Louisville Magazine

AUG 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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112 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.16 THE SPREAD other fruits, vegetables and seeds. Finn's isn't the only place with a modern touch. Somewhere serves angel-hair pasta and potatoes au gratin. Gospel Bird puts twists on the originals with country-fried falafel, and shrimp and cauliflower grits. While so many others are fusing cuisines, Louis calls himself a purist. "If you cannot grow this item in the Appalachians, we will not serve it," he tells me one Sunday afternoon. "It was a scandal last week. Our scramble comes with a side of fruit. My partner Prem (Durham) was lamenting that it was just raspberry, blackberry and two blueberries, like, 'What? at's an insult. More fruit.' So the kitchen manager pur- chased a pineapple. She chopped this pine- apple, and I came in right in the middle of brunch service and saw this pineapple and everyone saw my face. ey all know." e current menu is a collection of customer favorites from the five years before the restaurant closed last year. (After clos- ing, Louis didn't go on the Facebook page for a while, but when he finally did, there were many personal messages from people telling what Louis calls heart-wrenching stories about missing Hillbilly Tea.) ere's pork and pone, crawdad fritters, chow chow, succotash, sweet potatoes. "I tried to distinguish us with doing Appalachian food instead of Southern food," he says. "is is my concept of a hillbilly. It wasn't really about no shoes and bad teeth and all that stuff. Or even white people or any of that. It's really about wholesome living off the land. "What people call Southern food is plan- tation food. It's what mammy made," says Louis, who grew up in Old Louisville and downtown in a family rooted in farming. "Now there's confusion of Southern food that was for the master and for the slaves. Now it's all blended. e food my family eats, which we call soul food, is now called Southern food in restaurants when you go to New York. My friends in Chicago who are black eat the same food, so what is Southern food?" Seviche owner Anthony Lamas has a Lat- in-inspired cookbook called Southern Heat. Edward Lee's Smoke & Pickles has a recipe for beef bone soup with kabocha dump- lings, which has strong Asian influences. At what point is food no longer Southern? "at's a great question," Lee says. "No one knows the answer. It's a fine line based on judgment." In attempting to find the Southern food line, I haven't even gotten to the unanswer- able question of whether or not Louisville is Southern. I will argue this: Camille Glenn. e late Glenn used to be a Courier-Journal food columnist and for some time catered Chicken and pone at Hillbilly Tea.

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