Derby Time Podcast #1: Juleps with Kerri Richardson; Hats with Jana Metcalfe

Finally, Derby Season is officially underway, and here at EatDrinkTalk, we’re on it. Do you have questions about the Mint Julep? We asked Kerri Richardson, president of the Bourbon Women Association, to come to the studio and demonstrate the proper way to make one. Hint: the key is the simple syrup.

Kerri made us two – one with Evan Williams, the other with the higher proof Knob Creek Single Barrel. She even brought pewter mugs, the best container of all. We asked Kerri about the history of the Julep and a little bit about the Bourbon Women Association.

At Derby time, the essential question for women is: Which comes first, the hat or the dress? For Jana Metcalfe, an extraordinary hatmaker, it’s the chapeau that makes the outfit. Metcalfe used to work as a clocker at the track, so she’s also got some advice on how to pick a winner.

Which brings us to Saturday, opening night at Churchill Downs, and you should listen up for some parking advice. There’s some interesting news as well — the opening of Griff’s (actually it’s a move from Cardinal Town) in the old O’Malley’s Corner is set for June, but before all that a new performance venue, Bourbon Hall, is set to open Derby Week on the same block.

And finally, we’re both excited to try the newest healthy-food restaurant – Naive, located on Washington Street near NuLu and Butchertown. Plus, we speculate about hot spots that should be in Kevin Gibson’s new book about local eateries, and congratulate Linda Ruffenach on the publication of her new book, How to Be a Bourbon Badass.

Thanks for joining us for this special Pre-Derby episode. Follow us on Twitter @EatDrinkTalkLou, and check out the EatDrinkTalk.net web site for more.

Bourbon Women Association President Kerri Richardson and Carolyn McLean

Hat Model Carolyn McLean with Jana Metcalfe

EDT announces Rob Rice as new Executive Chef of Grassa Gramma set to open in June

 

This just in… Critically acclaimed Chef Rob Rice will lead the charge at Grassa Gramma, the new upscale Italian-American restaurant in full construction mode at Holiday Manor on Brownsboro Road. Rob sat down and dished with us about his years as a Corporate Chef Trainer alongside Wolfgang Puck and most recently his time spent opening Paul Wahlburg’s fine dining Italian restaurant in Boston.  So why Louisville for this Le Cordon Bleu graduate? What else, a Louisville girl!

Listen to the Podcast:

 

Guest host Dan Vonderheide fills in for Rick Redding who is sipping Mai Tai’s on the beach, and we vibe about our visit to Liege & Dairy – a new small batch ice creamery plus we have a good ‘ole debate on if local honey really cures seasonal allergies.

It’s a fun show! Please listen in and share it if you like it. Next week we have an extended hour-long podcast for first time Derby-goers and those seasoned Churchill Downs guests who will want to know about all the logistical changes at the track this year.

Bobby Benjamin’s Approach is Perfection; and more in Podcast #58

Of course it’s one of our favorite restaurants, precisely because of the time and attention Chef Bobby Benjamin takes to prepare the great food at Butchertown Grocery and Lola’s, the bar upstairs. Benjamin joined Rick and Carolyn in the studio for a lively conversation about his approach — which includes insisting on fresh ingredients and making sure his staff is properly trained.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot going on locally, including three restaurant openings – Couvillon in Germantown, the BBC in Theatre Square and a new Con Huevos in Holiday Manor. Carolyn recounts her Staycation at the Omni Hotel. We reminisce about our history with the Ehrler’s brand, which may make a comeback as part of an ice cream/drinks bar.

Carolyn has a positive movie review of the film A Quiet Place. At Ditto’s, Rick had the Heuser Special experience – an amazing Blackened Cod. And one of our favorite attractions, the Skystar Wheel, had a glitch which shut it down briefly. Plus we both spent Sunday watching the Masters.

Thanks for downloading the show. And please tell your friends – we’ll have all the scoop on Derby and springtime in the ‘Ville in the next few weeks.

