Monday, February 22, 2010

Bluegrass Chef Jonathan Lundy Publishes Innovative Southern Cookbook

Jonathan Lundy, chef/owner of the Lexington restaurant Jonathan at Gratz Park is pleased to introduce his new cookbook, Jonathan's Bluegrass Table: Redefining Kentucky Cuisine (ISBN 978-19354910-3, $35). The glossy hardcover 240-page volume features more than 147 recipes accompanied by 100 full-color photographs. Lundy's sophisticated take on Kentucky cooking is presented in the context of the Bluegrass region's agricultural and culinary heritage to provide a definitive resource for innovative Southern food.

Jonathan's Bluegrass Table is organized into nine chapters, including "Gracious Greens" salads, "It's Suppertime!" entrées, "Dramatic Endings" desserts and "Un-Commonwealth Cocktails" spirited beverages. Featured native ingredients, including Weisenberger Mills grits, sorghum, country ham, Kentucky bison and farm-fresh produce reinforce the authenticity of Lundy's recipes. Kentucky bourbon fortifies a variety of meats, sauces and sweets and also takes a starring role in such cocktails as the Belle Brezing Martini, named for the Lexington madam who is said to have inspired the Belle Watling character in Gone With the Wind. Brezing operated her bordello for a short time in the building that now houses Jonathan at Gratz Park Inn.

Classic recipes that inspire nostalgia for horse races and mint juleps include Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Beer Cheese, Jonathan's Kentucky Burgoo, the Hot Brown and the Calumet Baking Powder Biscuits, made with the very same baking powder from the company established in 1889 by Lundy's great-great grandfather William Monroe Wright. Lundy's lineage is also tied to Wright's Calumet Farm, a Kentucky thoroughbred farm that produced two Triple Crown winners and eight Kentucky Derby winners.

Inventive dishes put a new twist on Kentucky ingredients to make Lundy's book a contemporary reference on Southern cooking. Standout recipes include Country Ham Pot Stickers with peach sweet and sour and bourbon soy sauces, Sea Scallop Hot Browns, Grilled Lamb Rack with Mint Julep Jelly and Goat Cheese Scalloped Potatoes.

As a Kentucky native who grew up in Midway on Lundy Farm, Lundy is a culinary ambassador for the Bluegrass. He and his wife Cara opened Jonathan at Gratz Park in the historic Gratz Park Inn in1998. The restaurant has been featured in such publications as Southern Living, Cooking Light, the Chicago Tribune and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Jonathan's Bluegrass Table: Redefining Kentucky Cuisine, by Jonathan Lundy.
Photographed by Lee Thomas.
240 pages, 100 photographs, 8 x 10 paper.
ISBN 978-19354910-3 $35

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