TRUE GRITS 20 QUESTIONS WITH FOOD AUTHOR RONNI LUNDY
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True Grits ...
20 questions with food author Ronni Lundy
“Cook with curiosity. Serve it up with love.” —Ronni Lundy’s culinary philosophy
f you’re already a fan of Kentucky native and food writer Ronni Lundy, you know not to pick up her new book, Sorghum’s Savor, expecting a conventional “cookbook.” The books that came before it — although they contain wondrous recipes — aren’t cookbooks either (Butter Beans to Blackberries; The Festive Table; and Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken.) Her writing, then as now, would be better characterized as part anthropology, sociology, family history, travelogue, and part southern literary renaissance. She responds, “I would have to own that while I love to cook, recipe is not my primary interest in writing about food. I am profoundly grateful to those for whom it is and for their work, which informs mine, and I try to live up to good practice and honor great cooking when it comes to writing recipes, but I am as interested as much in why we are doing what we’re doing when we stand at the stove as the how. And that interest is personal, political, sociological and extremely historical. The great thing in writing about food (and the secret subtext hidden in many recipes) is its revelation of the voices of people who traditionally have not been consulted when history is told—even their own history. Recipe and cookbooks are where we hear what women’s lives were actually like in different eras, and what constituted daily life for the family. If you want to look at it in those terms, in food we learn the experiences of the humble, the poor and the outcast as well as those who have it made. Food is an easy door into
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strange cultures and stories. Plus you get to eat while you’re doing all that research. “With Sorghum’s Savor, my interest in its past had to do with discovering why sorghum syrup—once made all across the continent—has persisted as a process and a beloved flavor in the mountain south when it has faded elsewhere. There were surprising lessons of politics and economics I discovered, but also there was the revelation of an ethos of independence, and the appreciation of complexity in taste (mixing your sweet with a little bitter and tart) that inform my understanding of the culture I come from. Maybe you could say that’s poetry in there, as well, then.” She incorporates a few non-traditional recipe options for sorghum in the new book (Rosh Hashanah bread, anyone?). Asked about other sorghum surprises she’s discovered along the way, she says they weren’t all unexpected. “I knew it worked in Japanese, Korean and Chinese dishes because I’d been doing that for some
time. I was surprised and delighted how beautifully it worked with Bengali recipes and with masala in general. That’s logical, of course, when you consider that jaggery is a traditional sweetener across India and is basically sugar without the molasses removed. We’re working in the same general flavor palate. “I also was intrigued to find it working with tequila. Bourbon was a given for me. I mean, they’re practically cousins, but the Sour-garita that Anna Bogle and Amelia Kirby came up with at Summit City Lounge in Whitesburg actually made me want to drink it. And I can tell you that tequila and I haven’t been on speaking terms for decades.” In the book, she describes sorghum syrup as having “what my mother would have called ‘a whang to it.’ That’s the slightly sour taste that cozies up perfectly with the intense sweet of sorghum when it first hits the mouth. It resolves into a buttery resonance, what chefs like to call
”Sugar is a soprano; honey is alto; maple
syrup is tenor; sorghum is baritone. Imagine
your recipe sung in a deeper voice. Sound
like a good idea? Use sorghum then.”
sorghum’s umami…” Which leads to questions about all the interesting ways she’s found to make the “whang” work for a dish. “I’m my mother’s daughter,” she says, “so ‘whang’ is always high on my list of great attributes for a food. I often put a spoonful of sorghum in a pot of something knowing
On the Cover
A native of Corbin, Kentucky, RONNI LUNDY grew up in Louisville and is the author of Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken; The Festive Table; Butter Beans to Blackberries: Recipes from a Southern Garden; and Sorghumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Savor. She has served as a music and food critic at Louisvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Courier Journal;, editor of Louisville Magazine and editor of Cornbread Nation 3: Foods of the Mountain South. She has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance. She is currently at work on Victuals, to be published in 2017. 5 aceweekly.com July 2015
On the Cover “It’s good to eat at other tables. It broadens
not just your repertoire, but your senses and
expectations. It also gives you a perspective and appreciation of where you come from.”
you will never taste it flavor forward, but it will resonate in the overall experience. This works really nicely when cooking with meat, particularly in marinades. “Sometimes you don’t want that, though. Here’s how to think of it in musical terms: Sugar is a soprano; honey is alto; maple syrup is tenor sorghum is baritone. Imagine your recipe sung in a deeper voice. Sound like a good idea? Use sorghum then.” Sorghum’s Savor includes Chef Edward Lee’s famous recipe for sorghum and grits ice cream. Asked to share anecdotes about one of our favorite chefs, she laughs, “You’re still a family newspaper, right?” “Actually, here’s the story that sums up so much of what I love about that man and his approach to his work and life. I’m working on a new book, Victuals, about what’s happening in Appalachian foodways right now. It’s part cookbook, part history, part storytelling and travelogue (surprise!) and so for the last year I’ve been traveling the southern Appalachian region to find out some of what’s going on. (I couldn’t come close to finding out all, because this scene is rocking in the most wonderful ways possible.) Ed asked if he could ride shotgun on a trip because he is incredibly curious about food and pretty much everything else. “So I told Ed I had two trips coming up that he could choose from: On one, I knew
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what I was getting into, had mapped the stops pretty carefully and could guarantee it would be interesting and informative and fun. On the other I was just planning to get in the Chevy Astro Van and drive in the direction of a clue I had about a potential nascent scene in a little West Virginia town. I had a few stops along the way where I wanted to check up on things I’d noted 10-15 years ago, and a few other clues, but it was largely over unknown territory and might not yield a damn thing. I don’t have to tell you which one he picked, do I?”
