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James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

James Beard Foundation Taste America Dinner: Louisville, KY

Hey, y’all!

I recently had the privilege of attending the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Dinner here in Louisville, KY. If you are in-tune with the culinary world, you know that the James Beard Foundation is a big deal. As I like to say: it’s the crème de la crème of gastronomy.

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

Due to the fact that it was held at the Speed Art Museum, one of my favorite venues in the city, I knew that it would be a fabulous evening. That said, y’all – and I don’t say this lightly – it exceeded my wildest expectations.

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

The evening started on the lawn; libations were poured and reception tastings were curated by Jeremy Ashby (AZUR, Lexington), Kevin Ashworth (610 Magnolia, Louisville), Samantha Fore (Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, Lexington), Josh Moore (Volare, Louisville), and Bruce Ucan (The Mayan Cafe, Louisville). Fun fact: did you know that I did a winter term abroad in Mérida? Yucatecan food is thus very special to me and I love that I can be reminded of that period of my life – one of the best – when dining with Chef Ucan.

After being ushered into the main room (shoutout to my friends at Estes Public Relations for putting on an amazing event!), it was time for the real party! Dinner party, that is.

Our visiting All-Star, Chef Richard Blais, came to us from San Diego. And he brought the entertainment all evening – what a fun, hilarious guy!

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

We were also graced by our local All-Star, Chef Sara Bradley of Freight House in Paducah. You might be familiar with her work from her amazing run on Top Chef: Kentucky! She represented us so well!

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

The first course was a delicious tostada with an indulgent, creamy spread + pickled beets. Two thumbs up!

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

Next was a beautifully prepared Asian Carp, which as an invasive species, bodes well with the James Beard Foundation’s commitment to sustainability. (Something I learned at the event: did you know that almost 40% of food produced in the United States is wasted? What an unbelievable, hard-to-stomach reality! We must do better.)

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

The carp was prepared by Chef Sara Bradley – on the side, we also got one of her famous biscuits!

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

Lastly: a pork lover’s dream. Case-closed.

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

After dinner + speeches from the James Beard Foundation, chefs, and Fund for the Arts (so exited about their partnership with JBF here in Louisville!) concluded, dessert followed.

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

Where dessert goes, I go.

Desserts were provided by Nokee Bucayu (Ashbourne Farms, Louisville), Claudia Delatoree (The Bakery at Sullivan University, Louisville), and Annie Harlow + Leslie Wilson (Hi-Five Doughnuts, Louisville).

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

A plus: Please and Thank You had cookies being passed out, as well. I mean how can you complain?! They’re the best!

James Beard Taste America Dinner Series, Louisville KY: JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

I look forward to attending more events with – and actively supporting – the James Beard Foundation, Kentucky Tourism, and our prospering culinary scene. I am consistently in awe at the talent that we possess in our Commonwealth. I have long believed that we are an over-looked state; however, from the work of many, we are starting to get the recognition that we have long-deserved.

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This experience and post was kindly sponsored by Kentucky Tourism, in partnership with the Lou Hammond Group; however, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

A Fall Feast With Kingsford Charcoal

This post is sponsored by Kingsford but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Hey, y’all!

Many associate grilling out with summer; however, I’ve always disagreed – I love to charcoal grill in the fall! I love being out on the deck or the patio with crisp, fall temperatures, oversized sweaters, and mouthwatering, grilled food.

 

My favorite part about charcoal grilling – and food, in general – is the fact that it brings together the people that I love most. To welcome autumn, I did just that. What better way to usher in a season than with my best friends?

 

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

When designing the menu, I knew I wanted it to be: 1) simple, 2) hearty, and 3) cooked over charcoal.

For me, charcoal is key when grilling because the smoky, wood-fired flavor of the food – along with the tenderness if cooking meat – is in a league of its own. If I’m out to impress, charcoal is undoubtedly the choice. Apart from that, I find charcoal to be very economical and it allows for greater control in the cooking process.