EDT Welcomes Chef David Danielson in New Podcast

The return of the Eat Drink Talk podcast features the renowned Churchill Downs chef, David Danielson, who joined Carolyn and Rick at the Louisville.am studios. Danielson is a busy man always, but especially now as he has just six weeks or so to prepare for the crush of 160,000 hungry horseracing fans on the first Saturday in May. He’s also promoting his new book, written with Tim Laird,The Bourbon Country Cookbook: New Southern Entertaining: 95 Recipes and More from a Modern Kentucky Kitchen is being published just in time for the Derby, and Chef Danielson will be making several appearances around town to promote it.

As for the rest of the show, Rick and Carolyn speculate on the reasons behind the Galt House’s $80 million renovation, and conclude the reason is simple – competition. Rick’s looking forward to the new healthy option in NuLu, while Carolyn has a story about her experience at a New Jersey spot featuring ACAI.  She’s making plans to check out the Omni on her L.A. (Louisville Area) spring break, and Rick recounts his ride around the Skystar Wheel on the Waterfront. At a Maker’s Mark distillery tour, Rick learned what makes Maker’s 46 so special.

We’re both ready for warmer weather and $3 tacos at the upcoming, and first-ever, Taco Festival at Fourth Street Live!. Please tell your friends about the podcast, and join us every week as we dive into the dives, reminisce about the restaurants, and chat with the chefs that make Louisville so special. Find us on Twitter at @EatDrinkTalkLou, hit us up on our Eat Drink Talk Louisville Facebook page, and follow us daily at EatDrinkTalk.net.

Podcast 55 WITH Coffee King Leo Fante, and Bringing Bravazzi to the ‘Ville with Sarah Ross

The best restaurant and bar podcast in the city is back with a refreshing serving of news and personalities. First up, be on the lookout for mushroom-blended burgers at your favorite restaurants. Last week, Rick sampled four of them at Harvest, which hosted the kickoff for a nationwide James Beard Foundation sustainability initiative to reduce meat consumption by adding ground mushrooms to ground meats.

Steve reports that a new national study shows indie restaurants gaining market share vs. chains, though he suspects those operations aren’t making more profits because there are so many new players.

Watch for Highland Morning in St. Matthews to expand, and after years of planning the owners of Mozza Pi are planning a June opening in Anchorage. Last weekend, the Buy Local Fair was planned for Sunday, but on Friday, organizers listened to weather forecasts and canceled the event over severe weather concerns. As you’d expect, Sunday afternoon turned out gorgeous.

Rick’s guest is local coffee legend Leo Fante, who opened his unusual coffee shop on Grinstead Drive 11 weeks ago. The shop is a coffee lover’s dream, with special roasts made in-house, a nice menu and, yes, alcohol.

Steve calls the Bravazzi Hard Italian Soda he sampled “the best adult soda I’ve ever had.” So he talks with Sarah Ross, the company’s co-founder, who was in town promoting helping launch the product here. Tune in to hear all this and more on EatDrinkTalk.

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Leo Fante

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Sarah Ross

Jim McArthur’s Downtown Vision; Jason Smith’s Fight Against Parkinson’s

The best bar and restaurant podcast in the ‘Ville is back with more news and conversations sure to tingle your taste buds. We’ve got a report on the new Cuvee Wine Bar, a great new spot in the East End opened by one of the few Master Sommeliers in the region.

And remember that you heard it here first — Tony Palombino will convert the Boombozz Tap House in St. Matthews to a new concept called Waylon’s Feed and Firewater, a close cousin to his Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen downtown. We’re also seeing signs, including one that reads “Now Hiring” at the Mission Barbecue in St. Matthews, one of a projected 50 new restaurants scheduled to open in the city in 2017.

