Food & Drink

John Besh to sign his book at Fayette Mall

If you don't have tickets to meet John Besh on Wednesday at the Cookin' in the Bluegrass Celebrity Chef Series at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, here's another opportunity.

On Tuesday, the famous Louisiana chef will sign copies of his cookbook, My New Orleans, at the Williams-Sonoma store in Fayette Mall. Besh owns six restaurants, including August and Besh Steak, and won the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef Southeast award.

At the WEG celebrity chefs dinner, Besh will cook with Portofino chef Nat Tate and Jonathan Eismann, chef/owner of Pacific Time in Miami.

Fayette Mall is at 3473 Nicholasville Road. The book signing is 5 to 7 p.m. Call (859) 272-5856.

A tea to beat the band

Members of Akielo Temple No. 128 Egyptian Band are showing off their sense of style and cooking talents at their annual Fall Tea & Style Show at 2 p.m. Oct. 3.

The tea will feature favorite recipes prepared by members. The menu features cream scones with peach jam and clotted cream, chocolate truffle grapes, Southern tea punch, savory blue cheese bites, spinach balls, cheese rounds, Hawaiian tea sandwiches, apple cranberry crostini, ham salad sandwiches, curry chicken salad in cream puffs, mini blackberry party cakes, caramel chocolate mini bars, pineapple carrot tea cake, chocolate bark and chocolate mint meringues. Recipes for mini blackberry party cakes and apple cranberry crostini are at

Tickets are $20. Call Susan Wade at (859) 333-0146 or Paula Hubbard at (859) 621-8999. The tea will be at Oleika Shrine Center, 326 Southland Drive.

A blue-ribbon recipe

Weeks after the Kentucky State Fair ended, the winner of one of the most popular culinary contests is sharing her recipe.

Kim Buckley of Louisville has entered state fair cooking contests for 18 years, winning 17 ribbons, including six blue ribbons. The favorite-cake category is the one she prefers to enter. "It's the one everybody wants to win," Buckley said.

"It has been my experience that in the favorite-cake category, the judges tend to prefer chocolate and liqueur and nuts, a heavy, rich kind of cake," she said.

"My idea was to make a cake like a bourbon ball. The idea for a topping that would look like a Maker's Mark bottle came from a friend. She said, 'Put a red icing on top.' I decided to use the white chocolate icing (tinted red) and run it down the sides."

Buckley, who is a hairdresser at Salon 602 in St. Matthews, is a "huge fan of the fair.

"A childhood friend got me into it, and we compete against each other," she said. "I love the competition."

A photograph of Buckley's cake appeared in the Herald-Leader on Aug. 19, and many readers have requested the recipe.


Maker's Mark chocolate bourbon cake

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

11⁄3 cups cold water

3 egg whites

¾ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. In a mixer bowl, beat shortening, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add one egg yolk at a time, and beat until blended. Add dry ingredients and water to contents of mixer bowl, alternating until combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, with clean beaters, beat egg whites and sugar until soft peaks form. Fold mixture into batter until blended. Pour into greased and floured cake pans. Bake for 28 minutes or until cake tests done. (If making cupcakes, bake for 15 to 18 minutes.)

Spread buttercream frosting between layers, and ice with chocolate frosting. Pour red topping on the cake and let it trickle down the sides. Makes 10 servings.

Bourbon buttercream

1½ sticks butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons Maker's Mark bourbon

1⁄3 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

Place softened butter in a bowl and beat with mixer until fluffy. Add bourbon, pecans and vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.

Chocolate frosting

9 ounces milk chocolate chips

¼ stick butter

½ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

In a saucepan, melt chocolate and butter slowly. Let cool 5 minutes. Add sour cream and vanilla. Beat in sugar until mixture is a spreadable consistency.

Cake topping

½ cup white chocolate chips

Red food coloring

In a small saucepan, melt chips and add food coloring until desired shade is reached. Mix well, and pour over frosted cake.

Tell us your potluck recipe

It's the season for tailgating and fall parties, and soon we'll be thinking about holiday foods. We're looking for recipes that are perfect for taking to any festive event. Send your favorite potluck recipe to Potluck Dish, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, Ky. 40508, or e-mail to