 

Cooking with charcoal is also, to be frank, an experience in and of itself. To grill is to socialize; and grilling with charcoal is more interactive and more fun than using a gas grill, slow cooker, or an instant pot. As the charcoal warmed with my friends on a breezy Sunday afternoon, glasses of tea were poured, laughs were had, and memories were made. For that, I am grateful.

 

When cooking with my girls, I know one thing will always be on the menu: steak. However, charcoal grilling is fantastic for side dishes, as well! We chose to grill some corn on the cob – and it was perfectly charred (I won’t confess how many ears I had!). There was no prep, minus shucking the ears; after shucking, we placed the ears on the charcoal grill and cooked/flipped until the corn had a light, beautiful char.

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

As for the steak, we chose a few beautiful cuts of sirloin and Shelby made her special marinade. She – luckily for me and for y’all – is allowing me to share her recipe; trust me when I say that it is iconic!

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

Shelby's Marinated Steaks

Ingredients:

Your Choice of Steak

Marinade:

1/4 c. Soy Sauce

1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/8 c. Worcestershire Sauce

3 tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 tbsp. Minced Garlic

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Onion Powder

1/2 tsp. Thyme

1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl; mix well.
  2. Add the steak to the marinade, ensuring that all pieces are fully covered and immersed.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to a maximum of 90 minutes.
  4. Remove steaks from the marinade, place on the charcoal grill, and grill to your desired level of doneness.

As I previously mentioned, grilling in the fall is my absolute favorite; apart from that, fall is my favorite because of the Holidays. The grilled corn would be a perfect side dish for your family Thanksgiving gathering; you could also cook some delicious turkey using a charcoal grill and Kingsford Charcoal. In doing so, your menu is sure to be one to remember – be sure to cook plenty, as your guests will want seconds!

 

For an incredible feast, look no further than Kingsford Charcoal; you can purchase Kingsford Charcoal at your local retailers: Target, Lowe’s, Walmart, the Home Depot, and many more!

Cooking with Kingsford Charcoal - JC Phelps of JCP Eats, a Kentucky-based Food Blog

Y’all, I want to know: What food will you be charcoal grilling to help you make the most of this season? Tell me below in the comments!

Happy grilling – and happy fall – to all y’all!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

 

Embark on Shelby County’s BBQ Trail

Hey, y’all!

We here in Kentucky love trails. Most notably, of course, we hold our Bourbon Trail near and dear – and with good reason. That said, I think there should be more trails for those of us that are more food-focused, as opposed to spirit-focused (note: both are great – ha!).

If you know anything about me or my blog, you probably know that I adore Shelby County, KY. It’s the perfect town, located between Lexington and Louisville, that boasts everything that I love about Kentucky: good food, country roads, kind people, farms, horses, and amazing local businesses.

I was recently in town trying some new-to-me local restaurants and was astounded at the quality of BBQ dishes around the county. Like, mouthwatering good. Write your MeeMaw good. Praising the Lord good, y’all. And I couldn’t help but to think to myself… I think all foodies need to have a BBQ-packed day in Shelby County! Thus, I present to you: the Shelby County BBQ Trail!

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Grab a BBQ Sandwich and a side of Apple Cole Slaw at Mulberry Orchard

1330 Mulberry Pike

Shelbyville, KY 40065

Mulberry Orchard is known for being a locally-owned and operated farm in Shelby County that produces 17 different types of apples (more on that later); that said, they also have other fruits, amazing produce/merchandise (I had the best sugar baby watermelon from the store!), and an on-site café that serves up some delicious BBQ. You’ll want to grab the Orchard Pulled Pork Sandwich, which is flavorful BBQ with incorporated apple pieces, all served on a pretzel bun; and, of course, you have to get the Honey and Apple Coleslaw on the side!