The Tao of Cornbread,” her landmark Esquire essay, began with the line, “If God had meant for cornbread to have sugar in it, he’d have called it cake,” and it’s repeated in the new book. Does she still encounter resistance? “Sure!” she says, “But what’s been much more interesting to me than ‘resistance’ (after all, de gustibus) has been conversations this statement has provoked in recent years with colleagues writing about what is called ‘soul food’ and the black experience at the table in the U.S. Specifically, but not exclusively, I’ve had an interesting exchange with Adrian Miller at the time he was writing his terrific, Beard Award winning book, Soul Food. Adrian points out that actually a lot of black southern cooks added sugar to their
cornbread in response to the fact that they were unable to access the expensive ingredients that made the elaborate sweets they cooked in the Big House during slavery, and after as domestics. That touch of sweetness in the bread signified freedom, Adrian said. It was fascinating to me because, as a southern Appalachian, it’s the very chosen absence of sugar in the bread that tastes of freedom to us— independence from a store-bought product or ‘being beholden.’ “From an economic/historical culinary standpoint, I also understand that as cornmeal has become increasingly refined in commercial production of tasteless corn and the industrial aspects of grinding— deracinated, as it were—cooks have felt the need to add something to up the levels of taste. If you have a chance to land a bag of Susanna Lein’s whole grain cornmeal from Salamander Springs down by Berea (she sells at the farmers market there on Saturdays, I believe) and a bag of meal from Weisenberger in Midway and bake a little skillet of each along with one of a relatively nice white mass produced meal from the grocery, you’ll be amazed at the vast differences, and saddened at what’s missing in the grocery meal. “One other interesting conversation that comes up are with genuine southerners, and mountain southerners, whose Mamas did make sweetened cornbread because they used those incredibly cheap and easy Jiffy mixes. For them, sweetened cornbread tastes like home. And there is a powerful lesson there in terms of the economics of food (it’s much cheaper to buy a box of pre-sweetened and leavened Jiffy than any of the options I gave you) and also the changing roles of women over the last century. So I do get it. But I still don’t ever, will never put and really don’t like the taste of sweetening in cornbread.”
undy has enjoyed a nomad’s life, having lived in Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico, Tennessee, North Carolina, and points in between (once undertaking 23 moves in a two-year span). Asked how the peripatetic life has shaped her culinary point of view, she responds, “I thought it was 24. I still have a nomad’s heart, although I just move a lot slower now. And truthfully, I tend to track back and forth over the same small territory between
the southeast and the southwest sparked by visiting other places. It’s good to eat at other tables. It broadens not just your repertoire, but your senses and expectations. It also gives you a perspective and appreciation of where you come from. I think there’s still a live link to The Zenchilada first issue where I wrote a story about The Corn Tortilla Nation, which is a riff on John Thorn’s designation of America as the Cornbread Nation. I could spend a lifetime thinking about the intricate interweaving of philosophy and spiritual meanings in our relationship with corn, but only if I see it from more than one perspective, as living for seven years in New Mexico twice in my lifetime gave me. Lundy attended the University of Kentucky during the late 60s and early 70s, “three sophomore years,” as she puts it, one of the school’s more creatively fertile periods. But rather than reminiscing, she recommends, “everybody reading this go find a copy of Julia Ardery’s terrific book, The Temptation: Edgar Tolson and the Genesis of Twentieth Century Folk Art. In the course of talking about the inception of the folk art movement she also talks about that time at UK and the permeable boundaries that opened up then between the university and the mountains. It’s great and far more interesting than my tales of a young girl working through her insecurities by dropping out of class multiple times. “I will say this, though: I had a literature class taught by Guy Davenport and I’ll put that one semester up against a year of Ivy League anything. “And I worked at the Morris Book Shop, which was downtown then, when downtown was downtown. I am excited to be coming to Morris on Sunday, August 2 for a signing. Requiem for a shopgirl!” When we spoke in a 1999 Ace interview, she mentioned “integrating the traditional southern culture that shaped me with this ‘modern hippie chick’.” Asked if that’s still how she would characterize herself, and what events have informed that along the way in the intervening decades, she says, “How about events of the past two weeks? If you’re southern and you’re conscious you’re always engaged in a process of disentangling that which is sustaining from that which destroys—usually from
On the Cover the inside out—and then integrating what you value and want to keep with what you long to be. I’m not sure I’d call myself a ‘hippie chick’ but it’s the chick part I’d quibble with most now, and ‘hippie geezer’ just doesn’t quite chime. One of the things I came to understand in dealing with both the reality of the counterculture in my youth and the explication of it afterwards is that I eased into that culture in large part because the Appalachian values that informed my family were kin to what was best about that movement: a desire to create an authentic connection with other humans, creatures and the land that wasn’t purely transactional, or about acquisition or power, but was actually about connecting Those are still my core values but I didn’t ‘almost cut my hair.’ I whacked it all off, so not sure hippie still applies. Lundy wrote about both music and food for the Courier Journal after she returned to Kentucky from New Mexico, but was far from a typical restaurant critic, acknowledging, “I was a little unusual in that I actually worked in restaurants for 12 years, front and some back of the house, before I started writing. I think that gave me a knowledge of how things worked, a little more compassion when they went wrong and more genuine excitement when someone nailed it. I still take that with me to restaurants and I’m still pretty aware of what is going on around me/under the surface. I am less interested in being entertained by food these days than a critic can be, hallelujah. I’m more interested in being nourished by something real on the plate and something genuine in the people and experience. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I have little patience with disinterested service and none with haughty—which is sadly too much the norm.” Asked to remember the meanest thing anyone’s said about one of her books, she recalls with fondness, “Vince Staten got the idea one Christmas that a bunch of us at the paper who’d written books should rent a booth at a Book Fair they were holding at the KFEC. We’d take turns manning it over the weekend. I was sitting in a chair in the middle of the booth when a young guy and his friend walked up. He picked up a copy of Shuck Beans and said to his friend with utter disgust: ‘Ronni Lundy? The only thing she knows less about than food is music!’ I know it sounds like BS, but it cracked me up. As for the nicest thing anyone’s said about her books, she says, “There are two best things and the first is that with Shuck Beans particularly I’ve had people from the mountains tell me that it gave voice and credibility to their own stories. In the last couple of years, I’ve met young people returning to the mountains who have told me that book made them proud of where they came from. That’s remarkable to me,
and always makes me cry. The other best thing? When I pull one of my first three cookbooks off the shelf at my daughter and son-in-law’s house, the pages are stained and the spines are beginning to crack.”
