Local Ingredients at Proof on Main
In the 21c Museum Hotel, in Louisville, Kentucky, Chef Michael Paley cooked with his region in mind at the hotel’s restaurant, Proof on Main. (He has recently transitioned to the 21c Museum Hotel location in Cincinnati, Ohio, to continue his real food cooking there.)
Paley established a reputation as one of this country’s rising culinary stars and is known for his passion for sustainable agriculture and strong allegiance to local farming. It’s generally thought that this chef has, in effect, created his own, very exciting, cuisine — using very simple, humble ingredients to create dishes that most definitely push boundaries.
How did this native son of New Jersey find himself cooking some of the best New Southern food around? Easy. Falling in love with local Kentucky ingredients and the folks producing it, Chef Paley’s mind was blown wide open by the possibilities. Not only that, the owners of Proof on Main in a forward-looking move, established Woodland Farm to supply the restaurant. From Egyptian Fayoumi chickens to American Buffalo, the farm’s full compliment of livestock keeps fresh protein on the restaurant’s plates. Their sustainably run gardens, greenhouses and orchards provide a bounty that keeps the kitchen constantly thinking about how best to present it on the plate.
Locals and smart destination travelers find some very interesting reading on his menu; items like Kentucky Bison Tartare with celery, strawberries and Worcestshire, Heirloom Tomato Panisse with grilled cucumber, smoked buttermilk and red onion soubise, even Weisenberger Grits with Parmigiano and cracked pepper.
At any of the Proof on Main locations, Michael Paley is producing real food from real ingredients on a larger scale and that’s a mean trick.
Does Chef Paley’s food make you curious about the local ingredients in your region?
Photo Credit: Craig McCord
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