RAINBOW BLOSSOM CELEBRATES LOCAL FOODS
Photo by Danielle Boucher
On June 26 Rainbow Blossom celebrated its commitment to buying local with its fifth annual Farmers’ Market Celebration. For this event, Rainbow Blossom spiced up its usual market with live music, guest vendors and an “Iron Chef”- style cook-off. In an exciting battle of food wits between the chefs from Hammerheads and Eiderdown, Adam Burress of Hammerheads earned the winning title. However, with the addition of an unusual ingredient, an unforeseen jam and jelly vendor may have truly stolen the show.
For the Iron Chef-style cook-off, each contestant prepared a meal using fresh ingredients from the day’s market. Contestants had strict parameters: 30 minutes to gather ingredients, 30 minutes to prepare an entrée and a $50 budget. Burress says his approach was simply to use as many ingredients as possible and let his culinary talents play out. “I work really well under pressure,” he says. “I went in with no plan at all, and typically when I do that it works out in my favor.”
The outcome of his laid-back tactic was a lamb chop dish topped with a sweet Red Onion Rosemary Marmalade from vendor Beth Fowle. “I pretty much knew I was going to use it right when I picked it up,” Burress says of the marmalade. He explains that it was his first ingredient, the item around which he designed the whole entrée. Fowle is known for using herbs in her jams and jellies, like in the flavors Blueberry & Lemongrass and Peach & Basil.
What makes Fowle’s marmalades so good? She says it’s starting with fresh ingredients, and in her case fresh means local. Both Burress and Eiderdown’s chef, Brian Morgan, also expressed their dedication to using local ingredients whenever possible. Morgan, who made grilled rib eye marinated in beer and mustard for the event, says Eiderdown receives two CSA boxes each week.
“We wanted to give the farmers the ability to shape our specials for the week,” he says. “You don’t know what’s coming in the door, and that sparks some creativity.”
Find Beth Fowle’s jams, jellies and marmalades at the farmers’ markets of Beargrass Christian Church, Phoenix Hill, Suburban Christian and Rainbow Blossom.
— Kathyrn Grundy, edible Louisville summer intern
VILLE GRILLE GOES LOCAL
Photo: Charlie Cox
Sodexo is taking the University of Louisville’s annual October Sustainability Week to a new level by bringing students even closer to their food. How? By sourcing the food closer to the students. On Thursday, October 20, students and campus community members will experience a four-course meal of exclusively local dishes served family style on the adjacent patio of the campus dining hall, Ville Grill. Even the local dishes will be served in “local dishes” made by university ceramic arts students. Sodexo Executive Chef Melissa Ingram is working hand-in-hand with local farms to select prime seasonal ingredients from within 50 miles of the university. Already on the menu are pumpkin soup, fall mix salad, cider-braised beef short ribs, bourbon flambé peaches and ice cream homemade with local cream. There will be two seatings of 100 guests each, at 5 and 7pm. Reservations are required and can be made at the Ville Grill, 300 W. Brandeis Ave. Cost for students is two meal plan swipes or $15.50 flex points. Campus and community members can dine for $15.50 plus tax. Leading up to the event, October 17–19, local farmers will be on site during lunch at Ville Grill, educating students about what will be on their plates and how it got there.
FROM THE SCHOOLHOUSE TO THE DOGHOUSE
Photo courtesy Little Eatz
Melissa and Sean Little, both former high school English teachers, took a leap of faith when they decided to leave their careers in education to start Little Eatz, a company that makes all-natural cookies that are meant to be eaten by people AND their canine friends. The unique idea for the business spawned when the couple adopted their now 3-year-old pug, Winston. The pair quickly discovered that their new family member seemed to be motivated by one thing: food! But the couple soon discovered that many of the “people” foods that they were sharing with Winston were harmful — and some could have been deadly. “We kind of thought, ‘Why can’t we create something that is for us but is safe and healthy for him as well?” said Sean. After hours of research and recipe failures, the two arrived at three different-flavored all-natural cookies. The cookies are composed of some very healthy ingredients including oats, carob, cinnamon and peanut butter.
Melissa and Sean began packaging and selling their cookies locally, at events and to stores such as Valu- Market, Rainbow Blossom and Sandy’s Pet Shop. They also created a commercial kitchen space in Old Louisville, got the right permits and put in a lot of sweat equity. Sean even admits to having to nap on the kitchen floor after working some very long hours. The couple’s hard work seems to be paying off, though. They recently reached a deal with both Whole Foods and Feeders Supply. “By far, the hottest selling dog treats we’ve ever had,” said Seth Buie of Whole Foods. “Customers are raving about the delicious dog treats they can enjoy with their four-legged companions!”
Lelia Gentle will be teaching a continuing ed class at Bellarmine University starting September 13 titled The Why and How of Local Foods. Explore the political and industrial history of food. Learn how to make intelligent, educated food decisions and how to eat locally utilizing restaurants, farmers markets, backyard gardening and CSAs. You’ll receive sample recipes, menus, and shopping strategies. The last evening you’ll enjoy a cooking demonstration! bellarmine.edu/ce
The third annual Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show will return to Rupp Arena and Lexington Center on Saturday, October 8. This food lover’s dream event is packed with more than 100 exhibitors sampling and selling products including Kentucky Proud producers and growers, specialty food companies, local restaurants and wineries. The 2011 event will feature the dynamic brother chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio of Bravo TVs Emmy Award-wining show TOP CHEF. incrediblefoodshow.com
In addition to fantastic coffee and the best chicken salad in town, the Anchorage Café has added evening wine and beer service to their menu. With your drinks you can order light plates that feature many Kentucky farm products. Under the direction of Andy Myers, formerly of Bellini’s in Lexington, the Anchorage Café is adding more local products including seasonal vegetables, farm fresh eggs and farm-raised chicken. The Café is located at 11505 Park Road in Anchorage.
Bistro 301, a 100-seat restaurant in the heart of Louisville’s convention district, is going Kentucky Proud. The upscale-casual menu now includes a fantastic range of Kentucky farm products. Customer favorite tortellini Diablo, for example, gets its devilish bite from local andouille sausage; scallops come with a local-bacon jam, and the Louisville classic hot brown is topped with local bacon. Seasonal soups are made from locally grown vegetables. Many of the new menu items come from Marksbury Farm Foods, a Central Kentucky company whose products include pasture-raised, antibiotic-free beef, pork, and lamb. Other dishes feature Weisenberger Mill grits and Kenny’s cheese. Bistro 301 is located at 301 W. Market St.
Photo courtesty Jean Farris Winery
Two Kentucky wineries earned gold medals and a total of 11 were honored at the Indy International Wine Competition Aug. 3–5. Jean Farris Winery & Bistro of Lexington struck gold with its Petite Sirah, and Wight-Meyer Vineyard & Winery of Shepherdsville earned a gold medal with its Petite Sirah. Other Kentucky wineries that scored at Indy International were Acres of Land Winery, Richmond; Black Barn Winery, Lexington; Elk Creek Vineyards, Owenton; Grimes Mill Winery, Lexington; Purple Toad Winery, Paducah; Reid’s Livery Winery, Alvaton; River Valley Winery, Carrollton; Talon Winery, Lexington; and Wildside Winery & Vineyard, Versailles. Indy International bills itself as the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the United States. Some 3,000 wines from throughout the U.S. and 15 countries were judged. Home to the first commercial vineyard in the United States and once producer of more than half the nation’s grape and wine output, Kentucky today boasts nearly 70 wineries that are earning awards in competitions throughout the nation. For more information on Kentucky’s growing grape and wine industry, visit kentuckywine.com.