In Day Four of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we visit Town Branch, learn from a true bourbon master, and Ben nerds out. (A lot.)
Town Branch, Buffalo Trace, Old Rip Van Winkle and more
Maker's Mark, Willet, and More
In day two of our Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, we get lost in the backwoods, explore the Willet Distillery, taste a few bourbon cocktails made by a pro, and more.
A Night in Kentucky's Oldest Family-Operated B&B
Close your eyes. Form a picture in your head of what a historic B&B in the heart of Bluegrass country should look like. What remains though in the mind’s eye should look quite close to Harrodsburg’s Beaumont Inn owned by the Dedman family.
Wild Kentucky Catfish Over Beer Cheese Grits
The Harrison-Smith House in Bardstown, Kentucky is a centuries old family mansion converted into a premiere restaurant, serving local cuisine amplified by knowledgable Head Chef Newman Miller. The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming and the bourbon is some of the best you’ll find anywhere. Here’s a recipe from their November menu.
From Brunch Spot to Global Food Sensation
Hillbilly Tea sounds like an Urban Dictionary revelation — or the latest product from the minds of White and Pinkman. For all we know, both of those statements are true. It’s also one of Louisville’s hottest brunch spots, and a burgeoning international brand. And if founders Karter Louis and Chef Arpad “Arpi” Lengyel realize their ultimate vision, that’s just the beginning.
Greetings from the Bluegrass State
We figured the best way to get to the bottom of the recent bourbon boom was to head to the Bluegrass State with a few cameras, some notebooks and clean livers for five days of Kentucky scenery, friendly locals and distillery tours. Here’s a play-by-play of day one of our investigation on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
A Roaming Journal of America's Spirit
Bourbon is booming, but only decades ago, it was on a path toward failure. This was most evident in the 1980s, at the height of vodka and big hair, when distilleries in the Bluegrass State were shuttering their doors. They simply couldn’t give bottles away, the same bottles that just a generation before were lining executive conference rooms and hotel bars throughout America. It was by definition an all-American drink, and it was quickly fading. But then in the mid-2000s, distillers realized the atmosphere was changing. Bourbon started coming back. Fast.
This explosion, which continues to grow to this day, raises plenty of questions. What’s fueling the bourbon boom? Is it going to burst, like tech and housing? Are some bottles really worth $5,000, and more importantly, who’s buying them? What makes a bourbon good? The best way to get to the bottom of this was to head to the Bluegrass State, where 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is made, equipped with a few cameras, some notebooks and clean livers for five days on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail — a triangle of distillery tours throughout the state with endpoints at Louisville, Lexington and Bardstown — for many early mornings and late nights drinking and talking with some of the foremost professionals in booze. We came back with five days of fear and loathing on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
New Bird on the Block
From The Horn of Plenty to the myriad mouths to feed, Thanksgiving is all about abundance. Your bird should reflect that. Perhaps on the basis of size alone, turkey is the default — but there’s a better way to feed your folks. A more delicious, more moist, more tender way. Its name: the capon. Chef David Waltuck, of Chanterelle fame, invited us to watch him prepare one the right way.
The Poor Man's Fondue
Seen as an instant fondue, raclette is a variety of cheese and pastime in itself: groups of friends collect around a heat source to melt, scrape, and gorge on delicious, full-fatty cheese. Though the culture has grown to include its own type of conventional raclette-style grills for any variety of gastronomic exploration, we recommend focusing on the essentials next time you and your friends find yourself around the campfire. Read our guide here.
You're a Better Man than Hungry-Man
Easy-to-make meals have been associated with artificial preservatives and gluttonous additives for far too long. These brands are changing the paradigm of instant food for the better — and they taste great, too.
Wet trousers and world-class scallops
1:00 p.m. BST | Colbost, Isle of Skye, UK – We parked the truck somewhere in the north of Skye and picked up our rental Lapierre road bikes. It was very cold and raining hard, the aftereffects of Hurricane Gonzalo on the other side of the Atlantic, but we wanted to get a ride in and figured: let’s just bike to lunch. Lunch was at The Three Chimneys, the Isle of Skye’s best restaurant with a newly minted Michelin star.
An Ontario Staple Is Highway 11's Best Stop
Mike McParland, now 67, has been working at Webers Burgers since he was 16. An estimated 300,000 visitors stop into the grill on their way up and down Ontario’s Highway 11 — but it’s not because of the burgers.
