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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114 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.16 THE SPREAD debutante galas in town. Her 1986 book e Heritage of Southern Cooking leaves us with a lot of evidence of Louisville being Southern. But a lot of the foods aren't those "greatest hits" you would think of. Glenn has a menu called "Dinner on Cherokee Road" that in- cludes lamb chops with artichokes, buttered brown rice, watercress and walnut salad, tidewater feather rolls, dry red wine and frozen Cointreau soufflé. Yet Louis doesn't think Louisville is Southern. "Benedictine was developed in Louisville. e Hot Brown is from Louisville," he says. "ose things are not the South." At the Taste of Louisville a couple years ago, I had some inspirational shrimp and grits. No, it wasn't a Jack Fry's creation. It was from Sway (a portmanteau of "South- ern" and "way"), which opened at the Hyatt Regency downtown in 2012. It's late June when I finally get around to eating there. e large windows open to Fourth Street, letting the urban heat in to fight with the air conditioning. A group of men in suits, likely in town for business, sip drinks around a high-top table. It's hard to tell if the people next to them are visitors or locals, with all the gliding vowels. My fiancé and I get those spicy shrimp and grits along with an order of Southern fried chicken that comes with a gravy boat, mashed potatoes and collard greens. When the server tells us the chicken will take probably 25 minutes, we're both giddy at the realization that the food is actu- ally being made right there on the spot from scratch, not just warming under a heat lamp. I later learn that the restaurant has just gotten a new chef, Pietro Consorti, who has transferred from the Park Hyatt in Milan, Italy. (He visited in March for an interview and on his way home transferred planes in Brussels, Belgium, on the day of the terrorist bombings. "I went outside to smoke a cigarette and boom!" Consorti says in a thick Italian accent.) It might seem a little strange for the hotel to hire a chef who comes from a place where collard greens are unknown. But, he says, "Cooking Southern doesn't mean also to cook in your way. For me it's to use your products; then it's my way." As the meal arrives, we realize that our decision to sit in the lounge and eat from a cocktail table was silly for such serious eating. "I had some fried chicken at 610 Magnolia once that was really good," Jeff says to me, hunched over the little table as he pulls meat from a drumstick. "is is really good." Who knew that the humble fried chicken, the result of some flour and an iron skillet, could turn into a majestic food experience on a Monday night? Chicken salad sandwich with jalapeño pineapple slaw at Finn's Southern Kitchen.

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