Dean Corbett, Shawn Ward, Mark Stevens, Ouita Michel, Richard Lewis and Jay Denham to cook country-ham centered dinner celebrating release of “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2014)—Six of Kentucky’s top chefs will gather to prepare a country ham-inspired dinner to commemorate the publishing of the book, “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke,” written by local author, Steve Coomes.
The dinner, scheduled for Aug. 28 at Corbett’s: An American Place, will be prepared by Dean Corbett (chef-owner, Corbett’s and Equus/Jack’s Lounge), Shawn Ward (executive chef, The Brewery), Mark Stevens (chef-owner, Stevens & Stevens Deli and Catering), Ouita Michel (chef-owner of Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station and Midway School Bakery in Midway, and Windy Corner and Smithtown Seafood in Lexington), Richard Lewis (corporate executive chef, Morrison Healthcare Management) and Jay Denham (master charcutier, Woodlands Pork, former chef at Park Place).
The seven-course affair will begin with a 6:30 p.m. reception in Corbett’s courtyard, where guests will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, bourbon cocktails and Prosecco. Dinner will follow in Corbett’s main dining room and include cleverly prepared dishes accented by smoked cured Kentucky hams.
“Mark, Richard, Steve and I cooked together at Sixth Avenue in the early 1980s, so since we go a long way back together, this gives us an excuse to throw a great party,” said Dean Corbett. “When I talked to the other chefs about doing a dinner that tied into Steve’s book, they all wanted in because we love cooking together and we love country ham.”
Coomes’s book details the American South’s centuries-old country ham culture and the people who still practice the ancient art of curing hindquarters. Guests of the dinner will share platters of country ham from multiple Kentucky producers, and listen to Denham, one of the nation’s premier ham makers, explain the unique nuances of each. Guests will also get to meet Ronnie and Beth Drennan, owners of Broadbent’s Country Hams and 2014 Kentucky State Fair Country Ham Grand Champions.
“What we take for granted in the South as ‘just country ham,’ is regarded by chefs around the nation as a treasure, a sort-of American prosciutto,” Steve Coomes said. “While it’s often cooked here, chefs elsewhere serve it as charcuterie so diners can experience its full flavor and texture. There will be a lot of examples of both preparation styles during this dinner.”
Cost of the dinner is $95 per person, wine and cocktail pairings with each course, and a signed copy of Coomes’s book. (Tax and gratuity are not included.) Reservations can be made by calling Corbett’s at 502-327-5058.
The evening’s menu includes:
Reception: Passed Hors D’Oeuvres, Corbett’s courtyard
Mark Stevens: Country ham fritter with corn relish
Richard Lewis: “Ham and Egg,” on toasted brioche, sliced ham, garnish of salt-cured eggs
Jay Denham: Bruschetta of grilled peaches, pickled peppers and Woodlands Pork Back Bacon
Dean Corbett: Choice of Corbett’s Bourbon Lemonade Hayride or Prosecco
Appetizer: A Discussion of Kentucky Country Hams
Jay Denham: Platters of three famed Kentucky hams (Woodlands Pork, Broadbent’s Country Ham and Col. Bill Newsom’s Aged Kentucky Country Ham) served with pickled fruits and vegetables, Midway School Bakery beaten biscuits, paired with Old Forester Bourbon cocktail
Mark Stevens: House-made ravioli stuffed with baby spinach, ricotta cheese, butternut squash served with browned butter, sage and country ham twille, paired with rosé
Ouita Michel: Organic Woodford County Kale, wilted with sorghum vinaigrette, tossed with Happy Jack’s charred sweet corn, roasted peppers, smoked baby cherry tomatoes, Good Shepherd cheese and shaved country ham, paired with sauvignon blanc
Dean Corbett: Melon and country ham sorbet
Shawn Ward: Seared diver scallop with kohlrabi puree, truffled ham broth, bean salad, garnish of country ham chips, paired with chardonnay
Richard Lewis: Beignets tossed with country ham “dust” and powdered sugar, accompanied by red-eye ice cream, paired with Corbett’s coffee and Herradura Tequila Añejo
Ouita Michel: Mignardise of Midway School Bakerysweet-and-savory corn cookies
About Corbett’s: An American Place:
A multiple AAA Four-Diamond award-winning restaurant, Corbett’s is consistently regarded one of Louisville’s most outstanding fine dining restaurants. Led by veteran chef and restaurateur, Dean Corbett, the restaurant operates in the historic Von Allmen mansion, once home to Kentucky’s first working dairy farm. Its stunning interior design balances reserved Southern elegance with modern décor matched by a dynamic and inventive menu, an extensive wine list, impressive artisanal cheese selection and an interactive digital chef’s table. It is located at 5050 Norton Healthcare Boulevard. Reservations for lunch, brunch and dinner can be made by calling 502-327-5058.