lthough she’ll be visiting many of her former food haunts in support of the new book, Lundy now lives in North Carolina. Asked about the differences between Kentucky’s culinary farm-to-table culture and North Carolina’s, and the areas where we might learn from them, she says, “Western North Carolina has a history of tourism reaching back over two centuries. That provides an additional market—one that not only buys from but also often drives the contemporary sustainable movement. That’s both good and bad. Although both regions are in the southern Appalachians, eastern Kentucky and western North Carolina are in many ways—certainly economic ones—radically different worlds. In terms of mountain food economies—which are beginning to grow (see Sorghum’s Savor) and are needed as we move into the postcoal world—Kentucky producers are concentrating first on what is sustainable in their own communities and branching from there into looking for markets at large. I think that’s extremely smart and will nourish the region through changing trends. I’d look more to what is happening in Knoxville and Chattanooga right now than to Asheville.” She adds, “This is just a huge topic. More than a book’s worth, so I am reluctant to do it short shrift here. Instead of me telling what I think, let’s everybody in Kentucky continue talking to and learning from one another. The people I’ve met in Kentucky in the last couple of year working in food economies, small farming and producing, are incredibly smart and aware of what’s going on. They just need support from the state and from their neighbors.” Asked to elaborate on future projects, and whether she would characterize herself as semi-retired or just getting started, she says, “I would characterize myself as ‘too old for this sh...’ I am writing (and about to blow my deadline) a book called Victuals about the contemporary Appalachian sustainable food movement for Clarkson Potter. Pub date is July 2017. You will want it because it has the most stunning photography I have ever seen in food world. I’d tell you the name of my photographer and his wife, who is the food stylist, but I can’t afford anyone to hire them away just yet. Stay tuned…” Lundy will be signing her new book at Windy Corner Market on July 22, and at Morris Book Shop on August 2.
Bonus Lightning Round Name 5 things in your fridge right now:
-3 1/2 quarts of half and half -half a jar of pickle beans, corn and cabbage from a local woman who sells it at the produce market up the road. -some garlic scapes I need to use quickly (I put some in a burger and that was yummy, but I was thinking it it was a little ground cabrito; I could have a Garlic Scape Goat Burger) -capers in a dry jar because I’ve been using the juice in deviled eggs -4 bags in various stages of full of different heirloom stoneground cornmeals
Name three things you most look forward to eating on the Kentucky leg of your author tour:
Green River style fish sandwich with vinegar marinated onions at Suburban Fish Fry on Third Street in Louisville. Whatever Ouita is dishing up at Windy Corner on the night I’m there for signing. Wednesday, July 22, 6-8. Brett Ratliff and friends will be playing music.) Soup Beans that Nick Stump promised he’d make for me the next time I was in town.
What song would you sing to express your love for Kentucky at karaoke night?
The Osborne Brothers’ Kentucky (That could change depending on the night and how much bourbon is involved. It’s a hard choice. There’s a lot of good music about Kentucky.)
Quick: Is Lexington the South, or the Midwest? South. Don’t be silly.
The restaurant meal you most miss from Kentucky: Mazzoni’s fried oysters.
Any specific heirloom varieties you’re having a love affair with these days?
Sheepnose and Crow’s Foot apples; some Nickell beans that Bill Best dried into Shuck Beans and blessed me with—like silk and velvet iron. I’m waiting impatiently for a Vinson Watts tomato to come on a plant in my window, which faces the South.
If you had to get a food-related tattoo (and of course we don’t know that she doesn’t already have one), what would it be? A stalk of Bloody Butcher with a full red ear and a mess of white half runner beans twining up it. And thank heaven I don’t have a tattoo or we’d be having to treat those poor plants for some sort of sagging wilt.
Cook with curiosity. Serve it up with love.
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WEDNESDAY JULY 1
THE EAGLES JULY 25
Last of the Dodo | Swino 10 pm Al’s Bar Red Barn Radio: The Wooks 8 pm ArtsPlace Clyde’s on Fire 8 pm The Twisted Cork
THURSDAY JULY 2
Motherfolk | Will Solomon 9 pm Al’s Bar Thursday Night Live: Tim Talbert Project 5 pm Cheapside Pavilion Custom Made Bluegrass 6:30 pm Gardenside Christian Church Trippin Roots 10 pm Henry Clay’s Pub Hammertowne 9 pm Natasha’s Old Joe Clark Bluegrass Festival 8 pm Renfro Valley (Mt. Vernon) Train | The Fray 7 pm Riverbend (Cincinnati)
FRIDAY JULY 3
Night Market After Party 9 pm Al’s Bar Tony & the Tonies | Bob Wilburn 9 pm Best Friend Bar Friday Night Live: The WannaBeatles 5:30 Cheapside Pavilion Greg Austin 10 pm Henry Clay’s Pub The Space Cowboys 9 pm O’Neill’s DOUBLECROSS 9 pm Natasha’s Lexington Philharmonic Patriotic Music Concert 8 pm Transy’s Morrison Lawn All the Little Pieces | Noah Smith 8 pm Willie’s DJ John the Baptist | DJ Brocktologist 10 pm Best Friend Bar Greg Austin 10 pm Henry Clay’s Pub The Space Cowboys 9 pm O’Neill’s
Legna Tocado & Yoisel Concepcion 8 pm Natasha’s Superfecta 9 pm O’Neill’s Master Musicians Festival Somerset Community College (Somerset) Justin Kaleb Driggers 7 pm The Twisted Cork Mipso 8 pm Willie’s
SUNDAY JULY 5
SUNDAY JULY 12
SATURDAY JULY 4
Tunes in the Vines: Big Fat Liars 1 pm Equus Run Vineyards
MONDAY JULY 6