We’re looking forward to the Highlands Beer Fest behind the Mid-City Mall on Saturday. (Did you know it was the first modern-day brewfest in the city?) On Sunday, two of our favorite chefs — Harvest’s Patrick Roney and Jacob Coronado of the Red Herring — will face off in an Iron Chef-like competition at the Louisville Independent Business Association’s Buy Local Fair at the Water Tower.

Steve’s guest this week is Harvest Restaurant co-owner Jim McArthur, who has some unique insight into downtown’s changes, and how good it will be for business, when the Convention Center and other construction projects are complete in 2018. Rick sat down with veteran restaurant operator Jason Smith at Gordon Biersch to talk about one of Jason’s pet projects — the Denim & Diamonds fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease. Smith has early onset Parkinson’s, and talks about how he’s affected by the disease and why he’s so passionate about raising money for treatment.

In our Copper & Kings favorites segment, Steve chose to sample fried oysters at La Chasse, while Rick picked the eggplant Parmesan from the menu at Ciao, where he also enjoyed a memorable Old Fashioned. With many to choose from, Steve selected the Chateau de Puligny he tried during a press event at the new Cuvee Wine Table.

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Jason Smith at Gordon Biersch

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The Post-Derby Blues, Plus Valu Market’s John Bizzell and Drinks with Jared Schubert

We begin the second year of EatDrinkTalk podcasts with a show sure to get you motivated to sample some of the city’s finest cuisine and cocktails. Steve and Rick are, of course, in recovery mode after an event-filled Derby Week. We review Rick’s experience at the first Culinary Kickoff at the Ali Center, where three nationally recognized chefs offered up their best. The highlight for Steve was a trip aboard the Belle of Louisville, where he sampled special bottles from Four Roses. Later, he enjoyed more bourbon sampling at the Stitzel-Weller Affair on Derby Eve.

For our Copper & Kings favorites, both Rick and Steve went back to basics. Steve’s was a pizza on Derby night from The Post in Germantown. Rick took in a Derby tradition by having a hearty breakfast at Wagner’s Pharmacy. Drink-wise, both of us stuck to bourbon. Steve chose the Belle of Louisville version of Four Roses specialties, and complained that the experiment he tried — a whiskey and pickleback, was a huge fail. Rick picked an Old Fashioned off the Derby menu at the Village Anchor.

Our first guest has worked for the same company since he was 16. Maybe that’s why John Bizzell is so good at his job as manager of the Highlands ValuMarket, where he’s preparing for the Highlands Beer Fest on May 20. Steve’s guest, Jared Schubert, is an expert on Louisville’s cocktail scene as partner in the newly created Bauhaus, a beverage consultancy.

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A Year of Eats – plus Haymarket’s Matthew Landan and Mike Mays of Heine Bros

The finest restaurant and bar podcast in the ‘Ville wraps up its first year with a celebration of all things Derby. Steve was ultra-impressed with the new Red Herring, now open on Frankfort Avenue in a gorgeous space. Also new to town is ROC in the Highlands, boasting of Italian specialties the way an Italian grandma would make it. There’s a new look to the 2nd Floor clubhouse at Churchill Downs, where Rick got a chance to visit with executive chef Dave Danielson and sample some of the new track staples. Steve tried the new Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen on Hurstbourne, and has a new appreciation for the Morris Deli on Taylorsville Road. Also, we drove by St. Matthews Saturday night and saw the new Sullivan’s is open for partying.

Our first guest, the Haymarket Whiskey Bar’s Matthew Landan, has concocted an amazing new Old Rip Van Winkle Package with a dreamy price tag of $25,000 — which happens to be a good value when you see what it includes. Mike Mays opened the 14th and largest Heine Brothers coffee shop last week in Hikes Point, a part of town he’s been eyeing for years. With close to 250 employees, Mays has a keen eye for the coffee shop business.

This week’s Copper & Kings faves come from the aforementioned clubhouse at Churchill Downs, where Rick found the Hot Brown Pizza to be a cool new twist on a favorite taste. Steve’s Maki Shrimp salad was his top bite at Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen. Steve sampled a Sazerac at the Red Herring, while Rick tried a Chocolate Mint Jill-up at the Jill’s Wish charity event at Bowman Field.