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats\The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Ken-Tex BBQ

1163 Mount Eden Rd.

Shelbyville, KY 40065

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Ken-Tex has been serving up Texas-style BBQ since 1984 – and with one bite, you’ll realize that they are not amateurs! The name, Ken-Tex, was a natural choice: A Shelbyville girl (Ken) met and married a Texas police officer (Tex); together, they opened the business. Though the original owners sold the business, Ken-Tex is still family-owned and operated. You’ll want to grab some of the brisket, as it was fantastic. Come for the rotisserie pit, hickory-smoked BBQ (you’ll smell the deliciousness!); stay for a helping (or two!).

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

 

B&N Food Market

5945 Elmburg Rd.

Bagdad, KY 40003

B&N Food Market was my favorite stop of the trip, hands down. This food market has been family-owned and operated since 1970. B&N is famous in Bagdad, KY – and with good reason. Upon walking in, you know this is a spot for locals to eat, to converse, and (I’m sure) to solve the world’s problems. I know for a fact that I plan to spend a lot of time in the future here – and I’d love for them to cater my next party.

Why will B&N cater my next party? Two words: the brisket. It was THE BEST that I have ever had, and I do not say that lightly. Brisket is my favorite form of BBQ and B&N‘s almost brought tears to my eyes. Get it. Run, don’t walk.

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Apart from the brisket, I also ordered the ribs, smoked turkey, pulled pork, and a bean soup. Every morsel was finger-lickin’ good.

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

B&N is famous in the community for their Newt Burger, which I also tried (all of the food, am I right?). Two thumbs up! If you love burgers like me, order one… along with your BBQ!

Pro tip: When visiting, make sure you say “Howdy!” to Buckshot, the owner. He’s a great guy and I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend with him. Tell him that I sent ya!

Red Lion

525 Washington St.

Shelbyville, KY 40065

I’m no stranger to the Red Lion – I’ve been a couple of times and it has been a lovely experience time and time again. The small, intimate, Tudor-style pub is the perfect spot to meet up with friends; the atmosphere is warm and inviting – and the food is great!

Through my visits to the Red Lion, I have noticed that their menu rotates. That said, on my last visit, I was able to order pulled pork poutine. Poutine is a Canadian dish that is comprised of french fries and cheese curds, topped with a brown gravy. The Red Lion made it even more decadent with pulled pork – because, well, why not?

The Shelby County KY BBQ Trail - Where to Eat BBQ in Shelby County, Kentucky by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

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Love BBQ? Love adventure? Love local food? Look no further than Shelby County, KY. Do visit and plan to stay – take a seat, grab a glass of sweet tea, and have an appetite, y’all! I know that my friends will treat you well.

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post was generously sponsored by ShelbyKY Tourism Commission and Visitors Bureau; however, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

An Easy Fall Family-Friendly Recipe: Oven-Roasted, Peanut Butter S’mores Apples by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

An Easy, Fall, Family-Friendly Recipe: Oven-Roasted, Peanut Butter S’mores Apples

Hey, y’all!

I’m currently writing this while sitting in the air conditioning and drinking a Diet Coke at Dollywood (more on why I am here later); that said, I want to go old school on y’all & write an impromptu  blog post. As someone that has been in this industry for roughly a decade, this used to very much be the norm. And I miss it. Question: Would y’all want to see more posts like this?

That said, I was recently working on a campaign with Kroger on Instagram. I was to create a fall-appropriate dish and decided to make something very easy, inexpensive, and family-friendly. So many of y’all on Instagram have reached out to me saying that you + your children have loved this snack idea – thus, I thought I’d share it here on the blog.

Cheers!

Oven-Roasted, Peanut Butter S'mores Apples

Ingredients:

note: this is for two halved apples; this recipe is SO easy to adjust to your quantity needs.