Metal Monday: Hackney 9 pm Al’s Bar Carsie Blanton 9 pm Natasha’s Southland Jamboree: Blue Eagle Band 6:30 pm MoonDance Amphitheatre Tee Dee Young 8 pm Tee Dee’s Blues Club Open Mic w/ Coralee 8 pm Willie’s
TUESDAY JULY 7
Big Band/Jazz: Colonel’s Choice 7 pm Ecton Park Arstidir | The Anatomy of Frank 8 pm Natasha’s
WEDNESDAY JULY 8
All Saints Fade | Las Vicious | Hourfall 9 pm Al’s Bar Insubordination | Middle Class Mischief | Ink&Lead 8 pm The Green Lantern Megan Jean & the KFB | Annabelle’s Curse 9 pm Natasha’s
THURSDAY JULY 9
Restless Leg String Band | Moonshine District 9 pm Al’s Bar Thursday Night Live: SixtyFourWest 5 pm Cheapside Pavilion Jazz! Live at the Library 7 pm Farish Theatre The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers 9 pm Natasha’s
FRIDAY JULY 10
Jovontaes | Flower Girl | Milk Dick | Gosh 9 pm Best Friend Bar Grayson Jenkins | Greg Austin 10 pm Henry Clay’s Pub Special Session 9 pm Natasha’s Superfecta 9 pm O’Neill’s Master Musicians Festival Somerset Community College (Somerset) Matt Bednarsky 6 pm Talon Winery
SATURDAY JULY 11
Sun Street | Chopper Brown 9 pm Al’s Bar Charlie Millikin 8 pm Bigg Blue Martini Birdcloud 10 pm Cosmic Charlie’s Dara Tucker 8 pm Lyric Theatre LexJam Acoustic Cafe 11 am Natasha’s
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Sunrot | Wretched Worst | Furnace Head 9 pm Al’s Bar Tunes in the Vines: Soljam 1 pm Equus Run Vineyards
MONDAY JULY 13
Devin, Gary, and Ross 9 pm Al’s Bar Southland Jamboree: Michael Cleveland 6:30 pm MoonDance Amphitheatre Jesse Lafser 8 pm Natasha’s Neil Young and Promise of The Real | Band of Horses 7:30 pm Riverbend (Cincinnati) Tee Dee Young 8 pm Tee Dee’s Blues Club Open Mic w/ Coralee 8 pm Willie’s
TUESDAY JULY 14
Monsoon | Dan Solo 8 pm Best Friend Bar Big Band/Jazz: Dan Brock and Friends 7 pm Ecton Park The Grahams 8 pm Willie’s
WEDNESDAY JULY 15
Those Crosstown Rivals host Singer-Songwriter Night 9 pm Al’s Bar Red Barn Radio: Dave Hawkins 8 pm ArtsPlace Mail The Horse | Coralee and The Townies | All Day DJs 10 pm Best Friend Bar
THURSDAY JULY 16
Thursday Night Live: Better Off Dead 5 pm Cheapside Pavilion Automagik 9 pm The Green Lantern
FRIDAY JULY 17
Keeps | ATTEMPT | Ted Tyro 9 pm Al’s Bar Recipe for Gamma Rays | Jerk String | Trunk Weed 9 pm Best Friend Bar Nick Stump’s Blues All-Stars 9 pm Natasha’s Radio 80 9 pm O’Neill’s The Twiggenburys 9 pm Parlay Social Phoenix Fridays: Kopecky | AJ Ghent | The Wags 5 pm P hoenix Park Forecastle Waterfront Park (Louisville)- Sam Smith, Cage the Elephant and more
SATURDAY JULY 18
Jive Hounds 9 pm Best Friend Bar Other Brothers | Greg Austin 8 pm Henry Clay’s Pub Patrick McNeese Band 8:30 pm Natasha’s Radio 80 9 pm O’Neill’s Forecastle Waterfront Park (Louisville)- My Morning Jacket and more The Appleseed Collective 8 pm Willie’s
SUNDAY JULY 19
Niche | Doc Feldman 8 pm Best Friend Bar Tunes in the Vines: Rock Steady 1 pm Equus Run Vineyards Brittany Kennell 9 pm Natasha’s Quintessence 5 pm Wallace Station (Versailles) Forecastle Waterfront Park (Louisville)- Modest Mouse, Widespread Panic, The Tallest Man on Earth and more Quiet Life 7 pm Willie’s
MONDAY JULY 20
Southland Jamboree: Custom Made Bluegrass 6:30 pm MoonDance Amphitheatre Tee Dee Young 8 pm Tee Dee’s Blues Club Open Mic w/ Coralee 8 pm Willie’s
TUESDAY JULY 21
Big Band/Jazz: Osland Dailey Jazztet 7 pm Ecton Park Ethan Hunt 9 pm Al’s Bar
WEDNESDAY JULY 22
Red Barn Radio: Cincinnati Folksinger and His Uptown Band 8 pm ArtsPlace Troubadour Series: Robert Earl Keen 7:30 pm Lyric Theatre Lance Stinson 9 pm Natasha’s
THURSDAY JULY 23
Pigeons | Ecstatic Girth Survival | Crystalline Roses 9 pm Al’s Bar Hair Things | Kitchen Hips | John 9 pm Best Friend Bar Thursday Night Live: Prime Cut 5 pm Cheapside Pavilion Suit Case to Vegas 10 pm Henry Clay’s Pub
FRIDAY JULY 24
Charlies & The Foxtrots | Jayson Alcott 9 pm Al’s Bar Mike Archer 8 pm Azur Italian Beaches 9 pm Best Friend Bar The Quack | Greg Austin 8 pm Henry Clay’s Pub Kelly Richey 8 pm Natasha’s Encore of Lexington 9 pm O’Neill’s Disaster Peace 9 pm Parlay Social
SATURDAY JULY 25 Grayson Jenkins | Greg Austin 8 pm Henry Clay’s Pub Encore of Lexington 9 pm O’Neill’s Incubus | Deftones | Death From Above 1979 6:15 pm Riverbend (Cincinnati) Eagles 8 pm Rupp Arena Harpeth Hill 10 pm Tin Roof
SUNDAY JULY 26 Tunes in the Vines: TDH4 1 pm Equus Run Vineyards Jazz on the Porch: Westbrook Trio 3 pm Talon Winery Misty Mountain String Band 8 pm Willie’s
MONDAY JULY 27 Southland Jamboree: Dean Osborne 6:30 pm MoonDance Amphitheatre Tee Dee Young 8 pm Tee Dee’s Blues Club Open Mic w/ Coralee 8 pm Willie’s
TUESDAY JULY 28 Max Dvorak Band | Brett Mathis 9 pm Al’s Bar Stardeath and White Dwarfs | Applied Music Program 10 pm Cosmic Charlie’s Big Band/Jazz: Jazzberry Jam 7 pm Ecton Park Kelly Clarkson | Pentatonix 7 pm Riverbend (Cincinnati)
WEDNESDAY JULY 29 Horti 9 pm Al’s Bar ATTEMPT 8 pm Best Friend Bar Sublime | Rome | Rebelution | Pepper | Mickey Avalon 6:30 pm Riverbend (Cincinnati)
THURSDAY JULY 30 Thursday Night Live: The Bobby Perry Band 5 pm Cheapside Pavilion The Bobby Perry Band 9 pm Parlay Social
FRIDAY JULY 31 Devine Carama’s Brown Sugar Hip Hop 9 pm Al’s Bar Donny Brook | Greg Austin 10 pm Henry Clay’s Pub Encore of Lexington 9 pm O’Neill’s
A Marvelous Night for a Moondance
BY KIM THOMAS