Thanks for sticking with us for a full year, and here’s a shout-out to our great sponsors: Harvest Restaurant, the Eye Care Institute and Copper & Kings.

Matthew Landan

Matthew Landan

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Mike Mays at the new Heine Bros. in Hikes Point

Local Takes with Damaris Phillips; Talking Hogs with Barry Yates

We’re in the home stretch headed toward the beginning of Derby Week, so as the city’s best restaurant and bar podcasters, we’re here to fill you in on how restaurateurs here are preparing to host thousands of out-of-town guests. We start with Steve’s explanation of why so many operators are offering prix fixe menus, and as you might guess, part of the answer is staffing.

What new places are planning to open before the big day? Roc in the Highlands has made it, and it appears that the new Red Herring on Frankfort might welcome guests as early as this week. Across the street, we’re glad to see the Hilltop Tavern is back after some plumbing issues forced a weeks-long shutdown. Among Derby events to look forward to, the Jill’s Wish bash at Bowman Field is a deal at $65. But we’re not all about the fancy — we tell you about some excellent food at great prices in neighborhood spots the Back Door and Kern’s Korner. We also fill you in with more details on the big Bourbon & Beyond event, which has started a billboard campaign around town.

In the Copper & Kings Favorites segment, Steve picked a Kentucky Cuban sandwich at Monnik Brewing in Germantown, while Rick opted for the Hung Jury, a tasty burger at Sidebar during the post-Neil Diamond concert rush. At the Back Door, Steve selected an Old Forrester barrel pick, a bargain at $5.50 a pour. While at the Pints and Parkinson’s event at Fourth Street Live!, Rick sampled a Birra Sour at Birracibo, featuring Bulleit Bourbon, a Shock Top brew, lemon juice and orange bitters.

Our first guest, Damaris Phillips, has a bunch of TV projects in the works with the Food Network, but loves the restaurants and coffee shops in her hometown. Steve’s guest is Franklin County hog farmer Barry Yates, who will be providing the pig at this week’s Chef’s Table at Harvest.

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Barry Yates

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Damaris Phillips. Photo by Bill Brymer

Mixing it Up at Copper & Kings with Brandon O’Daniel; Pam Stallings Makes a Wish

The city’s best restaurant and bar podcast welcomes spring with some exciting news at several local hotspots. Let’s start with Steve’s visit to Fork & Barrel in the former Basa spot on Frankfort Ave. Steve says regular visitors to the former establishment won’t recognize the new one, and the elevated Southern cuisine is fantastic. We learned that the former Tom + Chee spot on Bardstown Road will become the home of Pho Café in June and we’re also reporting positive vibes at Chik’ N Me on Frankfort, where the bonito fries are a visual stunner.

Finally, we react to the initial lineup for September’s Bourbon & Beyond Festival, a music, bourbon and food festival featuring numerous big name bands, local chefs Edward Lee and Dean Corbett among others, as well as Tom Colicchio and other celeb chefs. We discuss concerns over the fact that distilleries have yet to sign on to the new show.

In our Favorites segment, Rick’s Quesorito at Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina drew praise for the volume of queso, while Steve selected the charred octopus at Fork & Barrel. Not only love the Depretador cocktail at Copper & Kings’s Mala Idea event, he indulged in a gin-based Emily’s Garden at Fork & Barrel as well.

Brandon O’Daniel, head distiller at Copper & Kings, discusses two new gins coming from the distillery. Pam Stallings, a franchisee of two local Salsarita’s, talks about the time and food she provides to local charities, including a very special event in late April.

Thanks to our sponsors — the Eye Care Institute, Harvest Restaurant and Copper & Kings for helping us make it to this, our 50th show.

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Brandon O’Daniel at Copper & Kings

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Pam Stallings at Salsarita’s