Geoffrey Heyde chats during a recent TV interview. Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Heyde.
Geoffrey Heyde chats during a recent TV interview. | Courtesy of Geoffrey Heyde

Heyde, Village Anchor chef, leaves for Owl Creek: After more than five years as executive chef at Village Anchor Pub & Roost, Geoffrey Heyde has left the restaurant for the same position at Owl Creek Country Club, located just a short drive away in Anchorage.

His reason for leaving the roost?

“It was time for me to move on,” Heyde said. “I’ve had a good run there. Working at the Village Anchor has been great for my career, and the experience I’ve gained is priceless.”

Heyde helped Village Anchor owner Kevin Grangier open the restaurant in 2009 to rave reviews. Despite its out-of-the-way location, it is one of the city’s highest-grossing independent restaurants, but not because the upper-crust residents living nearby actually spend money there.

“The clientele there is only 10 percent Anchorage,” he said. “It’s truly a destination restaurant. People don’t mind driving out there. That says a lot.”

Heyde starts at Owl Creek on Monday, Oct. 12, with one simple charge: Cook the food members want.

“I’m not about pretentious food anyway, so to me it all comes down to quality food and good service,” he said. “Just treat the food with the respect it deserves and make sure the members are happy.”

Heyde’s shift to club cooking parallels recent moves made by two other restaurant chefs: Troy Shuster (from 211 Clover Lane to Hurstbourne Country Club in 2014) and Josh Hillyard (from Quattro to Big Springs Country Club in the same year). Not only are clubs often able to pay some chefs more, most offer good benefits, more predictable work schedules and fewer hours.

Beam Urban Stillhouse opens: No, it’s not restaurant news that the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse opened last Thursday at Fourth Street Live, but the attraction will draw loads of visitors downtown, and while there they’ll get hungry for something to eat. Here’s what else is great about it:

Given the somewhat historic look of Beam’s American Stillhouse at its Clermont distillery, some (including me) were surprised and pleased by the Urban Stillhouse’s whimsical design. Near the center of the 4,300-square-foot space is an oak tree sculpture whose trunk is made from layers of charred barrel staves. The tree’s leaves are made from hundreds of origami-like Beam White labels. Along the rear of the room is an expansive tasting bar at which you can sample about any Jim Beam product except for Old Tub, which is sold only at the Clermont Stillhouse.

The whimsical Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse includes an oak tree made from barrel staves. | Photo by Steve Coomes

What you can’t do in Clermont is drink Beam’s new Urban Stillhouse Select, available at the Louisville Stillhouse only. The bottled-in-bond bourbon is a fine sipper that, if you like it really well, you can fill a bottle of it yourself on the other side of the room and watch it ride a conveyor to the cashier’s stand.

The Urban Stillhouse also has its own working still located at the front entrance. Low wine (the lower-proof product of the first distillation of the grain mash) is brought from Beam’s Boston, Ky., distillery and added to the still here. It is then rectified to the desired proof and shipped back to Boston for barrel aging.

For hours of operation, click here.

It’s called Ten Tables here, Chefs’ Night Off in Indy: We’ve written lots about the Ten Tables phenomena here in Louisville, and now we’re learning that these freewheeling chef collaboration dinners are happening also in Indianapolis under the name Chefs’ Night Off Indy. Now, chefs from here are going there to cook as guest chefs.

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The kitchen gang celebrating after a recent Chefs’ Night Off Indy dinner. | Courtesy of R.J. Wall

Chef R.J. Wall created Chefs’ Night Off Chicago several years ago, but when he moved home to Indianapolis, he launched the Indy version in 2014.

In an email, Wall told me the goal is to get chefs and cooks learning more through collaboration and idea exchanges.

“The chefs are given full creative freedom to do whatever they want,” Wall wrote. “Sometimes they come up with a theme and sometimes the menu is all over the place. … We often pair with a brewery or mixologist as well.”

Wall has reached out to — who else? — Ten Tables lead chef Dustin Staggers (also co-owner of Roux, America. The Diner. and Epic Sammich Co.) and MilkWood chef Kevin Ashworth for guest gigs. (For tickets to Ashworth’s dinner, click here. Tickets for Staggers’ dinner aren’t yet available.)

Don’t want to drive to Indy for those meals? Powell has a solution you may like.

“I hope to get a few of these dinners going in Louisville starting this year!” he wrote.

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A good crowd was on hand for the 2014 Craft Louisville event downtown. | Courtesy of Craft Louisville

CRAFT Louisville this Saturday: October is arguably the best month of the year for outdoor festivals (don’t miss Porktoberfest on Friday, which we wrote about here), and here’s another good one you’ll like: CRAFT Louisville. What began as a small fundraiser for cystic fibrosis has grown into a significant event where guests enjoy great food, music, art, beer, entertainment and more. (Visit the website to see all the good beer, bourbon and grub you can enjoy there).

Last year it drew a big crowd, and it’s expected to be larger this year. The event runs from 7-11 p.m. at the Second Street Bridge Streetscape, as in under the span of the bridge stretching between Main Street and River Road. Tickets cost $65. It is a 21-and-older event.

Can’t make it to CRAFT? Then come by Patrick O’Shea’s (about a block away) for the after party, which begins at 11 p.m.

And if Tom Owen stops by, make him leave at 2 a.m.

Fried Chicken Throwdown returns: I didn’t make it to last year’s inaugural Fried Chicken Throwdown, but I heard it was incredible and that the crowd was far larger than organizers expected. So it’s back again at the 10th Street Resurfaced lot and will be held Saturday, Oct. 17, from 12-5 p.m. Admission is free, but tastes of fried chicken, vegetarian sides and desserts are $2 each. Guests will vote on their favorites, and the most popular will win one chef a $500 cash prize.

So far there are 11 participating restaurants (scroll down to see the list here), including two Nashville hot chicken players, Joella’s Hot Chicken and the-soon-to-be-open Royal’s Hot Chicken.

Proceeds from the competition will benefit Slow Food Bluegrass’ Garden Grant program.

Brasserie Provence turns 2: Guy Genoud’s lovely French restaurant, Brasserie Provence, is celebrating two years in operation with a French white and Spanish red wine paired dinner. Chef Edoardo Bacci’s four-course dinner is $65. Click here to see the menu.

Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 24-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Louisville magazine, Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass and Food & Dining Magazine. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.


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