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Secrets of Louisville Chefs Live

By Kathleen Walls

Tim Laird mixes one of his signature drinks
as the cameraman tapes a close up.

It's a secret but I'll share it. Did you know you can be a guest on a wonderful culinary experience, a live taping of "Secrets of Louisville Chefs." You don't have to be in New York or Los Angeles. This is filmed with a live audience at Sullivan University's Kitchen Theater in Louisville, Kentucky.

This may be a local cable show but it rivals any Cooking or Food Channel program. It is co-hosted by Kevin Harned and Tim Laird, the CEO, by the way, that's Chief Entertaining Office. Three great local chefs prepared a dish right in front of you. Tim prepares a special cocktail to fit the personality of each chef.

Chef Lamas test the bourbon to be sure it's right for his dish.

The show I visited with a group of other travel journalists feat-ured Chefs Anthony Lamas, owner/chef of Seviche, John Castro, head chef at Winston's, Sullivan University's own rest-aurant and Joshua Moore of Volare. Each prepared an excellent dish that had us all drooling. Equally as much fun was watching the ever exuberant host, Tim Laird, perform and occasionally re-perform the same lines to get a more correct take. The behind the scenes stuff is as much fun as the on camera part.

Chef Lamas' chorizo and grits

As we entered Kitchen Stadium, we were offered a Seelbach Cocktails, a powerful concoction of bourbon, triple sec, bitters and champagne, and a trio of appetizers lest we become famished while watching the food prep and rush the stage for a sample. It consisted of a mini biscuit filled with roast lamb dressed with a jalapeno mint jelly, a tiny BLT on toast dressed with Louisville's own sauce-to-die-for, Benedictine, and a small hoe cake topped with roasted veggie pimento cheese. Just enough to keep us glued to our seats as the show progressed from delicious to devastatingly delectable.

Chef Castro assembles ingredients for a Not Brown

For Chef Lamas, Tim whipped up a delicious bourbon concoction with his secret ingredient, egg white froth topping, that made my mouth water.

Chef Lamas favors trad-itional Southern foods with an emphasis on farm to table but tweaks them with a touch of his native Latin cuisine. No wonder he is revered by Kentuckians (and anybody with taste buds) For us, he prepared a Chipotle Bourbon Chorizo The chorizo was served over cheddar cheese grits topped with an orange bourbon sauce with adobo chili puree.

The Not Brown and Not-A-Hattan

Chef John Castro gave us the reasoning behind his signature dish, the Not Brown. As most of you know, Louisville is famous for its Hot Brown. Chef Castro's brother, who is also a chef at the famous Brown Hotel's rest-aurant, prepares the famous open faced con-coction so John, not to be outdone, had created his own concoction that is different in many respects but rivals (and in my opinion surpasses) the more famous dish.

A sweet work of art by Chef Moore

Not surprisingly, Tim's signature drink for Chef Castro was a Not-A-Hattan, his own take on the famous cocktail with a similar name.

Our dessert chef was Josh Moore, famous not only for his food but his sugar creations. He brought along a jewel-like piece that resembled stained glass covered with flower petals. He is somewhat of a purist and as he stated he prefers his "bourbon with bour-bon." Tim accommodated by only inserting a huge ice cube in the bourbon for his signature drink.

Chef Moore puts together his Kentucky Jam Cake

Chef Moore's contribution was a deceptively simple creation, a Kentucky Jam Cake. It was made with black walnuts and pecans and a jar of jam. He topped the cake with a caramel icing.


This show aired Sunday, April 1. You can view it at http://www.newlocaltv.com/n_temp.php?theme=SecretsofLouisville Chefs Live/.

After the taping, we were all ushered into Sullivan University's own Winston's Restaurant, one of the foremost culinary training restaurants in the country. There each guest chef prepared the same dish he had just done on the show for us. It was a fantastic experience. Anyone can request a complementary guest seat at Kitchen Stadium by visiting the website.

Chef Anthony Lamas~Chorizo Over Chipolte Cheddar Grits


  • 2lbs heritage breed pork shoulder or butt
  • 1/2 lb pork fat
  • 2 oz cumin
  • 2oz coriander
  • 2 oz chile powder
  • 2 oz fresh garlic
  • 2 oz kosher salt
  • 2 oz dried oregano
  • 2 oz fresh cilantro
  • 2 oz black pepper
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz red wine vinegar
  • 4 oz cold water

Mix all ingredients above and grind half witha 1/2 grinder blade. (grind into forxen mixer bowl to keep cool) Grind second half wiht 3/16 blade. (shortcut: buy ground pork and mix with seasonings.)

Mix both mixtures together. add water as needed until mixture is sticky. stuff into pork casings. Make 4 inch links and refrigerate.