or some reason, I avoided outdoor theatre all my life, until about 12 years ago when my friend Mary took me to the Arboretum to see The Three Musketeers. The fight scenes were so wonderfully staged, you could see every twist and turn from the back row…and the crowd roared, we laughed and laughed. From then on, I was hooked. Sure, I needed to prepare for the bug onslaught and feeling of dehydration that came with hours of drinking wine from a box, but it was all worth every bite and nip. Each year thereafter, I have made an effort to see at least one outdoor show, especially if it is presented by those at SummerFest. WHAT IS SUMMERFEST? SummerFest began over 30 years ago as The Lexington Shakespeare Festival, and in 2007, under a new Board of Directors and staff, became SummerFest. Locations have spanned Woodland Park, then the Arboretum, and now Moondance. Wes Nelson, current executive director, is proud of its growth. “We have seen two and three generations of many families out under the stars, enjoying a picnic basket, perhaps a little wine, and some of the best theatre that this area has to offer.” This summer’s programming is the Broadway smash hit and Tony Award winning musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and William Shakespeare’s hilarious classic, The Comedy Of Errors. THE COMEDY OF ERRORS NATALIE CUMMINS is in her first year as Production Manager. Her first actual SummerFest show was Hair in 2008. She believes fans will appreciate the MoonDance venue. “As much as I loved doing shows at the Arboretum, actually producing theatre there was always a tremendous challenge. There was no tangible infrastructure; each year the stage had to be reconstructed from scratch, the light poles had to be sunk and connected to the mains, and the trailers and portable toilets had to be rented and brought in. While the location near downtown was nice, the MoonDance Amphitheater represents a large cost savings AND provides a much nicer environment for watching shows. Last year was the first year of Summerfest at MoonDance, and as an audience member I can testify that the experience was wonderful. Parking was easy, the sightlines were great, and a large number of people can fit very comfortably into that space thanks to the thoughtfullytiered layout.” She emphasizes the new creature comforts will make a difference in the SummerFest
Matt Seckman (left) and Jacob Karnes (right) in Summerfest’s 2014 production of Little Shop of Horrors. Both will appear in this season’sproduction of Spamalot.
experience. “Also, don’t ever discount the importance of a real restroom!” BOB SINGLETON tells us this is his first time directing for SummerFest, “first time directing for outdoor theatre, first time directing Shakespeare...It’s a novel play for Shakespeare in that it is one of only two he wrote that adheres to the classical unities: everything takes place within a 24-hour period, in (basically) one location, and the action serves one primary plot. The show will move at a fast pace, but a lot of ground will also be covered. It’s one of Shakespeare’s shortest and most farcical productions, which I think works well for an outdoor production.” Singleton emphasizes the new venue’s strengths make the evening of theatre under the stars much easier to enjoy than in past. “All performances are at MoonDance Amphitheatre in Beaumont. It’s a great place for outdoor shows. All seats are good, the bathrooms are real, and the food trucks rock.” “Double the antics! Double the hijinks! Double the twins! That’s right, Shakespeare’s earliest and wackiest comedy features not one, but TWO sets of identical twins, leading to twice the confusion, and twice the fun.” ALEX MADDOX is portraying one of the twins, Antipholous of Syracuse. “My character has been on a quest to find his mother and his twin brother, Antipholous of Ephesus. The play opens with my character arriving in Ephesus, where my brother is a prosperous citizen. Now that we’re both in the same town, mistaken identities ensue and we’re off to the races!” “I took courses devoted to Shakespeare at UK when I was studying for my theatre degree, but this will be the first time I’ve actually performed Shakespeare in years.” ALY MILLER plays the Courtezan, and was last seen on stage “about a year ago with
a BCTC show called The Diviners. I feel that both of my characters are quite sassy but for different reasons. Goldie was just a classic southern woman not afraid to speak her mind — and the Courtezan, let’s just say, is always on point with her job! This will actually be my first SummerFest production and my first time doing an outdoor show and I’m so excited!” SPAMALOT! MATT SECKMAN is playing the part of King Arthur and has appeared six times with SummerFest. He says his biggest challenge this time out is “making sure I rise to the same caliber of comedic talent as my fellow actors. There are some REALLY FUNNY people in this cast, and most of them play 3 or 4 different characters in the show. Bringing all those characters to life, and to make them all funny, is quite a challenge. So, it’s important I get the humor right when playing Arthur, as he’s the only character I play. British humor is different from what most American audiences are used to – this show pokes fun of the social hierarchy in British history, making the royals and elites look like idiots, while the common people are really the brains behind everything.” However, he explains it is very different from the ending in the movie. “Of course, I can’t tell you why, or how, as that would ruin the surprise! But trust me, it has the same absurd Monty Python feel that the audiences expect. And no llamas will be hurt during our production, you have my word on that. We have professional trainers from Cirque Du Lama on hand at all times!” he laughs. JACOB KARNES seems to be the perfect fit for (and has the comical task of) filling the brave and bold booties of Sir Robin in Spamalot. He was Simon Foul in the Rep’s
