Andrew Zimmern and crew came to town this week to shoot a Kentucky episode of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods America.” Locally, Zimmern visited 610 Magnolia for a hunter’s dinner, Rye, Garage Bar, Wagner’s Pharmacy and Morris’ Deli along with Bourbon Barrel Foods and the Distilled Spirits Epicenter/Flavorman for the episode.
The program will also feature squirrel burgoo as well as barbecue in Owensboro.
“This is one of the few places that you can taste when you say the name,” says Zimmern of his time in Kentucky — his first stay here. “Corn, pork, wild game, sorghum and bourbon … you can actually think Kentucky and if you’ve ever been here, you can taste it, and I think that’s rare. … There’s so much food in American history here.”
“It’s gonna be good,” he says. “To me Louisville (is one of the cities that) has a story to tell … but they don’t need to jump up and crow. People who live here are very satisfied with what’s going on here. I find that sort of quiet confidence in cities attractive.”
Zimmern says he was surprised to see “how much DIY stuff is going on. A lot of people are picking up the traditional foods of their grandfathers.” Especially intrigued by regional hams, like some he saw at Garage Bar, he says, “Food transformation endlessly fascinates me. Which is why I’m excited about the (Bourbon Barrel Foods) soy sauce.”
The air date hasn’t been set yet, but Zimmer says his message is “that regardless of what you’re looking for, it’s here. Someone wants to know ‘where can I go outdoors and shoot a squirrel and eat it?’ … well, you can do that in Kentucky.”
More information: www. travelchannel.com/tv-shows/bizarre-foods.
‘Christmas Story’ inspires Seviche dinner
Seviche’s Dinner and Movie night this month will be “A Christmas Story.” “I like to show films that involve food, so ‘A Christmas Story’ was a natural for December,” says Anthony Lamas, chef at Seviche, 1538 Bardstown Road.
“It was a fun movie to watch at home with my family to get inspiration,” he says. “You’ll get a lot of hearty, nostalgic flavor that I have reinterpreted in my own way,” he says.
The characters in the movie go out for Chinese food and have Peking duck, which they refer to as Chinese turkey, leading the chef to feature duck on the menu. But before the duck makes its appearance on the table, a “breakfast” of egg, black truffles, bacon, toast and maple syrup will kick things off.
The mother in the movie makes meatloaf, so Lamas is spinning meatloaf two ways: a foie gras terrine with house-pickled vegetables and pistachio and cranberry mustard, and veal with Kennebec potato, local collards and potlikker gravy.
The evening’s “Christmas cookies” are ice cream sandwiches, banana, toffee, white chocolate dulce de leche and raspberry powder.
The movie will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 19 in the private dining room and will run as dinner is served. Seating is limited. Reservations may be made by calling (502) 473-8560.
Varanese to feature Chilean food and wine
Rustic Chilean dishes will share star billing with Italo Jofre, export manager and wine maker at Concha y Toro Winery, at Varanese Tuesday.
“It’s a great honor to have him (Jofre) travel from Chile to be our guest and to present his wines,” says John Varanese, chef of Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave. “It shows such pride in his wines. And guests will have the added bonus of Chilean wines still being underrated and a great value.”
The Concho y Toro Wine Dinner will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. Each of the six courses will be paired with a selection from the winery. The menu includes hamachi crudo and chili-apple slaw, Bibb lettuce topped with fried plantains, sweet and spicy pecans and melted brie, crispy roasted pork, brick-seared chicken served over saffron and currant basmati rice, spitfire roasted leg of lamb served with confit potatoes and goat cheese, and papaya-mango crepe.
The cost of the dinner is $65 plus tax and gratuity. More information: (502) 899-9904.
RIVUE to host Victorian Christmas dinner
Brian Riddle’s Christmas present to friends two years ago evolved into the RIVUE Dickens Dinner at The Galt House.
“I hosted a Victorian Christmas dinner party at my home that had all the traditional dishes,” says Riddle, executive chef at The Galt House. “My boss attended and suggested we do it at RIVUE. It was such a success last year that we’re repeating it. ... It looks like it’s going to become a new tradition.”
The dinner, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16, will feature servers dressed as Dickens characters and will end with horse-drawn carriage rides around downtown.
On the menu are chestnut soup, scalloped oysters, English salad, tableside-carved roast goose with stuffing and baked rib of beef, spice-glazed carrots, whipped new potatoes, roasted nutty Brussels sprouts, creamed pearl onions, curried rice and a Tiny Tim Trio of desserts: mincemeat pie, petit choux with caramel and Christmas pudding. Wassail will be served to guests as they board the carriages.
The cost of the dinner is $120 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations must be made by Monday. The Galt House is at 140 N. Fourth St. More information: (502) 568-4239.
Tea company plans holiday open house
Even tea lovers may find that there’s a lot they don’t know about tea. That’s why in May, Nick Spears and Nicolette Boese opened the Louisville Tea Company, which sells 120 types of loose-leaf tea and houses a cafe and tasting bar.
Their retail shop, 9305 New LaGrange Road, also has a plethora of tea goodies, such as teapots, spoons, books and thermometers.
If you aren’t aware of why a thermometer is essential to successful steeping, Tea 101 is class that will answer your questions. The Tea or Herbal class reveals the differences between tea and herbs, and Tea and Beauty explores tea’s anti-aging and skin health benefits.
“There are many misconceptions about tea,” says Spears. “And we find that some people are intimidated by it because there are so many choices.”
The Louisville Tea Company’s holiday open house, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, will help take the guesswork out of selecting tea while you enjoy free cups of tea, snacks and promotions.
Information: (502) 365-2516.
Bistro Le Relais (2817 Taylorsville Road) will be open for lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays during December. (502) 451-9020.
J. Gumbo’s has opened its newest location at 426 W. Jefferson St. (502) 583-6700.
The Oakroom at The Seelbach Hilton (500 S. Fourth St.) has received the AAA Five Diamond award. The restaurant has earned the coveted rating every year since 1998. (502) 585-3200.
La Coop: Bistro à Vins (732 W. Market St.) has a new sommelier: Aaron Wilson. (502) 410-2888.
Dish columnist Dana McMahan will return next Friday.