What's Stirring, April 21, 2014

Good things happen—including the return of cold, tired, wonderful growers to our farmers' markets, and Savoring Kentucky wants you to know about them. Here Velvet and Mark Henkle of Henkle's Herbs & Heirlooms talk tomatoes with an interested customer at the Lexington Farmers Market.

> In wonderful news, Bluegrass Farmers Market recently announced it will open a second market location on May 10 at Azur Restaurant, 3470 Lakecrest Circle in Lexington's Beaumont Centre. Hours at the Azur location, once that Market opens on May 14, will be Saturdays from 9 AM–2 PM and Thursdays from 3 PM–6 PM. The original location, near Pedal the Planet at 3450 Richmond Road, has opened for the season on Saturdays from 9 AM–2 PM and Tuesdays from 3 PM–6 PM. Bluegrass Farmers Market distinguishes itself by selling only locally grown foods a Kentucky Proud vendors.

> May 3: Berea College Farm Store's Grand Opening. Read details here. Note the call for new vendors. It's possible a few horses may run around a track in Louisville later that day, but you'll have time to celebrate the Farm Store opening, pick up good foods for snacking, and still be in front of a screen in time to tear up just when the song says "Weep no more."

> While we are on Derby, an amusement. The otherwise peerless Eleven Madison Park restaurant in NYC made me laugh out loud—or a Grub Street item about the Restaurant's planned Derby part did. The ticket cost alone might have merited a wry grin, but something else brought the laugh. See what you think:

On May 3, Eleven Madison Park will once again open its doors to Kentucky Derby revelers, complete with authentic Kentucky cuisine (hushpuppies, fried chicken and waffles, snow cones). Tickets are $225 and include juleps and other cocktails. [Grub Street post, March 25, 2014]

> Maysville, the gestures-toward-Kentucky-if-you-think-we're-southern NYC restaurant, also plans a Derby party, again according to Grub Street:

Maysville will host a Kentucky Derby party on May 3 with a $75 per person barbecue feast complete with deviled eggs, crispy grits, and more. Call 646-490-8240 to book. [Grub Street post, April 18, 2014]

> Closer to home, West Virginians want good food from local growers on their restaurant tables, according to Farm to Table Food Trend Spurring Business Opportunities in the Mountain State, a Charleston Gazette story. This is good news for growers and diners. About those diners and their interests: let us guess that, like Kentuckians, many in the Mountain State simply want restaurant food to approach the goodness they bring to their own tables from their own gardens.

> Chef Ouita Michel, Savoring Kentucky's thought leader and dear friend, won two appropriate honors recently. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture awarded her the Thomas Poe Cooper Farm Leadership Award, recognizing her for championing local food and agricultural diversification since she launched her first restaurant, and carrying that commitment through at each of the restaurants—now five—that make up the Holly Hill Inn restaurant family.

> In addition, the African American and Africana Studies program at the University of Kentucky chose Ouita to deliver the first Nelson Mandela Lecture, actually a conversation between Ouita and Professor Melynda Price, the AAAS Director. You can listen to this talk, here! I so appreciate the organizer for recording and posting this intriguing event. Here's how the organizers describe Sustaining Good Community, a Conversation with Ouita Michel, the Nelson Mandela Lecture Series:

What do Ouita Michel, Nelson Mandela, and food have in common? In this first installment of the Nelson Mendela Lecture Series, Ouita Michel, local chef and restaurant owner, speaks about her own commitment to building community. In this lecture, Ouita Michel and Melynda Price, Director of the African American and Africana Studies program, discuss Michel’s efforts to maintain cultural identity, the importance of names, and the values of diversity.

> July 10-13, high summer, organizers near Berea, Kentucky offer the Whippoorwill Festival: Skills for Earth Friendly Living.

> Finally, so we can learn more about the kinds of work we may eventually do in Kentucky and elsewhere to support of a strong regional food economy, enjoy the latest newsletter from the Abundance Foundation in North Carolina.

Sponsors included in this post: the Holly Hill Inn Family of Restaurants, including Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station, Midway School Bakery, and Windy Corner Market. See more sponsors here and in the site footer.

Rona RobertsComment