Food & Drink

Sharon Thompson: New Kentucky cookbook goes by the seasons

In The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook, author Maggie Green states: "Other than my Kentucky roots, I might not be the most obvious choice to write a Kentucky cookbook."

She's wrong about that. Green is more than qualified to put her name on a book about Kentucky food. Green, one of eight children, grew up in Lexington, and her knowledge of food originated in the kitchen of her childhood home and in the kitchens relatives, she said.

She began her career as a registered dietitian, working in clinics, hospitals and nursing homes, and when she wanted to expand her nutrition degree, Green enrolled in a 12-month culinary arts program at Sullivan University in Louisville. She has worked as a personal chef, as a cookbook editor, as a food and nutrition writer, and as an industry consultant, and she now adds author to her list of accomplishments.

Kentucky Fresh is about "cooking in a Kentucky kitchen, in sync with the seasons and in sync with those we feed." Each chapter is based on one calendar month, and recipes use cooking methods, traditional Kentucky ingredients and locally produced foods appropriate to the season.

Green calls the month of May "a festive and fun time of the year," and her recipes focus on lettuce, rhubarb, asparagus, chard and strawberries. Summer is all about squash, peaches and tomatoes.

The book, published by The University Press of Kentucky, is $29.95 and is available at bookstores.

His time is a blessing

Former restaurateur Jodi DiRaimo will share some of his Italian cooking secrets at a class from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday.

The event will raise money for Sweet Blessings, a non-profit organization that provides specialty birthday cakes for children who live in poverty or have life- threatening illnesses. "All the money goes to Sweet Blessings. I'm donating my time and all the product," DiRaimo said. The class will be at Sullivan University, 2355 Harrodsburg Road. Cost is $50. Call (859) 281-6999.

Smoked fish lures guests

Snack foods are the ideal choice for Derby Day parties. Treat your guests to something new and easy this year: smoked-fish spreads from Shuckman's Fish Co. and Smokery in Louisville.

Owner Lewis Shuckman blends gourmet smoked fish with cream cheese and sour cream to make spreads and dips. Flavors are clam, smoked salmon, smoked whitefish, bourbon smoked salmon, herb and garlic smoked salmon, shrimp, crab, and creole smoked salmon. The 8-ounce tubs are $5.99 each. Call (502) 775-6478 or go to Kysmokedfish.com.

Here's to kidney health

The Kidney Health Alliance of Kentucky is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is planning a celebration cookbook, Cooking with KHAKY. The organization is looking for recipes and stories about people who have shown courage and commitment in the fight against kidney disease. Send stories and recipes to KHAKY, 1517 Nicholasville Road, Suite 203, Lexington, Ky. 40503, or email director@khaky.org. Submission forms can be downloaded at KHAKY.org. The deadline for entries is May 18.

A dinner of their own

The Brown Hotel's "A Salute to Women, Wine and Whiskey" will feature female chefs from the South and Midwest. The women will join executive chef Laurent Géroli for the second annual event, June 17 in Louisville. The five-course dinner is $125, and Sullivan University will match a portion of the proceeds to create a scholarship for a female student attending the school's National Center for Hospitality Studies.

The dinner will be prepared by Julie Francis, chef at Nectar in Cincinnati; Kathy Cary, Lilly's in Louisville; Meg Galus, Sofitel Hotel in Chicago; Ouita Michel, Holly Hill Inn in Midway; Regina Mehallick, R Bistro in Indianapolis; Susie Selby, Selby Winery in Sonoma, Calif.; Victoria MacRae-Samuels, Maker's Mark in Bardstown; and Judy Schad, Capriole Farms in Greenville, Ind. The Brown Hotel is at 335 West Broadway. Call (502) 583-1234 or go to Brownhotel.com.

Magnum is a force

Magnum ice cream is making its Kentucky debut in time for Mother's Day and Derby.

The super-premium ice cream bars combine silky vanilla bean or rich chocolate ice cream with thick, crackling Belgian chocolate and are available in six flavors: classic, almond, double chocolate, double caramel, white and dark. Kroger stores sell the bars for $3.99 for a 3-bar pack. Go to Magnum.com.

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