Harvest Restaurant

Archives: April 2011

Farmer Ivor Chodkowski & Chef Coby Lee Ming Put The “Table” In “Farm-To-Table”

Posted on

Media contact: Philip Ruskin, (917) 215-9439

April 2011– Louisville’s reputation as one of the “foodiest towns in America” (according to Bon Appetit magazine) is thanks largely to the bumper-crop of impressive culinary talent and the abundance of staggeringly great food from local producers and farmers. Farmer Ivor Chodkowski, the man who helped put the “farm” in Louisville’s vibrant “farm-to-table” movement, will put local farm-fresh foods on the tables at the eagerly awaited Harvest, alocally grown”restaurant whose mission is to serve amazing food with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant will serve casual fine-dining cuisine, and will be open for lunch, dinner, and brunch (with entrees ranging from $7-$15 at lunch, and $13-$25 at dinner). Harvest wants to excite and educate, and it all begins on the plate.

Farmer Ivor Chodkowski

Farmer Ivor Chodkowski

To that end, Chodkowski, along with his founding partners, have tapped the talented Chef Coby Lee Ming (most recently of Wiltshire on Market). Her irrepressibly creative “Rustic Regional cuisine will be supported by a menu that boasts 80% of ingredients sourced locally from within a hundred mile radius. Many of the foods will be house cured, smoked, and preserved.

With over ten years of experience in leading kitchens in Louisville and beyond, Chef Ming has built a strong reputation cooking food that is remarkably innovative yet accessible. She has a way of giving a dish a deceptively simple-yet refreshingly creative twist without ever being contrived. For example, lunch entrees include the likes of: Smoked Goat Cheese Ravioli in a Roasted Mushroom Broth with Garlic Crouton and Rapini Pesto, a Ploughman’s Lunch Plate: Ploughman’s Plate of Chow Chow, Local Greens, Head Cheese, served with a Pretzel Crostini, among others. Among the tasty sandwich offerings: Sweet Potato Hummus with Pickled Carrots, Bibb Lettuce, Toasted Garlic-Chile Aioli served on house-made Focaccia, and the Beef Burger with Chevre and Hog Jowl Bacon Jam, Harvest Pizza, and more. The mouth-watering side dishes, like Sweet Potato Chips served with Smoked Paprika Creme Fraiche, are too numerous to list.

Chef Coby Ming

Chef Coby Ming

Dinner entrees feature Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Arugula Biscuit Hoecake and Smoked Peppercorn Gravy, Grilled Bison Hanger Steak with Braised Greens, Whole Grain Dijon Bourbon Jus served with Crispy Onions,Ricotta-herb Gnocchi Bolognese,and Roasted Vegetable Pot Pie with Smoked Black Pepper-Mushroom Jus with Herb Salad, among others. Almost all breads and baked goods are house-made by Pastry Chef Patty Knight, whose seasonal dessert menu will include: Maple Spice Cookie, Vanilla (with Candied Bacon) Ice Cream Sandwich,and Bourbon Poached Sweet Potato with Peanut Brittle and Szechuan Torched Marshmallows.

TheFarm-to-Bar”beverage menu will also focus on seasonal local ingredients featured in crafted cocktails, with many of the bitters, syrups, tinctures, and bar preserves made in-house. In the convivial spirit of the communal table, Harvest will offer classic punches served in vintage cut glass punch bowls designed to share. Craft beers and local Bourbons will be prominent, as will wines by the glass and the bottle—all selected to be delicious, fun, and affordable.

The hand-finished communal table in the front center of the room sets the welcoming tone. Repurposed church pews serve as banquettes along one wall, and as the wooden bar that runs the length of the other. Patrons will be waited on by an attentive staff, many of whom have worked as former farm hands.

Chodkowski and partners Peter and Patrick Kuhl are no strangers to giving Louisvillians what they want. At the Bardstown Road Farmer’s Market (which Chodkowski helped launch), they can be found behind their skillets with legions of faithful fanslined up for their generous, wholesome, and delicious omelets filled with farm-fresh ingredients (which even includes smoked catfish) served on a slice of artisan bread. Those same famous omelets, and a great deal more, will be available as part of a full tasty weekend brunch at Harvest.

At Harvest, the food is not the only thing that is locally grown and sustainable; the business and operational models developed by partner Jim McArthur are as well. The founding partners assembled a group of nearly twenty local investors–a group whose individual investments are matched by their commitment to supporting family scale agriculture, improved health, creating jobs, and offering great food.

With the help of a local food wall map, patrons will be able to follow their food from its source, developing a richer understanding about the meal they are enjoying. Chodkowski and Ming see Harvest bringing restaurant-goers closer to the farmers, figuratively and literally. The restaurant will host hands-on events where patrons can eat-and-learn, including farmer dinners and “pick-your-own” farm-to-table dinners that include a trip to the farm, cooking classes, seminars, and more.

Harvest is located at 624 East Market Street, and is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, and weekend brunch. www.harvestlouisville.com. Reservations recommended, (502) 384-9090, or through OpenTable.com.