1 Apple

2 Tbsp. Crunchy (or your preference of) Peanut Butter

2 Tsp. Honey

2 Large Marshmallows

Cinnamon, to taste

Nutmeg, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare the apples by cutting them in half and carefully removing the core.
  3. Roast the apples until they are fork-tender, roughly 25-30 minutes.
  4. Pull the apples out of the oven, spoon peanut butter into the middle, and top with a jumbo marshmallow.
  5. Broil until the marshmallow is toasted to your preference.
  6. Remove from oven and top the apples with honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  7. Enjoy!

How easy is that? An easy, healthy, and filling treat for your family this fall!

Enjoy!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This is not a sponsored post; all opinions expressed are my own.

An Easy Fall Family-Friendly Recipe- Oven-Roasted, Peanut Butter S'mores Apples Pin JCP Eats.png

A Guide To Munfordville, Kentucky: A Rural Oasis In Central KY

Hey, y’all!

Rural Kentucky. I love it. I love it with all of my being, every ounce of it. And Munfordville is a perfect example as to why.

Why do I regard Munfordville so highly? Central Kentucky is one of the most beautiful places in the world to me. The people are warm, kind, and friendly; the terrain is rural, heavy in farmland, and gorgeous; and it’s chock-full of activities for all travelers: solo adventurers, families, children, adults – you name it!

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Hospitality:

Hospitality is at the core of Munfordville. Travelers have been coming to the town for ages; the historic Munford Inn started welcoming guests in 1810, and in present times, the Munfordville Welcome Center is continuing on the tradition [ps: I totally recommend dropping by the Welcome Center – the staff is fantastic (including the tourism director, who is the absolute best!) and there’s a great shop, full to the brim with local goodies!].

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Location:

Munfordville is gorgeously located on the banks of the Green River, which serves as a launching spot for many paddlers and boaters. That, along with hiking and the caves that the region is known so well for, makes Munfordville an outdoor enthusiast’s nirvana.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

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Travel Guide:

That said, upon spending a couple of days in town, I have a few tips for y’all to maximize your time in Munfordville: where to eat, what to do, and where to go. Start planning your trip now, as I can assure a good time will be had by all!

Start Your Morning With Coffee at the Brew House

219 Main St.

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

The Brew House is a small, quaint, family-owned coffee shop located on Main St. Serving up delicious coffee (I noticed they have Sunergos, which is one of my favorites!) and fresh-made pastries, this is a fantastic place to start your day. You’ll love the friendly baristas and owner, alongside knowing that you are supporting a local business. Being from a very small town myself, I think it’s special when a community can – and does! – support a coffee shop. Oh, and do grab a muffin and/or a scone!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Explore Downtown Munfordville

Near Main St.

Munfordville, KY 42765

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: small town downtowns are unrivaled in my book – and Munfordville‘s is no exception. After having a coffee at the Brewhouse, take a walk around the vicinity; upon exploring, you’ll find local businesses, historic homes and buildings, murals (I loved the Coca Cola graphic!), and the Munfordville Welcome Center. Bring your camera, as it is picturesque!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Visit Kentucky Stonehenge

201 Lynn Avenue

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Y’all know that I love to travel abroad. That said, did you know that we here in Kentucky have our own version of Stonehenge? A replica of the English landmark was constructed by Munfordville resident Chester Fryer; he built the recreation of ancient history to bring visitors into the region and welcomes you to visit it! In addition to the  display that resembles the world-famous Stonehenge, the estate is divided into several other rock displays: Earth Mysteries, The Garden of Gethsemane, Rock Gardens, and Rock Park.