Christmas Smackoff and Mr. Mushnik in last summer’s Little Shop. “Every role I play, I get cast as a handsome,handsome man. It’s typecasting, but I’m used to it,” he deadpans. He admits, “If I said I was a dancer I would be lying. So, dancing is the hardest part for me-—especially when singing at the same time. I’m not a dancer in any traditional sense of the word. I say I ‘move well.’ This is not true either, but I say it … but it’s always a pleasure working with Diana Evans; we have worked together for so many years, she knows how to bring out the best in me.” “The show is really funny. One never knows how ridiculous galloping is, until you try it with a straight face. Whether you’re a fan of Monty Python or musical theatre, this show should be a blast. If you’re not a fan of Monty Python or musical theatre, let me know what you are a fan of, and I’ll work that in as well,” Karnes says, amplifying his desire to please the crowds. First time SummerFester and Lady of the Lake, STAFFORD HARTMAN’s background is in opera performance. She earned her bachelor’s degree in voice at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, spent two seasons as an artist-in-residence at Opera Memphis, and is now entering her second year as a graduate student in vocal performance at UK. She’s also the director of musical productions at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) in Lexington. She plays the Lady of the Lake. “Fortunately, Lady of the Lake is a caricature of Broadway’s archetypal ‘diva’ roles, and she’s not so different from some of the roles I have performed in opera: she has a lot of emotions, she has a lot of high notes, and she likes a lot of attention. This role has been so much fun because the music allows me to play with different styles, like pop, gospel, and jazz, while still adding touches of my classical chops. The challenge is, of course, navigating those styles successfully.” Her outdoor theatre memories include early memories from high school, “and summers that I came home from college, my friends and I would attend annual performances at the Arboretum, when they were produced by Shakespeare in the Park. This history of summer theater is a part of my own, hometown mythology. I am proud to be woven into the 2015 SummerFest season because it represents Lexington’s invaluable arts culture, which inspired me in my adolescence, and is more vibrant today than ever before.” -------------------------Production dates for Comedy of Errors are July 16-19 and July 30-August 2 (Thursdays through Sundays). Gates open at 7pm all nights, and the show starts at 830pm.
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Lexington restaurant news LEXINGTON FOOD NEWS The Bluegrass Farmers Market is open 9 am to 2 pm at the Liquor Barn in Hamburg, 1837 Plaudit Place. Coba Cocina has added a summer menu which includes tequila-flamed queso fundido, southern fried chicken tacos, and shrimp and grits. Crank and Boom Ice Cream Lounge and Middle Fork Kitchen Bar have opened in Lexington’s Distillery District. Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers, a fastcasual artisanal burger joint, is opening in the former Hugh Jass burgers location this month, along with Street Craves. Lexington Pasta’s Pasta Garage has opened on Delaware. A farm stand is now open Sundays in Chevy Chase, in a parking lot near the Euclid/High/ Fontaine intersection. Hours are 10 am to 2 pm, but it had nearly sold out by 11 am on opening day in June.
July 3. Meals will feature wild caught Kentucky blue catfish from Land Between the Lakes. On July 4, Blue Stallion Brewing is tapping a special Independence Day brew in honor of American Hops. Yuda IPA is the first special release of an IPA brewed and dryhopped with American hops, specifically Amarillo, Centennial, and Columbus. Food trucks The Gastro Gnomes and Rolling Oven will also be on site starting at 5 pm. Through July 5, Old Chicago Pizza is celebrating the Summer Across America series with Part 1: New York. The Holly Hill Inn will host the Holly Hill Inn Wine Guild on July 9-10. Join Steve Mancuso to taste and compare the ancient grape varietals of Ancient Greece, including Assyrtiko, Xinomavro, Aglianico, and Sangiovese. Seatings available at 6 pm and 7:30 pm.
LEXINGTON FOOD EVENTS
Good Foods present a Food Panel as a part of the Lexington Art League’s FEAST series. The panel will be at the Loudoun House at 5:30 pm on July 10. FEAST: Pleasure + Hunger + ritual is an exploration of food and eating as seen through the diverse perspectives of thirty-five local and international artists.
The Great American Pie and Ice Cream Social is at the Cheapside Pavilion on Thursday, July 2. Pie bakers of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate. Awards presented in two categories: scratch and semi-homemade. After judging, slices of pie will be available for free at the Ice Cream Social, along with Chaney’s Dairy Barn Ice Cream.
The LexEffect Chew Dinner Series hosts their Summer Dinner on Thursday, July 16 at the Hunt Morgan House at 7:30 pm. The quarterly dinner series celebrates Lexington neighborhoods with chef-driven farm to table dinners through a locally sourced seassonal menu and local beer, wine, and spirit pairings. Partial proceeds go to the LexEffect Giving Fund.
Alfalfa will host Kentucky Fish Fry Fridays every Friday night in July starting
Shaker Village is hosting Dinner on the Grounds: A James Farmer Party on July
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Crank and Boom Ice Cream Bar recently opened in Lexington’s Distillery District. 18, starting at 6:30 pm. Spend a summer evening with garden-to-table lifestyle expert and Southern Living editor-at-large James Farmer. Enjoy a meal prepared from his latest cookbook, along with garden and design advice. The evening also features live music on the lawn and Bulleit Bourbon cocktails. GleanKY hosts its third annual picnicstyle fundraiser, Burgers & Beats, on Sunday, July 19 from 5 pm to 8 pm at Wallace Station in Versailles, Kentucky. Burgers & Beats features live music from Quintessence, food by Chef Ouita Michel, dessert from Crank & Boom, and games and activities for children.
