A Headscratcher: We really enjoyed last week’s EDT interview with Kevin Grangier, the creative thinker behind Belle Noble Entertainment Group, which includes the Village Anchor, Le Moo and Kevin’s Picnic. So I don’t doubt Grangier knows what he’s doing, but still it’s hard to figure this week’s announcement that he’s hired C-J restaurant critic Nancy Miller as Director of Training and Restaurant Development.
Miller has been with the C-J for two years. Her books include the popular “Secrets of Louisville Chefs” and similar titles in two other cities. According to a release sent out by Grangier’s company, Miller did P.R. for New York restaurants prior to moving to Louisville. In the release, Grangier calls it a “strategic move” that support his guests’ “quality dining experience.”
But the job at Belle Noble encompasses, for one, employee training, and that would seem to be a stretch for a food critic. The good news is Miller may help Grangier develop and execute more new restaurant concepts.
Speaking of which, Miller’s tenure at the C-J was not without controversy. In 2014, she aroused the ire of the local breastfeeding community with a negative comment about that topic in a review of Palermo Viejo. But her departure from the C-J leaves me wondering if “Restaurant Critic” will go the way of so many other titles there — such as “TV Critic” and “Metro Columnist” and even “Beat Reporter.”
Partying in the Street: There’s nothing like a rocking’ street festival, so I’m making plans to get to South Preston, near the New Vintage and Zanzibar, on Aug. 27. The Seven Sense Festival will feature 40 bands on four stages in one day, but I really like the fact that the sponsors include makers of bourbon, vodka, tequila and craft beers, all of which will be available. Plus at least eight food trucks. Hear about it from one of the organizers, Chris Nelson, on this week’s EDT podcast.
Did Someone Say Free BBQ?: Owner Mark Weatherholt is a barbecue guy. Formerly operating in Okolona as a Bootleg Barbecue franchisee, he’s gone independent with Holy Smokes BBQ on Preston. The spot has been open since July, but is celebrating its grand opening this weekend with free pork sandwiches and prizes!
FoodPort Critics: I wasn’t there, but it looks like a very small minority of West Enders are critical of the West Louisville Food Port project and a $7 million federal loan awarded to it, which promises to bring food-related businesses and jobs to a poor part of the city. Here’s the best quote from a story in Insider Louisville: “Colored folk are tired of being colonized by people outside our community. …I don’t know how you have the nerve and audacity to come down here and propose such a ludicrous idea to us.”