Dine at Poor Keys BBQ

Open on Thursdays, Poor Keys BBQ is a fantastic business that is owned and operated by local resident Brian Key (who is, by the way, such a fantastic guy!). The BBQ is extremely affordable and – in all honesty – mouthwatering. Give Brian a visit and tell him that I sent you! You can contact him/check availability and location here.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Shop at Deitweiler’s Country Store

12825 Priceville Rd.

Cub Run, KY 42729

Located three miles from Cub Run Cave, Deitweiler’s is a large-scale Amish store that has everything from fabric, clothing, and hats to food items, preserves, household goods, quilts, chimes, and rocking chairs. Amish stores are some of my favorites to visit, as I love the variety of delicious goodies they carry. Deitweiler’s did not disappoint and I very much recommend that you pay them a visit!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP EatsA Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Green River Park and Arboretum

103 River Rd.

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Nature lovers + outdoor enthusiasts — look no further. Located on the banks of the Green River, Munfordville boasts the Green River Park and Arboretum. On the property, in addition to the beautiful trees, one can find covered picnic pavilions, grills, a nine hole disc golf course, children’s playground, a hiking trail head, paved walking trail, and a boat ramp that can be used for boating, canoeing, kayaking or fishing.

Browse Schmucker’s Greenhouse

317 Clearview Dr.

Munfordville, KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Schmucker’s is another fabulous, Amish-owned business in Munfordville. At the greenhouse during the main season, you will find six greenhouses full of assorted, potted annuals and perennials, mixed containers and hanging baskets, knockout roses, fruit trees, ornamental trees and bushes, strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, blackberries, raspberries, and grape vines. Of course, being this time of year, the greenhouse was full of my favorite fall decor – mums!

Drive Country Roads With No Destination

I very much implore that you drive around Munfordville + Hart County with no destination. I did just this on my trip and it was one of my favorite activities. I found dead end roads, fields of goldenrods, beautiful farms, and southern landscapes that were stunning.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Driving backroads is therapeutic; it’s good for the soul. I’ve always felt that way. Maybe it’s because I’m a country boy. Maybe it’s because Munfordville is so beautiful. Most likely, it’s both.

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Grab a Burger at the Munfordville Pool Hall

113 West Union St.

Munfordville KY 42765

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Pool halls are a large part of small town culture. They are chock-full of locals, conversations, and I can guarantee you that many of the world’s problems have been solved within their walls. The Munfordville Pool Hall fit the bill perfectly, serving up delicious burgers, sandwiches, sides, and milkshakes. Don’t miss it!

Feast on Delicious Mexican Food at El Mazatlan

1172 Main St. (US 31W)

Munfordville KY 42749

Even though El Mazatlan is a chain, it’s one of my favorites. I grew to love it while getting my MBA at Western Kentucky University. I was so excited to see that Munfordville had a location – and I had to stop, naturally! You’ll love the manager, the expansive menu, the portion sizes, and the price point. Pro tip: order the chilaquiles. They are fabulous.

Attend a Festival

Munfordville is home to two fabulous festivals during the fall, one of which I got the chance to attend on this trip. Make plans for the second – and plan to attend Civil War Days next year – y’all; the folks in Munfordville know how to throw an event!

Civil War Days

Civil War Days, which sprawls out throughout downtown Munfordville, is a local celebration and appreciation of Hart County’s role in the Civil War. It garners a regional crowd – and after attending, I can see why!

A spectacle of a historic era and heritage, it’s truly something to see. The grounds of the Hart County Courthouse are filled with various food vendors, games, activities, and booths with everything from Civil War items to hand-made arts and crafts. The festival also has live music, historical tours, artifacts, living history encampments, and historical memorabilia on display.

Saturday and Sunday are highlighted with reenactments of the Battle of Munfordville and there is also a Blue Gray Ball. How cool is that?!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

The Big Buffalo Crossing BBQ Cook-Off

The Big Buffalo Crossing Cook-Off is a Kentucky State Championship cook-off and is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Each year (this year is the tenth annual!), professional BBQ teams from all over the U.S. compete for the championship of this highly-regarded festival. This year, they will be competing for both the notoriety + respect that a win in Munfordville brings, along with prize money totaling $15,000.

Competitors cook through the night on Friday and the judging is on Saturday; visitors can watch the BBQ masters in their natural habitat, along with enjoying BBQ from local vendors.

