Of Cows and Cushaws Upcoming James Beard Event Paris KY

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Real Life

Cane Ridge Cattle Company Paris KY Wagyu Beef James Beard Celebrity Chefs Tours

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Cane Ridge Farm newspaper article written by Joyce Pinson

Daddy used to make fun of me going to “Cow College.” That’s what he called the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. My major was Ag Econ, but my love has always been being in the pastures and garden where the real action is. I was a preppie sorority girl who had a little poo on her cowboy boots.

Daddy’s gone now, but I still have a pair of cowboy boots he bought me many years back. They are scuffed and comfortable; and of course have a pointy toe! Giggles

This weekend I will be attending the James Beard Celebrity Chefs Tour dinner hosted by Cane Ridge Cattle Farm in Bourbon County near Paris. Farm manager, Grant Robinson was gracious enough to spend the better part of a morning showing me around the farm. What’s so special about a cattle farm?

Cane Ridge Cattle Company Wagyu Beef James Beard Event Paris KY

Wagyu Beef, that’s what. Ever heard of Kobe Beef? Wagyu Cattle are from the same bloodlines. I think back to my days in Doctor Moody’s meat judging class and I chuckle. We had to evaluate cattle “on the hoof” in the pastures and “on the hook” in the meat locker.

Let me tell you something I grew up around Herefords and Simmentals. In the field Wagyu Beef ain’t much to look at. Cattle folks call the body line of a beef “conformation.” Wagyu are thick in the neck. Their front legs are heavy looking; a trait that has survived since the Japanese Shogun eras when Kobe were used as wagon oxen.

But the meat? Oh please don’t tell my momma, but it is best served medium rare. It is rich, the mouth feel smooth not quite a pate, but luxuriantly silky. The beef is tender. The beef makes every steak I have ever put in my mouth seem dull – and honey let me tell you I have had some fine steaks in my day. What makes Wagyu beef so special is the amount of marbling; Wagyu store more fat in the muscle than other breeds making the flavor sensation seismic. Holy Cow!

The menu for the James Beard shindig is all about Cane Ridge’s Wagyu beef. With four chefs at the burners, the event is sure to be an evening to remember. Appetizer, four main courses, and of course desserts and beverage pairings are all part of the outdoor experience at the Clay family’s Glenwood Mansion. For you non-Kentuckians, it is worth mention the Clay family has a long history of breeding cattle going back to Henry Clay who championed the Hereford breed here in America.

Chef Jeremy Ashby prepares cushaws for James Beard Kentucky Event Cane Ridge Cattle

Rhoda and I have our pointy toed shoes all polished up for the chefs; Bernard Guillas, Aaron Butts, Jeff Newman and Jeremy Ashby. And oh yeah…the desserts will include a brown sugar cushaw tart. Them cushaws were grown my yours truly at Friends Drift Inn Farm.

I’ll catch up with y’all later. The Pointy Toed Shoe Sisters are off to the flatlands.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Cane Ridge Farm for the above post. I was provided with a small sample of their beef which Jeremy Ashby graciously prepared for me at no charge. In return, I provided farm manager Grant Robinson with several jars of my summer canning efforts. As for Ashby? Well I donated the cushaws. Giggles

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About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.