Kentucky has an amazing food scene, and the rest of the world is picking up on it. Between the Cooking Channel and Food Network, Kentucky has been featured on quite a few culinary TV shows. Watch these episodes to plan your next tasty escape to the Bluegrass State.
Alton Brown’s Road Eats
Alton Brown of Good Eats fame came to Richmond, Kentucky in early 2015 to film an episode of his “culinary variety” show at Eastern Kentucky University. While in the Commonwealth, he blogged about several area eateries he enjoyed visiting on AB Road Eats: Richmond and Lexington:
- For coffee - Alton gave props to the Dolce Veloce at North Lime Coffee & Donuts, the pay-it-forward concept at A Cup of Common Wealth and coffee brewed from bourbon barrel-aged beans from Common Grounds Coffee House.
- For breakfast - Alton suggests an old-school, not-too-sweet yeast doughnut (jelly-filled and glazed) from Spalding’s Bakery, which has been baking since 1929.
- For lunch - Alton visited the Lexington Diner and ordered the Kentucky Nachos; he also used some of the locally-sourced seasoned gyro meat from Babylon Gyros on the show.
- For After-Show food - A fan suggested Apollo Pizza and Alton raved about the toasted ravioli.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Did any local burger joints make the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives list of the 15 Best Burgers? According to Guy Fieri, Kentucky does have a yummy winner: the “Poor Boy” Double Burger from Lexington’s Parkette Drive-In. Stop in for a bite!
Man v. Food
Adam Richman, host of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food had the pleasure of experiencing the Kentucky Derby and praised the Hot Brown when visiting Louisville several years ago for the Comfy Cow Challenge. What is the Comfy Cow Challenge? This ice cream and dessert shop dares one individual to devour the entire Comfy Cow “monster” sundae in an hour. That’s 15 scoops of ice cream (of the challenger’s choice), 4 toppings, 2 types of chopped nuts, 8-10 cherries and whipped cream. Adam coached the Louisville-native contestant “Burrito Joe” Nicolai, who would’ve won if he had paced himself. Winners get a commemorative T-shirt and photo on the Wall of Fame; losers get their name added to the Wall of Shame.
Screaming for more ice cream? Here’s the scoop on the best cool summer treats from the Cooking Channel’s Ice Cream Nation–Bluegrass style. Seviche, a Louisville Latin Restaurant, serves a surprising signature dessert: The Avocado, which consists of avocado ice cream served in a chocolate shell with a chocolate covered dulche de leche bourbon ball pit. Yum!
Want to see more Kentucky highlights from the Cooking Channel and Food Network? Kentucky has hosted all of these cool culinary shows at some point:
On Best Thing I ever Ate, the Flourless Chocolate Cake from Cake Flour bakery won a mention. This dark, rich cake is made with 55 percent cocoa and a chocolate ganache.
On Bite This with Nadia G, the hostess chowed down on Eiderdown’s Spaetzle with a southern twist; Burgoo in the town of Harvest; and Milkwood’s smoked pork shoulder with Asian-inspired BBQ sauce.
The crew from Crave visited Gatton Farms in Lexington, known as the “oldest bacon smokehouse” in America
Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives hailed JJ McBrewster’s for its BBQ turkey w/melon sauce. Guy also loved Smokey Valley Truck Stop in Olive Hill for its “like Mama made” cooking and the fried-to-perfection frog legs at Virgil’s Café in Bellevue. Wallace Station Bakery in Versailles also got a mention for irresistible sandwiches on homemade bread.
Drinking Made Easy went to Louisville and raved about barrel aged beers from Bluegrass Brewing Co. Buck’s Restaurant and Bar was highlighted for being a great Bourbon bar on the bourbon trail, while Jockey Silk’s Bourbon Bar was praised for having the largest selection of bourbons (150+). The drink of choice on the Belle of Louisville steamboat was the Golden Antler (bourbon, peach schnapps, oj & ginger ale). The classiest bar was the elegant Old Seelbach, opened in 1905 and mentioned in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Cheers!
Eat Street devoted an episode to Louisville foods trucks and highlighted Lil Cheezers grilled cheese pleasures; wood-fired artisan pizza from Mozza Pi; and a gourmet brie and bacon burger and the Spanish burger with tapas toppings from The Grind Truck
Food Paradise featured Bon-Ton Mini Mart in Henderson for its “life-changing” fried chicken. Also featured were the mutton BBQ at Moonlite Bar-B-Q in Owensboro and the Hot Brown at Louisville’s Derby Café.
On Food Nation USA, Bobby Flay toured Labrot & Graham Distillery-Woodford Reserve, sampled country ham from Finchville Farms and enjoyed local produce recipes from Lilly’s Restaurant.
Man Fire Food cooked up a Kentucky Spring Celebration as host Roger Mooking enjoyed fire-grilled squash salad and herb-mopped chicken recipes from Marksbury Farm Market in Lancaster.
Throwdown with Bobby Flay once featured a Hot Brown Throwdown, won by Joe and John Castro of the Brown Hotel.
You’re probably hungry by now--but don’t just experience Kentucky through Food Network! Kentucky cuisine is something that you have to taste to believe. What delicious dining establishment will satisfy your hunger? Find restaurants in Kentucky and plan a tasty escape!