The 2019 Big Buffalo Crossing BBQ Cook-Off is the first stop this year on the Jim Beam Showdown – don’t miss it, y’all!

Dates: October 18 – 19, 2019
Times: Friday 9 am – 3 pm, Saturday 8 am – 5 pm

For more information on the festival, click here.

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Adventure awaits in Munfordville, KY – what are you waiting for? Come hungry, with your camera, and in good company!

A Guide to Munfordville, KY: Where to Eat, What to Do, and Where to Go by JC Phelps of JCP Eats

And once again – get on down to the 2019 Big Buffalo Crossing BBQ Cook-Off!

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post was kindly sponsored by Visit Munfordville; however, as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Top Foodie Stops For Your Visit To Butler County, Ohio - JC Phelps of JCP Eats

The Top Nine Foodie Stops For Your Trip To Butler County, Ohio

Hey, y’all!

You might have read my post about the Butler County Donut Trail a couple of months ago. I’ve SO enjoyed seeing your emails, photos, and DMs as y’all have embarked on the delicious journey with your friends and family!

If you haven’t done the trail yet, no worries – it’s here to stay and you can go at your leisure. However, you might want to book a hotel room and prepare for a food-filled trip after this blog post. While the Donut Trail is most definitely a highlight, there’s so much food and culture to be found in Butler County, Ohio. Here are my tips:

Have Lunch at Cozy’s Café & Pub

6440 Cin-Day Rd.

Liberty Township, OH 45044

The best way to describe Cozy’s is, well, cozy. Fitting, right? Whether you eat in the farmhouse-inspired dining rooms, in the pub section, or out on their gorgeous patio, you are sure to have a warm, fun-filled time. Cozy’s menu focuses on farm-to-table dining, with recipes that are simple, yet elevated, and extremely satisfying. This is a must-stop on your visit to Butler County! Oh, and two words: carrot cake. Order it, thank me later. They’re famous for it!

Grab an Ice Cream Cone at The Cone

6855 Tylersville Rd. #1415

West Chester Township, OH 45069

The Cone is an immaculate, preserved piece of Roadside Americana – something that you don’t see often, and even more rare is seeing it done well. This, however, is an amazing example. It was clear that this was a local favorite, as it was packed; after one taste of the ice cream, I understood why. Jude and I loved it – especially the cherry-dipped, which reminds me of my childhood!

Top Foodie Stops For Your Visit To Butler County, Ohio - JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Visit Jungle Jim’s International Market

5440 Dixie Hwy.

Fairfield, OH 45014

If you haven’t been to Jungle Jim’s, run. Don’t walk.

The International Market is one of the most impressive (and fun!) stores that I have ever visited. The size of the selection is impressive enough. Bleu cheese? Yeah, there’s almost 100 of them. Butter? An entire bar of it. I was also very impressed by the Asian food section, produce, and seafood.

Top Foodie Stops For Your Visit To Butler County, Ohio - JC Phelps of JCP Eats

 

Order a Beer at Grainworks

7790 Service Center Dr. Suite B

West Chester Township, OH 45069

Grainworks Brewing Company was another highlight of my stay. I had the opportunity to meet one of the owners and to learn of his passion, dedication, and devotion made the beer taste even better. To quote, “Built on the same soil from which Cincinnati’s greatest breweries harvested their grain, Grainworks Brewing pours that rich history into every glass. It’s beer with a heritage. It’s beer with a soul” — and I couldn’t agree more.

Have Coffee and a Sandwich at Java Johnny’s

3534 Central Ave.

Middletown, OH 45044

Java Johnny’s is a friendly, unassuming coffee shop in Middletown. Perfect for a stop along the Donut Trail, it’s a lovely, cozy place to relax and decompress. Java Johnny’s roasts their own coffee beans, which makes for a flavorful cup of Joe. And while the coffee was great, the highlight was the chicken salad croissant. Hear me out: I’m a chicken salad addict (some might say snob) – and their version is some of the best that I have ever had. It was definitely one of the, if not the, most delicious meals that I had on my visit to Ohio.