Read Them and Eat
This year, like last year, we did our fair share of dining. We hunted for barbecue in Texas, ate all the burgers in L.A. and went inside the new American supper club. We found that, like television, restaurants are in the best form they’ve ever been. These are 25 of our favorite restaurants in America, chosen by our editors and writers across the country for their newness, their hospitality and the quality of their food — though not always in that order.
SoCal Sunny Side Up
Zoe Nathan , alongside her husband and business partner Josh Loeb, owns the Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry Café & Bakery. Her recently released cookbook, Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From Our Kitchen, dishes secrets to making fantastic organic morning meals.
A Little Spice is Always Nice
A full-palate salad that finishes with a kick. It’s the perfect medley for the last days of our Indian summer.
Everything's Better With Bacon
San Francisco chef Timmy Malloy takes the catch of the day and prepares it with fresh, local, seasonal produce.
It's Time for a Mischief Night in Craft Beer
Back in 2011 The Atlantic reported on “The Divisive Pumpkin Ale”, alleging that the style had become synonymous with increasingly stale and overdone flavors. This is still the (very subjective) argument for people who loathe the stuff. But more and more brewers and beer enthusiasts argue beyond taste: they say that some pumpkin beer practices are bad for consumers and craft beer in general.
Oh, I'd love to Drive an Oscar Mayer Wiener
We drove the Wienermobile, and it was awesome.
A Visual Guide to Spiciness and Flavor
Some chili peppers are more sweet than spicy, better suited to date night than a chest-beating contest with the boys. To learn more about the tamer varieties, we took a walk to the Chelsea Fruit Market. These are ones that interest us and our admittedly fragile tastebuds.
Craft Hot Sauces Come Into Their Own
The stateside culture of craft hot sauce has had a slow-burn response to veteran heavyweights like Tabasco and Texas Pete, which sacrifice flavor for heat. Enthusiasts today are gazing toward the Pacific Northwest, where artisans are using the quality and abundance of fresh, local ingredients to produce wildly diverse newcomers to our country’s cabinet of hot sauces. We tried five of the best.
Pat LaFrieda explains how it works
When it comes to aging meat, you need to talk to the beef cognoscenti, and Pat LaFrieda is a card-carrying member: butchery goes back more than 100 years in his family. He shared this excerpt from his new book, Meat: Everything You Need to Know.
Pouches For The Pack
Dehydrated meals are the camping food industry’s apex predator. They’re lightweight, simple to make and sold at every outdoor retailer; all that’s required is hot water. But history’s taught us that convenience and quality usually have inverse relationships. We tasted five of the industry’s top brands to see whether an easy, delicious fireside meal was a marketing ploy or a reality.
Pray for delays
While airports have yet to become actual dining destinations — we’re not meeting friends at LaGuardia for dinner — we’re in the midst of a gentle culinary renaissance at some of the country’s biggest hubs. From ‘cue to sushi, here are the best airport restaurants in the country.
Your checklist for a beefy LA lunch
The city of Los Angeles is known for Hollywood stars, sprawling traffic…and gourmet burgers. Yes, that sandwich concoction that first appeared in the late 1800s has become a staple in the City of Angels. There are the obvious picks like Umami, Father’s Office, Apple Pan and of course In-N-Out; but a quick Yelp search for “burger” reveals almost 6,000 places to sit and enjoy ground meat on a bun. We spent a week seeking some of the lesser known but equally (arguably more) loved options.
Lessons Through Tasting with the Experts
True extra virgin olive oil is not always what you buy at the supermarket. Matthew Ankeny tours the Long Meadow Ranch to experience olive oil made by a passionate, knowledgeable group of California-based olive millers.
The Slow-n-Low Pursuits of one of Montreal's Best restaurants
You don’t just build a smoker and start cooking in it. Like any other major project, the idea turns into an obsession, which turns into a real possibility, which turns into a mess. Only then can you see what your initial idea has twisted itself into. We know this, and so does Frédéric Morin of Joe Beef. In this excerpt from the restaurant’s cookbook, Morin explains the tortuous path from a childhood of smoky fiddlings to an adulthood of…smoky fiddlings. And, ultimately, a working, self-built smoker at Joe Beef in Montreal.