Bourbon Barrell Foods

Today is my last day of shooting Life After Top Chef for Bravo. I've been following chef Richard Blais around Atlanta for the past two months and the entire experience has been incredibly fun. He has taught me the importance of making simple, delicious food, which seems to always come back to proper seasoning. Salt, pepper, acidity... So in honor of our last day on set, I decided to post about a company who knows all about good seasoning, Bourbon Barrell Foods of Louisville, Kentucky. 

The creators of Bourbon Barrell Foods follow one mantra when making their high quality products; slow, small and simple. All of their products utilize ingredients sourced locally from Kentucky farmers as well as their infamous spirit- bourbon... straight from Bourbon County. 

Their sauces and marinades would make a great addition to your Memorial Day festivities. These include worcestershire sauce, which uses sorghum for sweetness; Kentuckyaki, which is their Kentucky style teriyaki made with bourbon, sorghum, ginger and garlic; And their popular Bluegrass Soy Sauce that is microbrewed in small batches. As stated on their site, "it's smoky and brothy with hints of oak and a mild sweetnesss reminiscent of fine Kentucky bourbon." 

If you're a man who likes good food and good bourbon, these products are a safe bet. Click here to see a full list of goods and here for a bevy of tasty recipes created by founder, (and a chef himself) Matt Jamie. And happy Manly Monday...

 

Photos: Bourbon Barrell Foods    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Emily G's

Fresh baked bread and homemade jam is a nice way to start the morning. For Emily Myers, that's just another typical day in her household. She's the mastermind behind Emily G's, a scrumptious line of jams and sauces that are packed with flavor, texture, depth and pure deliciousness. 

The first thing you notice when you meet Emily inside her home kitchen in Dunwoody, Georgia, is that she's serious about food. Everything is organized and tidy, yet there is a lot going on. Perhaps most of which is in her head. When she's creating new recipes, she's in her zone; mixing and tasting, refining and fixing. As she shared with me, "Food drives me. I love food. I dream in food." I believe her. 

Less than a month ago, Emily introduced new packaging and some brand new flavors to her popular jam lineup of 14 flavors, like Peach Marmalade, Fig Pomegranate and Blackberry Vanilla. She also sells three delicious sauces and an incredible crunchy and chunky Three Pepper Relish.  

I went to an Emily G. tasting last week and I have to say my two favorites were these bottom two, Jalapeno Raspberry and Peach Marmalade. I loved the spicy kick of the jalapenos, which are grown locally in Georgia, and the Peach Marmalade tasted so fruity and dense, I just couldn't stop eating it. In her Cheese Pairings section on her website, Emily suggests pairing the Peach Marmalade with Brie cheese and the Jalapeno Raspberry with Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream cheese or Brie. Yummy...

The new product Emily is most excited about is her Berbere Sauce. Berbere is a spice mixture that you often see in Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking that, as she states on her site, "has notes of clove, coriander, nutmeg and cadramom." It's described as the African Mole sauce and as she said to me, "You can put it on everything, from scrambled eggs to pork or fish." 

Jam is Emily's specialty and so is quality control. As she shared, "As my company grows, the quality of the product cannot change from when I first made it in my kitchen." She adds, "It's a reflection of me and if it's not the highest quality possible, then I just can't have it." Her recipes, which all start in her kitchen, are now made and bottled close by in Statesboro, Georgia. 

Emily is a Southern chef. Her mom was raised in Mobile, Alabama and everyone in her family is from Alabama. She has fond memories of picking figs at her grandfather's house and eating lots of grits and drinking too much sweet tea as a kid. Emily loves the authenticity of the South. As she shared, "Southern cooking is based on the heart. It's about making people feel loved and special at the table. It's about heritage, sharing and tradition." I think all of these reasons are why the South is the new hot spot to watch in the culinary world. 

 

On the day I visited with Emily, she was creating new spice blends like Tuscan, Mojito, Smoked Salt and Chocolate Espresso. These are still in the development stage but she hopes to have them on the shelves very soon. The best part is I know Emily is going to keep on creating delicous new foods and toppings day after day. It's in her blood. As she said, "Cooking is what heals me. It's my therapy. It grounds and inspires me. I need it." That's good news for all of us. See all of her tasty creations here, including the local retailers of her products, now in 23 states and Washington DC. Thank you Emily, we feel the love in every bite...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach   Product shots against white: Cortni   Content: Sweet Peach