The Local Palate Newsletter
Sign up to recieve news, updates, recipes, cocktails and web exclusives about food culture in the south

Share this article via email

Subscribe

Subscribe
Save 69% off of newsstand price now!

Subscribe to The Local Palate
Palate Teasers eNewsletter Subscribe Send as Gift Customer Service App Store Google Play

Sign up

Sign up to receive fresh recipes, gourmet getaway guides, and other tasty treats in your inbox.

Bees on the Brain

Advertisement

 

Photo by Abby Laub

CHEF JEREMY ASHBY CREATES A FOUR-COURSE DINNER PAYING HOMAGE TO ALL THINGS APIARY

Executive Chef Jeremy Ashby of Lexington, Kentucky, joked that when he first heard of mead wine, he thought it sounded like Welch’s grape juice or a tennis ball company. The AZUR Restaurant & Patio chef said as soon as he tasted the honey-alcohol, though, he knew it would be a perfect fit for the Whole Hive chef series to bring awareness to losses of bee colonies around the world.

Lexington was “abuzz” with the first dinner, held in conjunction with the screening of the movie Wings of Life. The menu paid homage to the beautiful by-products of bees — pollen, honey, honeycomb and mead wine.

The first course featured a cast iron baked Boone Creek Creamery bread cheese with sunflower and poppy seed crust, hot pepper creamed honey, hoe cakes and AZUR two-year-old country ham. The spicy sweetness of the honey made for a perfect dipping sauce for the country ham and the Scandinavian bread cheese. The course was simply sticky-finger delicious.

Course two featured a fennel pollen-dusted tangerine and saffron chowder with pickled fennel salad, coconut pillows, tempura scallop and honey-cured salmon.

“On that saffron chowder, sprinkled with pollen, it was almost like we were pollinating the vegetable,” Ashby explained. “The pollen itself was really useful for cooking — a light powder, almost like a spice.”

Dessert was a baklava layered with local Crank + Boom bourbon-honey ice cream and topped with honey and pecan.

Ashby said creating meals like this is his favorite thing to do.

“I love writing menu that tells a story or history or even a sense of time,” he said. “It’s kind of like writing a poem.”