Top Foodie Stops For Your Visit To Butler County, Ohio - JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Top Foodie Stops For Your Visit To Butler County, Ohio - JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Indulge in BBQ at Combs BBQ

2223 Central Ave.

Middletown, OH 45044

Combs BBQ is a funky BBQ shop in Middletown that is counter-served and finger lickin’ good. While the decor is eclectic, the food is classic; their slow-cooked meats = where it’s at, y’all. Don’t miss the pulled pork, which was my favorite; I also had a rack of ribs!

Eat at Northstar Café and Explore the Liberty Center

7610 Sloan Way

Liberty Township, OH 45069

There’s a reason that Northstar Café has grown to have five locations – and upon dining there, you’ll understand. Northstar chooses locally grown, organic, and artisan-produced foods that aid in protecting the environment, while also supporting producers with sustainable practices. In my opinion, that makes for even better food! From buddha bowls, to artisan pizzas, to sandwiches, and pimento cheese – there’s something at Northstar Café for everyone. And if you’re at this location, explore the Liberty Center afterwards. It’s an area chock-full of shopping, eateries, and some great murals!

Take a Cooking Class at the Learning Kitchen

7659 Cox Ln.

West Chester Township, OH 45069

I took my first cooking class at the Learning Kitchen – and it was a fantastic experience. The class size was small, which led to having a lot of individualized attention from the chef. Our theme, Shrimp Three Ways, produced three dishes that have been easily replicable in my own kitchen. That’s what I appreciated most – not only do you get a meal out of the experience, but you get skills that you can apply at a later time.

I have to say it again: Embark on the Donut Trail!

It’s delicious. Sinfully delicious. And it can be completed in one day. For more information on completing the Donut Trail – and I implore that you do this – click here.

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Butler County, Ohio is full of adventure – what are you waiting for?

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post was sponsored by the Butler County Visitors Bureau. However, as always, all opinions are my own.

JC Phelps of JCP Eats

Raising The Bar With The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Series

Hey, y’all!

If you love food (and you probably do if you are here in my cranny of the Internet) and you live in Kentucky, listen up!

As a Louisvillian, I am so excited to welcome back the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® Series (presented by Capital One) on Sept. 26th and 27th. The event will center around delicious food (of course), along with thought-provoking conversation surrounding the non-profit’s mission of cultivating a better food world for all.

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Spotlighting issues within the Foundation’s Good Food for Good™ platform, including food waste reduction, sustainability, inclusivity and chef advocacy, the seventh-annual cross-country food series will highlight the organization’s mission-forward impact programs and initiatives, while dishing out tasty bites to the foodies like you and I!

James Beard Foundation - Raising The Bar Louisville

While the festivities start on Thursday, I am coming to y’all today to let you know more about Friday’s Raising the Bar event, a cocktail party focused on sustainability, located on the Brown Hotel’s rooftop. That’s iconically Kentucky by my standards.

James Beard Foundation - Raising The Bar Louisville

At the party, attendees will be able to enjoy delicious bites and fun cocktails from top local mixologists and chefs including host chefs James Adams and Dustin Willett of the Brown Hotel.

Joining Chef Adams and Chef Willett are:

In addition to having one-on-one interactions with the chefs and mixologists, attendees will receive practical and delicious tips and guidance on how they can help build a better and sustainable food world, starting in their own home. That, in my opinion, is of utmost importance.

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I hope to see y’all there!

If you see me at the Brown, come up and say hi – let’s make it a social event, chock-full of good eats and delicious libations! I’m not sure there is a more fitting atmosphere for JCP Eats readers, y’all!

Date: Friday, September 27th, 2019

Where: The Brown Hotel

Time: 6:30 PM

Tickets: click here 

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As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JC

FTC: This post is sponsored by Estes Public Relations. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

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For more information regarding this event, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.

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