“Food is best when it’s shared.” That’s the tagline for the new Kentucky Educational Television (KET) cooking series, “The Farmer and The Foodie,” with hosts Lindsey Stewart McClave ’04 and Maggie Keith. The weekly series, focusing on using farm-fresh ingredients to prepare delicious, healthful dishes, premiered Saturday, January 18 at 2:30 p.m.
“The Farmer and The Foodie” began as a podcast and grew into a radio show on a local Louisville station. As the “foodie” half of the series, Louisville native McClave is a writer and recipe developer. Keith is a Kentucky farmer and food entrepreneur.
“I caught the event bug at Centre, thanks to my sorority and the various campus organizations in which I was involved,” McClave says. “I followed that interest post-Centre, spending the next decade as a sales and event professional in the hotel industry, working for Hyatt Hotels, as well as 21c Louisville. During that time my husband, Zach McClave ’04, and I traveled as much as possible, and I was inspired to teach myself to cook.
“I developed a blog called ‘Foodie-Girl’ as a creative outlet and things took off from there. I began to do some freelance food writing and recipe development on the side while also studying and passing the level-one sommelier exam,” she continues. “Eventually, I took the leap and left the hospitality industry to write full time. When I met and became fast friends with Maggie, the ‘farmer’ to my ‘foodie,’ we knew quickly we were meant to collaborate.”
At a December cooking class held at Keith’s Foxhollow Farm in Crestwood, the charisma of “The Farmer and The Foodie” hosts was evident. The practiced presenters cooked and joked and held the participants’ rapt attention by sharing preparation tips interspersed with stories that showcased their considerable expertise in their respective fields.
McClave effortlessly added ingredients to a sizzling skillet while discussing her passion for preparing locally sourced foods, nutritious eating, cooking techniques, and how much she and Keith enjoy teaching and learning together. Keith spoke at length about using her business degree and love of food and the outdoors to convert her family’s 1,300 acre farm from a conventional three-crop rotation operation to a biodynamic undertaking. Biodynamic farming treats fields, forests, plants, animals, soils, compost and people as interdependent elements. It is seen as a way to use biodiversity as a means of maintaining agricultural integrity.
Each episode of “The Farmer and The Foodie” follows a theme, introducing viewers to farmers, cooks and agricultural initiatives in different regions around the commonwealth, as well as sharing farming tips, recipes and meals with the individuals they meet along the way. For example, the final episode of season one introduces viewers to Asian Carp farming in Paducah, Kentucky, then showcases Asian Carp recipes created by Chef Sara Bradley of Paducah’s Freight House restaurant.
“Each episode is fully developed with a rich story to tell,” McClave says. “We filmed across the state and in every season. We were fortunate to partner with The Berry Center, which serves as our fiscal partner, and opened new doors for us to seek support. We are very grateful to the various foundations and organizations that have supported us and couldn’t be more proud of the substantive program we’ve created. It’s not just a cooking show, it’s a way of life.”
Above: Lindsey Stewart McClave ’04 (right) and Maggie Keith teach a cooking class at Foxhollow Farm as hosts of “The Farmer and The Foodie”
by Cindy Long
January 17, 2020