Cookin' Up Kentucky

Scenes from Cookin' Up Kentucky Chef Jacob Graves and his "Cookin' Up Kentucky" fresh air restaurant at the Saturday Lexington Farmers Market makes me realize how puny my wishes have been with regard to places to eat at the Market. For years I have noted what a destination the Market is. People bring their pleasure principles with them: slow Saturday-paced approaches to friends and neighbors, longish talks, lots of dogs and children (and balloons), music everywhere, colors, smells, sensual delights. I have believed many more people would extend their stays downtown and increase their enjoyment of the Market if only there were more places to eat and drink that suited them. We have needed more good brunch places near the Market, particularly.

I never envisioned Cookin' Up Kentucky, though, and I should have. Chef Graves makes his offerings from what farmers bring to the Market each week, with nearby Sunrise Bakery playing a supporting role. The Evans Orchard strawberry crepes with elegant custard made from Elmwood Stock Farm eggs delighted me a couple of Saturdays in a row. I appreciated the handmade food. I saw others enjoying Sunrise Bakery biscuits with Stone Cross Farm sausage, or with the Nickels's Fayette County honey and Amish butter from the Market. Fried green tomato sandwiches have been calling my name, but I have not answered yet. I will, if Chef Graves continues offering them.

Barbeque is also cooking in the Saturday Market these days, and there are smaller samples of good things at lovely Oliva Bella, all the cheese purveyors, and more. I like that more people have more reasons now to come downtown and stay longer. Cookin' Up Kentucky is a huge positive step for Lexington Farmers Market and for our downtown.

I applaud Chef Graves for his fine food that showcases the amazing tastes that come from our region's soil, sun, and water. I wish Cookin' Up Kentucky every success.