An Evening with Ruth Reichl and Kentucky Food

October 19, 2012

So far in 2012 I have had some excellent opportunities to see a few of my food, culture and travel heroes. (Yes, I tend to lump those topics all into the same group.) It started in February with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. It continued in the spring with Marion Nestle. And this fall it was Ruth Reichl.

Ruth was brought to the area through our local Kentucky Women’s Writers Conference, and I can’t begin to express how motivating her talk was. When your focus is food, health and agriculture it is easy to get swallowed up in the negativity of obesity statistics and food policy arguments.

Kentucky Chef Ouita Michel and Ruth Reichl

Ruth’s presentation brought me back to why I fell in love with food (and all that it encompasses) in the first place – the culture. Those things that surround what we eat, why we eat it and where these practices come from.

Long story short, if you have the chance to hear her speak, go. She will have you longing for fresh-made yogurt and grilled fish in a remote Greek village before all is said and done.

That particular evening included more than the wonderful presentation. We are moving into the time of year here when everyone is preparing for a celebration of  Kentucky food, and the people who grow and produce it!

You may have seen my post about the Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show last year. Well it’s that time of year again! The show goes on next Saturday, October 27th!

The wonderful organizers of that event invited Kentucky Food Bloggers out to a preview event and then provided us transportation to Ruth Reichl’s talk. Such a fun night of food!

We were greeted with all kinds of goodies – Kentucky cheeses, bourbon and wine to name a few. Chef Brigitte Nguyen was on sight cooking up some delicious tomato fritters. These bites were like a corn fritter meets hushpuppy meets a garden fresh tomato. So good!


I love promoting great Kentucky foods so here are the details of this year’s event. Along with table after table of Kentucky food vendors there are several new features this year that I can’t wait for.

The Traditional Food Craft Area is going to have demos of how to make traditional Kentucky foods including sorghum, apple cider and apple butter. Local area restaurants will be in Restaurant Row offering tasting plates for purchase. The special guest this year will be Tyler Florence.

And the event I’m most interested in is the “When Pigs Fly” demonstration. Local chefs will be addressing the lost art of butchery while teaching the home cook how to break down a whole hog!

I’ll have a recap after the event as I hope to meet many new Kentucky food producers.

So tell me. Do you have an event like this in your area?

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  • emily (a nutritionist eats) October 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

    You have had a good food year so far! I’m a little jealous! Sounds like lots of fun!

  • Andrea October 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    On my list of things to do is to take a butchering class so I can learn more about cuts of meat and how to do it. Totally cool that you’ll get to attend an event like that!