Friends Drift Inn Farm – Real Life and Chefs
Link to FDI feature in regional newspapers Guerrilla Cuisine Chef Anthony Lamas Louisville KY 2012 explores the Guerrilla Cuisine concept and introduces GC founder jimihatt. His nickname caused me grief with editors; but I like him anyway. Heard chef? Here’s a behind the scenes snapshot.
The Pointy Toed Shoes Sisters Skip Town
Destination Louisville KY
Chef Anthony Lamas on the speed dial? Check.
Your mission should you choose to accept it….
We have accepted the mission, knowing there is no going back. Our battle cry “Take the rural back from the urban!” Eating fresh from the garden is NOT a city folks idea; we’ve been doing it down here in the mountains for generations.
Our destination, Louisville, is a four hour drive. We are fearless; Rhoda is at the wheel. The GPS “Talking B” is programmed. We proceed west like our hair is on fire instead of peppered with grey. In the trunk, the clink of hillbilly wine bottles was clearly heard.
Details of the night’s assignment are sketchy. We are anticipating a farm-to-table experience city folks style; whatever that means. We hope for good food, entertainment, and the opportunity to commune with farmers, chefs, and “the people.” But there is an air of mystery about the event.
Guerrilla Cuisine is a shadowy organization with a revolutionary concept. The city, date, and celebrity chef are announced via the internet. You buy tickets not really knowing where you are going or what you are going to eat.
Do ya know where you are going?
The location? Well they would tell ya, but then they would have to kill ya. It’s a secret up until 48 hours before the event.
The menu? Well, you just better be ready for what plates are put before you; the chef tells no tales until you arrive.
Of course Rhoda got us to the hotel with plenty of time to gear up. Camo is not really our color, so we overcame and adapted opting for business casual attire. We smeared on war paint. Over our shoulder were slung weapons and provisions for the mission, two cameras and an insulated cooler tote. We had teeny tiny purses, packed with lipstick, credit cards and cab fare. We are well equipped.
The secret destination turned out to be familiar; Story Avenue in Butchertown; home to Bourbon Barrel Foods. Owner, Matt Jamie knows a thing or two about soy sauce, sorghum, and smoked sugar. His warehouse is a quirky place to have dinner.
Rhoda and I tried to sneak in through an alternate entrance but Maddi from Seviche Restaurant caught us. Luckily she did not take us prisoners. She laughed and directed us to the main registration table where our reservations were waiting.
Dappled sunlight filtered through the ancient warehouse windows. Hundreds of reclaimed bourbon barrels have been pushed to the perimeter leaving room for two long tables draped in linens and festooned with fresh florals.
There were two staging areas, one for the chefs and one for the bands.
The room smells vaguely of soy sauce; indeed there are a few puddles in evidence.
jimihatt was on hand to greet us. (He insists his name is NEVER capitalized even if beginning a sentence!)The mastermind of this underground extravaganza, jimi is clad in all black, his blue eyes dancing with a treasure-trove of knowledge and a heaping full of mischief. He laughs recognizing our names, and welcomes us to the unlikely enclave.
Yes, the Pointy Toed Shoes Sisters have a reputation.
We mingle for a bit with Jessica Pendergrass, a fellow writer and keeper of the Urban Sacred Garden blog. Matt Jamie introduces his wife Whitney. Several acquaintances join the conversation.
The mood is casual, the atmosphere engulfs us in a cool urban vibe.
Finally, the event begins.Chef Anthony Lamas is front and center addressing the troops. He smiles, obviously pleased and excited to bring Kentucky’s first Guerrilla Cuisine happening to fruition. A train rumbled by, drowning out explanations of the evening agenda….but the passing freight brought high energy to the secret hideout and those that had gathered there for the cause.
Guerrilla Cuisine is all about promoting local foods, local producers, and local chefs. The Louisville event showcased Marksbury Farms, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, and Bourbon Barrel Foods. A portion of the proceeds went to Dare-to-Care, a Louisville food bank.
Between each of the numerous courses, Chef Lamas explained the ingredients and shared his take on marrying Kentucky Foodways and his California Dreaming cooking style. His passionate yet easy going persona engaged his listeners. Matt Jamie and jimihatt also spoke with the crowd.
Chef Anthony Lamas delivered the goods. The Albacore Tuna was served with Bluegrass Soy Sauce. Chorizo sausage, a south-of-the-border favorite, was presented on a bed of poblano flavored grits with ramps. There was salads, sorbets, Marksbury Farm roasted pork and a most remarkable dessert, avocado ice cream with popcorn and sorghum.
Each plating was received with anticipation and savored with pleasure. Servers promptly delivered with fluid precision. Guests sipped BYOB beverages from mason jars. Laughter filled the air.
At the end of the evening, Matt offered guests tours of his processing room where Bluegrass Soy Sauce was in various stages of production. Rhoda and I chatted with Whitney until the crowd thinned. Matt led us out the back making a bee line for Meet Meat a sort of speakeasy upstairs from The Blind Pig.
It was an entertaining after-party but our mission ended at the warehouse. Giggles!
Pass me the wasabi peas!
Disclaimer: Rhoda and I paid for our meal.
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