Restaurant News & Reviews

Kentucky chefs will wow culinary scene with carp, chicken livers

Chef Ouita Michel, who has opened several Central Kentucky restaurants including Holly Hill Inn in Midway, will join with Paducah chef Sara Bradley to prepare a dinner showcasing Kentucky cuisine at the James Beard Foundation in New York next month.
Chef Ouita Michel, who has opened several Central Kentucky restaurants including Holly Hill Inn in Midway, will join with Paducah chef Sara Bradley to prepare a dinner showcasing Kentucky cuisine at the James Beard Foundation in New York next month. Herald-Leader

Chefs Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn in Midway and Sara Bradley of Freight House in Paducah will showcase Kentucky cuisine at a special dinner at the James Beard House in New York on Feb. 27.

What will they fix?

Five courses of the Bluegrass State’s specialties, such as Lake Barkley bighead carp with paddlefish caviar and Franklin County chicken-fried rabbit with rolled parsley dumplings. And, of course, bourbon, in the form of an apple stack cake cobbler with Crank & Boom Bourbon Honey ice cream.

The dinner stars with hors d’oeuvre of pit-smoked goat cheese Benedictine sandwiches, fried chicken livers with chowchow jelly on buttered toasts and Kenny’s Kentucky Bleu Cheese-onion marmalade tarts with toasted baby hickory nuts.

For the table, there will be a shaved artisan Kentucky country ham trio with pickles and relishes, sorghums, Sara’s Biscuit Heaven and Ouita’s Cast Iron Corn Sticks to go with:

▪  Lake Barkley bighead carp with burnt cabbage-sassafras bone sauce and paddlefish caviar;

▪  Griddled Heritance Farm oyster mushrooms with fermented carrot-sorghum butter and Weisenberger Mill wheat berries;

▪  Chicken-fried Franklin County rabbit with stewed put-up tomatoes, lemon, sorrel oil, and rolled parsley dumplings;

▪  Slow-smoked Freedom Run Farm katahdin lamb shoulder with twice-baked spoonbread soufflé and barbecued Hindman Settlement School shucky, pink-eyed, purple hull, and speckled lima beans mélange.

For dessert, there will be Mrs. Bradley’s Paducah caramelized banana pudding and apple stack cake cobbler with Crank & Boom Bourbon-Honey Ice Cream.

A selection of rare bourbons and fine wines will be served with this dinner.

The dinner, which is $135 for James Beard Foundation members and $175 for non-members, will benefit the foundation, which annually honors the best restaurants, chefs and culinary professionals. Michel is a multiple finalist for Beard Foundation awards; Bradley is an up-and-coming chef.

Kentucky producers highlighted on the menu include Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, Heritance Farm, Weisenberger Mill, Freedom Run Farm, Hindman Settlement School, Crank & Boom Ice Cream, JD Country Milk, Broadbent Hams, Newsom’s Country Ham, Fin Gourmet Foods, Koru Gardens, Shuckman’s Fish Co., Reed Valley Orchard, Jim Nance Hickory Nuts, Country Rock Sorghum, Kennameade Farms, Two Shakes Ranch and many more.

Honeywood owner and chef Ouita Michel and Josh Smouse talk about how the soon-to-open restaurant at the Summit differs from her other properties.

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