  • onions
  • carrots
  • bay leaf
  • celery
  • Locally made dark beer

Boil water with onions, carrots, bay leaf, celery and beer. Blanch links in thie for 5 minues. Finish cooking on grill.


  • 1 cup Weisenberger stone ground grits
  • 3 cups water
  • bay leaf
  • chicken stock
  • 1/2 half cup heavy cream
  • chipolte in adobo (pureed)
  • 1 to 2 cups Kenny's cheddar cheese

Boil liquid. Slowely add grits whle stirring frequently. Cookon low heat for 45 minutes until grits becvomes soft. Add 1/4 cup chipolte with adobe. Add heavy cream an dfold in cheese. Season wiht white pepper and kosher salt to taste.

Serve chorizo links over grits and top wiht demi glaze and local micro greens.

Chef John Castro~Not Brown

(Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp, Crab, Bacon, Spinach, Mornay)
Recipe for 4 people, Chef John Castro

Shopping List

  • Green Tomatoes, whole ? 2
  • Rock Shrimp (35-40 Shrimp) ? 1 lb
  • Dungeness Crab ? 3/4 lb
  • Baby Spinach ? 4 cups
  • Cherry Tomatoes ? 12
  • Bacon ? 8 slices
  • Large Shrimp (optional for garnish) ? 8
  • Milk ? 3 cups
  • Cream ? 2 cups
  • Butter ? 2 ounces, plus an additional 2 ounces for cooking
  • Flour ? 2 ounces for roux, plus an additional 2 cups for breading
  • Gruyere Cheese (or Swiss), shredded ? 2 cups plus an additional half cup for Not Brown Assembly
  • Eggs ? 4
  • Panko Breadcrumbs ? 2 cup
  • Vegetable Oil ? 4 cups (refer to Green Tomato Frying Step)


Mornay (cheese gravy)

•  Melt 2 ounces (by weight) of butter in pan, add 2 ounces of flour. Stir constantly until mixture begins to take some color and smell slightly nutty and forms a blond roux.

•  Incorporate 3 cups milk into roux, and whisk to combine, bring to a simmer and allow to simmer until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

•  Add 2 cups cheese and 2 cups cream, and continue to whisk until all cheese has melted. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

•  Store in refrigerator until needed ? can be made several days in advance.

Green Tomatoes

•  Slice green tomatoes at ¼ inch, making sure to have at least 8 slices.

•  Bread green tomatoes using the 3-step breading procedure outlined as follows:

•  Coat green tomato slice in seasoned flour

•  Then coat in egg wash (raw whole eggs whisked, with a touch of water)

•  Then toss in panko breadcrumbs until coated

•  Store in refrigerator until required (can be made up to 1 day ahead)


cook all 8 slices of bacon ahead of time, and chop into small pieces.
Store in refrigerator until needed.

Cherry Tomatoes
cut in half, in order to have 24 halves ? reserve until needed

Cooking and Assembly:

•  Pour vegetable oil into pot and heat to 350 degrees (use a thermometer to measure temperature) Be very careful, oil is both very hot and flammable.

•  Deep Fat Fry Green Tomatoes in 350 degree oil until brown and crispy on all sides. Remove, season, and drain on paper towel.

•  Add 2 ounces of butter to large sauté pan, heat.

•  Add 1 pound of rock shrimp to pan and sauté until almost done.

•  Add 12 ounces of crab to pan, and sauté until both crab and shrimp are thoroughly cooked.

•  Add 1 quart of Mornay to seafood, as well as 4 cups of spinach.

•  Season with salt and pepper, and stir. Continue cooking until all spinach has begun to wilt.

•  Assemble Green Tomatoes in oven proof bowls using the following method: Place approximately 1/8 of your seafood sauce into the bottom of 4 bowls. Place 1 green tomato slice in the center. Top green tomato with a mound of cooked shrimp/crab/spinach. Place 2nd green tomato slice directly on top of seafood, forming a tower. Divide remaining sauce amongst all 4 bowls, pouring over and around the green tomatoes. Top with cherry tomato halves, slices of chopped bacon, and sprinkle with shredded gruyere cheese. Place in oven under broiler for approximately 3 minutes until cheese begins to bubble and brown.

•  Remove from oven and serve in bowl ? bowls will be very hot.


Chef Josh Moore~Kentucky Jam Cake

  • 1 1/3 cups black raspberry jam
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegatable oil
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1`tsb salt
  • 1 cup black walnuts


Preheat over to 325%. Mix dry ingredients in biowl by hand until blended. Add remainding ingredients and mix well. Pour into buttered Bundt cake pan or layer pans and bake 45 to 50 minutes or iuntil a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and unmold.

Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Cook butter, brown sugar and cream until it comes to a boil. Let boil two minutes. Put in mixer, add powdered sugar and stir until incorporated. Pour hiot frosting mix over cake.

Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.


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