New Dinner Styles at Holly Hill Inn

Holly Hill Inn sign, Midway, Kentucky

Holly Hill Inn sign, Midway, Kentucky

Just when we are ready for change, Chef Ouita Michel brings it, fresh in 2012. Five weekends, five different dinner styles, each honoring a celebrated woman chef: It's the new Winter Dinner Club series at Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Kentucky.

“We’ve cooked with and/or admired these chefs throughout our careers,” Chef Ouita said. “The food we are preparing speaks comfort, which we yearn for in winter.” Like Michel, whose commitment to Kentucky ingredients inspires other chefs and diners alike, each of the chefs whose food styles will be honored in the 2012 series roots her work in the food of a specific place.

Read the full menus and Chef Ouita's tasting notes at 2012 HHI Winter Dinner Club (pdf, 61KB).

Here is the schedule and the dinner descriptions Holly Hill Inn released.

  • January 6-7, inspired by Susan Spicer of Bayona and Ella Brennan’s Commander’s Palace in New Orleans: Epiphany and Mardi Gras Celebration. Susan Spicer, author of Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer’s New Orleans, has been cooking in New Orleans almost continuously since 1979. She owns Bayona and MONDA restaurants in New Orleans. Ella Brennan is the matriarch of the New Orleans family that owns 12 renowned restaurants, and is author of The Commander’s Palace New Orleans Cookbook.
  • January 13-14, inspired by Alice Waters: Winter Vegetarian Feast. Chef Ouita cooked for Alice Waters both at Holly Hill Inn and at Smith-Berry Winery in Henry County, and has made a countless number of her recipes. Waters serves her seasonal prix fixe menus like she is having a dinner party for friends, with hospitality and attention to detail.
  • January 20-21, inspired by Lidia Bastianich: Italian Homeland. Lidia Bastianich is on television, in bookstores and on store shelves with her eponymous show, cookbooks and pastas and sauces. Her cooking reflects her Northern Italian heritage with American influences, “the food of Italian-American immigrants, the food of adaptation,” she said.
  • January 27-28, inspired by Edna Lewis: Southern Comfort. Virginia native Edna Lewis is revered as the expert on Southern cooking. Her four cookbooks include In Pursuit of FlavorandThe Taste of Country Cooking, written with her longtime friend Atlanta chef Scott Peacock. She founded the Society for the Revival and Preservation of Southern Food, which, according to the New York Times, was dedicated in part to ensuring that cooks do not forget to use lard.
  • February 3-4, inspired by Madhur Jaffrey: The Silk Road Returns to Midway. Madhur Jaffrey is an award-winning actress as well as a revered authority on Indian food. She is the author of 15 cookbooks and created a number of television and radio programs on Indian cookery. Her books spirit Chef Ouita away to the Far East, exploring the spice markets and sliding breads into clay ovens. This will be Ouita’s second Indian feast; her first was in 2002 at Holly Hill Inn with with guest chef Ismail Merchant, the filmmaker. Jaffrey starred in several Merchant-Ivory movies.

The Winter Dinner Club series offers something new and interesting in central Kentucky's unfolding food scene, while continuing Holly Hill Inn's deep commitment to cooking with the finest Kentucky ingredients. Savoring Kentucky applauds Ouita and Chris Michel's progressive ways of freshening the options at their venerable, beloved institution. We hope the Winter Dinner Club, with its fixed price menus, entices many new diners to discover the wonders available at this lovely, peaceful Midway institution.

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