talk about Laha's burgers in Hodgenville, Jake’s 150 Sausage, and how he tries to carry on the legacy of Hooker & Sparky’s fried chicken. I also get Newman—who goes by "bourbon and ham" on social media—to give me his every day recommendations for the bourbon shopper. You may even get some hot brown tips for your own kitchen

And there’s plenty more—you’ll have fun listening to Chef Newman Miller of Star Hill Provisions at Maker’s Mark Distillery.

Chef Newman Miller
Instagram | Twitter

Harrison-Smith House | Facebook

Star Hill Provisions at Maker's Mark
Instagram | Facebook 

True South 

Top Chef Kentucky, Episode 2

Courier-Journal: Top Chef wanted an iconic Kentucky meal. This is the chef who made it.

 

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EK 10 - Advocating For Restaurants - Stacy Roof of the Kentucky Restaurant Association

EK 10 - Advocating For Restaurants - Stacy Roof of the Kentucky Restaurant Association

February 25, 2020

If you eat in Kentucky it’s pretty certain at some point you’re going to eat out. This episode I’m joined by Louisville based Kentucky Restaurant Association President and CEO Stacy Roof. Stacy has been with the KRA for a quarter century as an advocate for Kentucky’s restaurants. Stacy discusses the role of the KRA as a champion and resource for Kentucky’s restaurants and their on going lobbying efforts in Frankfort including a discussion of a possible restaurant tax bill about which she recently published an op-ed in the Courier Journal. Also, Stacy explains the KRA’s program that brings vocational restaurant education into Kentucky’s high schools and the wide open job market that awaits them in Kentucky’s growing food scene. There’s plenty more, including a reveal of an upcoming podcast guest, and I even get Stacy to divulge some of her own restaurant recommendations.

Opinion by Stacy Roof: Chew On This Mayor Fischer: A restaurant tax would spoil Louisville dining scene

Kentucky Restaurant Association
Website| Facebook | Twitter 

Kentucky ProStart

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EK 09 - Sri Lankan Bites - An Interview With Chef Samantha Fore

EK 09 - Sri Lankan Bites - An Interview With Chef Samantha Fore

February 18, 2020

There may not be anyone in Kentucky’s food scene who has been hotter over the past six months than my guest in this episode of Eat Kentucky. From a feature article in Bon Appetit to a cover recipe in Food & Wine with a myriad of appearances far and wide, Samantha Fore of Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites has been everywhere. She shows no signs of slowing down.   

In this episode we discuss her hectic schedule, a trip to Spain, her relationship with the Southern Foodways Alliance and the group Brown In the South as well as her role as an unofficial food ambassador for Kentucky. Plus, why she never could have gotten where she is today from anywhere but Lexington, Kentucky. We have a great time talking, and you’ll enjoy getting to know Chef Sam Fore.

Chef Samantha Fore: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter 

Made By Hand video: Sri Lankan Spice Blends With Samantha Fore

The Maker's Podcast: What is Southern Food? w/ Bill Smith & Cheetie Kumar

 

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EK 08 - The Show With Lee & Hayley

EK 08 - The Show With Lee & Hayley

February 4, 2020

Way back in episode 3, an unemployed Hayley Harmon visited the podcast for a chat. Today, she’s back with a job, a new show, and a co-host, Lee Cruse. You probably saw Lee & Hayley’s viral video announcement about their new show premiering on Monday, February 17 at 4 PM on Lexington’s ABC-36.

In this episode Lee and Hayley welcome me to their new offices to discuss the road that took them from their old show to their new one. Along the way we find out what Lee had in his bottle  as a baby, the dangers of moonshine peaches, and the vision that Lee and Hayley have for the new show. There are a lot of laughs, some restaurant recommendations, and we learn that unexpected turmoil might just lead you where you wanted to go all along.

Lee & Hayley Launch Video

Lee & Hayley Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Lee Cruse Facebook | Twitter

Hayley Harmon Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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