Fourth Friday Family Picnic, a Lexington Art League FEAST event, from 6-9 pm at the Loudoun House on July 24. To submit a Lexington, Kentucky food, wine, or spirits news item for consideration in Ace’s Best Bites, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit a Lexington Food, Wine, or Spirits Event to be considered for the Ace calendar, please go to the Ace online calendar, and click “Submit” (upper right on the Menu bar). For restaurant advertising, call Ace Advertising at 859.225.4889 x229.
Fried basil at the cookouts
pparently, I’ll fry anything. We finally grilled out the other night: succulent fall-off-the-bones baby back ribs, rubbed, grilled, and sauced with the perfect ratio of vinegar to molasses for a tangy sweet sauce. Sticky sweet and mouth popping tart. The ribs were exceptional, especially when paired with candied bacon baked beans. Pork with pork. Pork on pork. It couldn’t get any better. We had market corn lounging in the vegetable bin....waiting for the grill. Still fresh and tightly husked, it begged for fire. We’ve had corn every which way but loose this summer; steamed, boiled, creamed, chowdered, grilled bacon-wrapped, buttered with zested lime salt, and deep fried on the cob. I wanted something different. Really different. I grilled Silver Queen corn alongside the ribs with grape tomato skewers until they were slightly charred and caramelized. While still hot from the grill, I slathered the grilled corn with butter and showered it with sea salt, pepper, tons of nutty parmesan reggiano, and crumbled deep fried basil. Deep fried basil? Yep. I have fried everything this summer.
By Tom Yates
Why not basil? Flash frying the basil transformed it into beautiful stained-glass crispy leaves. Not quite fresh, but certainly not dried, it retained a slight fresh basil anise flavor with crisp boldness. The broken fried basil stuck to the buttered cornlike decoupage without the rub down, which ensured its staying power during our animalistic gnawing and manhandling of it. Nutty. Sweet. Salty. Buttery. Basil-y. Slippery finger food. Barbecued pork lips and buttered basil fingers. Now, that’s a cookout!
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Real Estate — Properties recently sold in Fayette Co.
Take a tour I
t’s that time of year again. The doors will open, each stair will be polished, and all hedges will be trimmed to make way for all of Lexington to view a variety of the best newly-built homes in Fayette County. The Tour is an opportunity for Lexington homeowners and prospective homeowners to see the year’s trends and latest technology in action. This year the Grand Tour of Homes — July 17-19 and July 24-26 — features 30 new homes peppered throughout neighborhoods in Fayette, Scott and Woodford counties. The selfguided tour will provide guests with a sampling of the most up-to-date home features in windows, insulation, heating, cooling and lighting, all boasting the latest in energy-efficiency standards.
*Source: Lexington PVA
3632 Barrow Wood Lane
2060 Lakeside Dr
2051 Von List Ct
320 DeSha Road
3421 Nantucket Dr
781 Glendover Rd
2938 Montavesta Rd
440 Queensway Drive
129 N. Hanover Ave
411 Cochran Road
3311 Nantucket Dr
June 16 3069 Breckenwood Dr
931 Aurora Ave
728 Aurora Ave
3374 Montavesta Rd
May 29 129 St. Margaret Drive
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Jun 22 Jun 15 Jun 18 Jun 8
Jun 12 Jun 15 Jun12
Jun 18 Jun 10
Jun 12 June 8 Jun 3
3512 Rabbits Foot Trl
3540 Rabbits Foot Trl
673 Bayswater Way
3564 Rabbits Foot Trl
3407 Cornwall Drive
217 Lackawanna Rd
3180 Roxburg Dr
335 E. Lowry Lane
123 Suburban Ct
840 Apache Trl
3485 Boston Road
553 Sheridan Dri
628 Worcester Rd
3490 Birkenhead Dr
455 Westerfield Way
608 Cardinal Ln
230 E. Vista
611 Pasadena Dr
626 Pasadena Drive
40504 Jun 8
Jun 12 Jun 12 Jun 9
1861 Parkers Mill Rd
2075 Old Nassau Rd 982 Celia Ln
2104 Tamarack Dr
831 Honeysuckle Rd
1721 Traveller Rd
May 28 Jun 11
40505 May 6
940 Lily Dr
2172 Cypress Drive
2188 Cypress Drive
496 Carr Ct
334 Hillcrest Av
853 E. Loudon
549 Glenbrook St
132 Paris Ave
561 Freeman Dr
533 Cane Run Rd
851 E. Loudon
40507 Jun 12
505 W. Main, #403
508 E. Main #409
426 S. Mill
112 Rand Av
201 Price Rd, #206
444 Douglas Ave
201 Price Rd #218
419 E. Third St
554 W. Third St
410 Gunn St
224 E. Sixth St
222 E. Sixth St
226 E. Sixth St
452 Addie St
454 Addie St
Free Will Astrology
By Rob Breszny
ARIES (March 21-April 19): To determine whether you are aligned with the cosmic flow, please answer the following questions. 1. Would you say that your current situation is more akin to treading water in a mosquito-ridden swamp, or conducting a ritual of purification in a clear mountain stream? 2. Have you been wrestling with boring ghosts and arguing with traditions that have lost most of their meaning? Or have you been transforming your past and developing a riper relationship with your roots? 3. Are you stuck in a gooey muck? Or are you building a flexible new foundation? TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus singer Sam Smith won four Grammys this year, largely on the strength of his hit single “Stay with Me.” The song has a lush gospel choir backing up his lead vocals, or so it seems. But in fact, every voice in that choir is his own. He recorded twenty separate harmony tracks that were woven together to create the big sound. What would be the equivalent in your world, Taurus? How could you produce a wealth of support for yourself? What might you do to surround yourself with a web of help and nourishment? How can you amplify and intensify your efforts so they have more clout? Now would be an excellent time to explore possibilities like these. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Born under the sign of Gemini, Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) was a French painter who upset traditionalists. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he wasn’t interested in creating idealistic art based on historical and religious themes. He focused on earthy subjects about which he had direct experience, like the day-to-day lives of peasants and laborers. So even though he became a highly praised celebrity by his mid-thirties, the arbiters of the art world tried to exclude him. For example, they denied him a place in *Exposition Universelle,* a major international exhibition in Paris. In response, Courbet built a temporary gallery next door to the main hall, where he displayed his own work. As you strive to get your voice heard, Gemini, I urge you to be equally cheeky and innovative. Buy yourself a megaphone or erect your own clubhouse or launch a new enterprise. Do whatever it takes to show who you really are. CANCER (June 21-July 22): “I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I am doing,” said composer John Cage in describing his creative process. That’s excellent counsel for you to meditate on, Cancerian. The less expertise and certainty you have about the rough magic you’re experimenting with, the more likely it is the magic will lead you to useful breakthroughs. To bolster Cage’s advice and help you get the most from your period of self-reinvention, I offer you this quote from Picasso: “Iimitate everyone except myself.” LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Your words of wisdom come from Leo artist Andy Warhol: “Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years, when they could just say, ‘so what.’ That’s one of my favorite things to say. ‘So what.’” Can I interest you in that approach, Leo? It has similarities to the Buddhist strategy of cultivating non-attachment -- of dropping your fixations about matters that can’t be controlled or changed. But I suspect you would draw special benefits from the breezy, devil-may-care spirit of Warhol’s version. So start there. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In her late twenties, J. K. Rowling was a single mother living on welfare. That’s when she began work on her Harry Potter books. Craig Newmark had turned 42 by the time he founded Craigslist. One of the world’s most oft-visited websites is HuffingtonPost.com, which Arianna Huffington established when she was 54. As for Harland Sanders, creator of KFC: He didn’t begin building the global empire of fried-chicken
restaurants until the age of 65. I hope the preceding serves as a pep talk, Virgo, reminding you that it’s never too late to instigate the project of a lifetime. The time between now and your birthday in 2016 will be an especially favorable phase to do so. Start ruminating on what it might be. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It’s the power-building phase of your astrological cycle. To take maximum advantage, convey the following message to your subconscious mind: “I know you will provide me with an abundance of insight, inspiration, and energy for whatever intention I choose to focus on. And during the next four weeks, my intention will be to cultivate, expand, and refine my personal power. I will especially focus on what author Stephen R. Covey called ‘the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones.’” SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I’m a big fan of science and logic and objective thinking. Most of us need more of that good stuff. The world would be a saner, safer place if we all got regular lessons on how to be more reasonable and rational. But in the immediate future, Scorpio, I’ll steer you in a different direction. I believe you will benefit from injecting your imagination with primal raw crazy wild mojo. For example, you might read utopian science fiction and fairy tales about talking animals and poetry that scrambles your intellectual constructs. You could remember your dreams and ruminate about them as if they were revelations from the Great Beyond. You may also find it healthy to fantasize profusely about forbidden and impossible and hilarious adventures. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There are lots of inquiries and invitations coming your way — perhaps too many. I don’t think you should pursue all of them. In fact, I suspect that only one would ultimately make you a better human being and a braver explorer and a wiser lover. And that one, at first glance, may have not as much initial appeal as some of the others. So your first task is to dig deep to identify the propositions that are attractive on the surface but not substantial. Then you’re more likely to recognize the offer that will have lasting value even if it doesn’t make a spectacular first impression.
HELP WANTED SYSTEMS ENGINEER. JDI Technology Group is seeking a qualified and driven applicant for our Lexington, KY office. Will be responsible for handling the entire life-cycle of client projects including the design & implementation of effective solutions. Preferred Bachelor’s Degree or must have equivalent industry experience. Must have experience with most Microsoft environments, security, firewalls and Active Directory. Please email resumes to email@example.com with Job #JDISE. No calls.
PART-TIME RETAIL MERCHANDISER needed to merchandise Hallmark products at various retail stores in the Lexington area. To apply, please
visit: http://hallmark.candidatecare.com EOE Women/Minorities/Disabled/Veterans.
OPERATIONS POSITION*: Lexington, KY. Amazon.com.kydc LLCC seeks candidates for the following (multiple positions available): Operations Manager (Job Code: OM-KYDC 2015) to manage & lead projects, operations and area managers to correct quality defects, improve customer experience and ensure economical, safe, and effective use of materials, energy, and people; and Sr. Operations Manager (Job Code: SROMKYDC 2015) to manage & lead team of Operations and Area Managers to ensure Fulfillment Center’s operational and performance objectives are met. Candidates must respond by mail and reference the specific job code to: Amazon.com.azdc LLC, PO Box 81226, Seattle, Washington 98108.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “I find a lot of people physically attractive, but finding people mentally and spiritually attractive is different and much harder for me.” So says 40ozshawty on her Tumblr page. If you share that frustration, I have good news. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you’re due to encounter a higher-than-usual percentage of mentally and spiritually attractive people in the next six weeks. But I wonder how you’ll deal with this abundance. Will you run away from it, feeling overwhelmed by the prospect that your life could get more complicated? Or will you embrace it, daringly welcoming the interesting complications? AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I think you will generate good fortune for yourself by choosing between two equally invigorating but challenging tasks: losing your illusion or using your illusion. Both are quite worthy of your attention and intelligence. To succeed at either would fuel your emotional growth for months to come. You probably can’t do them both, however. So which will it be: Will you purge the illusion, or put it to work for you? PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Do you sometimes imagine yourself to be an underachieving underdog? If so, I suggest you start weaning yourself from that fantasy. Do you on occasion allow people to take advantage of you? It’s time to outgrow that role. Do you ever flirt with being a self-pitying martyr? Say bye-bye to that temptation. Cosmic forces are conspiring to relieve you of tendencies to act in any or all of those ways. I’m not saying you will instantly transform into a swashbuckling hero who knocks people over with your radiant self-assurance. But you will, at the very least, be ready to learn much, much more about how to wield your vulnerability as a superpower.
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Embrace the Danger of New Ideas
SEP. 29 - OCT. 2, 2015 路 LOUISVILLE, KY 路 IDEAFESTIVAL.COM
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