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    Eat & Swig

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    Ming Pu, the chef at the 502 Bar & Bistro in Norton Commons, has cooked at the famed James Beard House in New York twice already. And on Jan. 23, he’s taking up seven other Louisville food and spirits pros to make a “modern Kentucky” dinner. Expect things from Pu (and his Taiwanese heritage) like fried quail with Bourbon Barrel Foods smoked paprika and Hokkaido scallops.

    We talked to three of the participating chefs.

    The Fat Lamb, 2011 Grinstead Drive

    “If you bring up lamb in Kentucky,” Menear says, “everybody assumes mutton, which is an adult lamb — or the sheep, essentially. And people don’t realize that Kentucky had a really, really strong lamb industry for a while, and that’s something that’s trying to make a comeback. We’re going to use a local farmer, Freedom Run Farm, that supplies just amazing lamb. I’m from Minnesota, so I’m using some Kentucky products with a little bit of some Minnesota stuff that reminds me of home, like beets and yogurt.”

    The Pine Room, 6325 River Road

    “I’ll be doing pork belly for my hors d’oeuvre with hoppin’ John, which is kind of like a Southern black-eyed peas,” Moran says. “And then for my main course I’m going to do local Kentucky sorghum with guajillo (chili), braised veal cheek with heirloom young vegetables and Jerusalem artichokes.”

    bar Vetti, 800 S. Fourth St.

    “We like to think of ourselves as a regional Italian restaurant,” McCabe says, “but we look at it as the region we’re in is in Kentucky, so we’re using country ham instead of importing prosciutto and we’ve got a really awesome country sausage that we actually found at a gas station. I’ll be curing salmon lightly in soy leaves that have been fermented for a year in a bourbon barrel, and then that gets pressed and then the liquid that comes off is soy sauce. I’m also doing a ‘potlicker’ sauce by braising collard greens. And then there’s some country ham skins and Parmesan rinds and more Kentucky soy sauce.”

    This originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

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