A Bourbon Country Repast, ca. 1880 with Julian Van Winkle – A Piggy Bank Benefit for Southern Foodways Alliance

We are pleased to offer some deeply rooted Kentucky cooking for our second Piggy Bank Dinner, a benefit for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Julian Van Winkle will be here to discuss his storied bourbon (12, 15, and 23 year will be served) plus a couple of selections from Buffalo Trace Distillery, and we are cooking up a 5-course menu with receipts and inspiration from Lettice Bryan’s The Kentucky Housewife (Louisville, 1839) and The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery. SFA documentary films will be shown, The Poker Night String Band will play some righteous tunes, and good times will be had by all.

“The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. We set a common table where black and white, rich and poor — all who gather — may consider our history and our future in a spirit of reconciliation.

A member-supported non-profit, based at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, we stage symposia, produce documentary films, collect oral histories, sponsor scholarship, mentor students, and publish great writing. Donations from generous individuals, foundations, and companies fund our good work.” – SFA Mission Statement

Big Jones supports the Southern Foodways Alliance because their work inspires us every day by telling stories about the people and places in the South that make both the history and future of this cuisine. What’s critical about the SFA’s work is that they are going after these stories, collecting them, and documenting them. Without the SFA, many of these stories would be lost to history. As much as this dinner is to raise money for the mission of the Southern Foodways Alliance, it’s also to spread the word.

According to Big Jones tradition, every dish on this menu is made from whole raw farm ingredients processed at Big Jones. Farms and suppliers represented here are likely to be Gunthorp Farm, LaPryor Farm, Slagel Family Farm, Windy Knoll Farm, Genesis Growers, Green Acres, Spence Farm, Kilgus Farmstead, Anson Mills, Burton’s Maplewood Farm, and Seedling, perhaps a few more.

For anyone curious about the date we’ve affixed to the menu, we have used the inspiration of The Kentucky Housewife along with some later 19th-century books, Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book (1867,) Housekeeping in Old Virginia (1879,) and Dishes and Beverages of The Old South (1913,) to create a menu of historically accurate foods from the time, when Bourbon whiskey was reaching its present form and coming into its own.  The legendary A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery was founded in 1872 as a sour mash distillery at a time when that was becoming the preferred distillation method, and Julian Van Winkle I, who was a young boy at that time, would eventually purchase that distillery and merge it with his wholesale liquor company W.L. Weller and Sons, and the rest is Bourbon legend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

6:00 Reception

Virtue Cider, “The Mitten” bourbon barrel-aged cider

18-month aged house-cured country ham, sorghum wild yeast rye bread, pickled ramps, asparagus, and fiddleheads

7:00 Dinner

Pappy Van Winkle 12 year old

Guinea fowl and butterbean dumpling soup with pickled pokeweed shoots

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce with spring onions, heirloom radishes, and hot bacon dressing
Salt-rising bread with cottage cheese and damson preserves

Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old

Crispy chicken livers with buttered bloody butcher corn hominy, young turnip greens cooked with smoked jowl, and gizzard gravy

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old

Mince pie with syllabub

Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye

Coconut macaroons floating in rum custard with preserved rhubarb and mint

Please join us for a very special evening. The price is $150 per person including tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 773-275-5725.

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