The smoke is rolling today at Red Barn Kitchen, where executive chef Reed Johnson is beginning a monthly series of whole hog barbecues tonight, Jan. 26!

Eat burgers, drink bourbon, help chef Wilburn: Last month, Varanese sous chef Tom Wilburn suffered an aneurism and has not been able to work since. Without income, his medical bills are mounting and he needs help. So his boss, owner John Varanese, has put together a fundraiser to help a guy who’s served on that restaurant’s staff since it opened nearly 10 years ago.

Varanese sous chef Tom Wilburn with former Varanese bartender, Felicia Corbett in 2014.
Varanese sous chef Tom Wilburn with former Varanese bartender, Felicia Corbett, in 2014.

On Sunday, Jan. 29 and Monday, Jan. 30, Varanese will donate $20 from every Chef John’s signature V Burger ($25) sold to a fund for Wilburn. Even Maker’s Mark is getting involved, selling a special $10 bourbon cocktail in a keepsake glass, and donating all proceeds from those sales to Wilbur’s fund. It’s expected there’ll be a crowd on hand, so reservations are recommended. Call 502-899-9904 or email letsdine@varanese.com to get a seat.

Going whole hog every month at Red Barn Kitchen: Before Reed Johnson became executive chef at Red Barn Kitchen, he was a hardcore, whole-hog barbecuer. In December, he smoked a whole hog at RBK, and the meal was so popular, he’s now doing it monthly. That’s special because 1. whole hog cooking is hard to do well, 2. a blessing to eat, and 3. it gives diners a chance to taste the animal cooked whole rather than fabricated into parts. Trust me, it tastes better for many reasons, especially when you mix all the pieces-parts on one plate. (My advice, ask for jowl meat and middlin’s.) This year’s first event is tonight, Jan. 26, and it’ll recur every subsequent last Thursday of the month. For a mere $15, you get all you can eat, slow-cooked for 15+ hours piggy goodness. Show up and dig in!

Diet now, save room for APRON Dine Around: Eat Drink Talk loves supporting APRON, the Louisville non-profit group that raises funds to support restaurant employees—like Tom Wilburn—who find themselves burdened by overwhelming medical issues. Annually, APRON conducts a dine around in which some 40 local independent restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds to APRON. This year, it’s Wednesday, Feb. 8, so here’s another reason for sticking to your diet resolution through Feb. 7, cutting loose the day of the dine around, then hopping back on the wagon Feb. 9. Click here for the list of participating restaurants, and tune in to the podcast next Tuesday when Rick Redding interviews an APRON representative for details.

Bring it on, people! Gospel Bird chef-owner Eric Morris has guts. Or maybe he’s crazy. He’s just started a once-a-month dinner dubbed The People vs. Eric Morris, where he does all the cooking by himself. According to his Facebook page, the grub won’t be from Gospel Bird’s menu, rather the lineup will be different with each dinner, sold a la carte and affordably. The most recent one was Jan. 23, so look for the next one to be Feb. 20. He’s daring you, people, so go put him in the weeds!

$1 oysters are a hit at Levee: Must have been four people show up in my Facebook feed recently going ga-ga over the $1 oyster bargain every Wednesday at Levee at the River House. It must be a bumper crop this year for those delicious bivalves because some other spots around town, such as Rye on Market, have offered similarly priced bargains.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail surpasses 1 million visitors: Whodathunk it? People coming from everywhere to see bourbon made and aged and drink it on those hallowed distillery grounds—in record numbers in 2016. According to the Kentucky Distillers Association, 888,733 fans visited the state’s nine large distilleries last year, while another 177,228 visited our 11 craft distilleries. The grand total was 1,065,961, which represents 300 percent growth in 10 years. I’ll drink to that!

SHARE
Previous articleOld Louisville Operator Gets the Wet Vote Out for his Pizza Joint
Next articleSchnatter Talks Up “Papa” and Pizza at GLI Meeting
Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, WhiskeyWash.com and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

64 COMMENTS

  1. I got this site from my buddy who told me concerning this site and now this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative
    articles here.

  2. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your weblog.
    You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange
    for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested.
    Many thanks!

  3. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
    it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to
    read?

  4. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced
    but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement.
    Do you know any methods to help reduce content from being ripped
    off? I’d really appreciate it.

  5. I just want to say I’m newbie to blogging and site-building and actually enjoyed your page. Probably I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You certainly come with terrific article content. Cheers for sharing your website page.

  6. Greate article. Keep posting such kind of information on your
    site. Im really impressed by it.
    Hello there, You have done an incredible job.
    I will definitely digg it and in my view recommend to my friends.

    I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

  7. Excellent items from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff prior to and you’re just too magnificent. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way during which you assert it. You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to stay it wise. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is really a tremendous web site.|

  8. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be
    happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish
    to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more things about it!

  9. Hi! Quick question that’s completely off topic.

    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone4.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Cheers!

  10. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along with your site in web explorer, might check this?
    IE nonetheless is the market leader and
    a big section of people will omit your wonderful writing due to
    this problem.

  11. After i initially commented I look to acquire clicked the -Notify me when new comments are included- checkbox and To any extent further each time a comment is extra I recieve 4 e-mail with the exact same remark. Is there a way you can clear away me from that support? Several thanks!

LEAVE A REPLY