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Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507


The Food Groups

"In the South, we're big feeders. People come to your house, and you trot out more food just for lunch than they and all their kin can possibly eat in a month-all in the name of hospitality. The guest is expected to rave endlessly about the quantity and, of course, the quality of this feast. The hostess is expected to disparage the whole thing as absolutely pitiful, and not even close to what all she would have prepared if she'd had an ounce of human decency and another 30 minutes or so."

Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love

Here at Ace, food issues are always a reader favorite. We devote at least half a dozen issues a year to the topic, and a food column every week.

This week, we are adding a new food writer to the weekly fold, Kristen Hoffman. You'll find her regularly on page 14. She's a newcomer to Lexington who's worked extensively in the marketing end of the food industry (we're just afraid to reveal the brand for fear of reprisals based on a few disparaging comments we've made in the past about processed food), but is now faced with a more daunting task: setting up her own kitchen and taking on her share of the cooking in her newlywed household (her husband attends med school at UK).

Acquainting herself with Lexington's food scene-as a beginning gourmand, and an eager diner, will offer our readers a fresh weekly perspective on what we have (and what we need).

We know that new, budding, and incipient cooks comprise a BIG market share of our readership, since few cover stories have generated as much mail as "The Joy of Cooking," which we ran in October-notable for the number of inquisitive emails asking for more recipe details (such as when precisely to add the cheese in the homemade variety of Mac and Cheese).

As the holidays approach, nearly every periodical available seems to be screaming at us with varying tried and true tips for avoiding food.

Our crew doesn't believe in that.

We try to eat a few home-cooked meals together every week. We are also faithful, devoted, and frequent patrons of our favorite local restaurants and chefs, and know nearly every menu in town by heart (as do our readers). You can frequently find us sneaking into the kitchens of the best local eateries in the hopes of learning a few culinary secrets that we can incorporate at home.

As Lexington continues its growing pains (are we a city?are we a town?), the food scene is going to remain a benchmark of how we measure success. The growth of Farmers' Market is an excellent example of how far we've come (this year's addition of buffalo alone has been a welcome highlight, to say nothing of the perennial favorites). And while ANYTHING new in Lexington gets a six-month grace period of lines out the door, the constant weeding out of restaurants, that had no business opening in the first place, is another example of how far we have to go. As does our well-known and sadly-celebrated status as the perfect market for testing chain-fare.

We'll never reach (or even strive for) the Manhattan diversity that offers everything from kosher Thai to macrobiotic Szechuan at 4 am, but as new restaurants open (and close, when they're poorly conceptualized or executed), we get a little closer to achieving a Bardstown Road style corridor of options.

We just hope we'll still be allowed occasional access to the kitchens.

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.