Living life between the barrel staves in Bourbon Country

About the Author

At The Chopping Block in Chicago, 2006

A Corporate Throwdown: Cooking at The Chopping Block in Chicago, 2006

I’m a native of Lexington, KY. A father, a cook and a writer. That pretty well sums it up.

Two years ago a group of friends got together for dinner. Eventually it turned into a routine and the Shenandoah Supper Club was born. The blog gets its title from this group which was named after our neighborhood.  More recently I’ve moved back to Lexington from Georgetown, and even thought the cities are only a few dozen miles apart, it feels really good to be back home.  The blog’s name probably needs to change now that none of us reside in the old neighborhood, and I’m sure it will just as soon as I decide on a better one.

In addition to this site, I have also contributed to Dave DeWitt’s Fiery-Foods website. Fellow chile-heads will recognize Dave as the man the New York Times once dubbed “The Pope of Peppers”. Past Fiery-Foods blog posts include (click on the title for a link to the article):

All of the photography on the site is original unless noted otherwise.

The author can be reached at, or via Facebook ( or Twitter (

Captured cooking by a caricature artist

Captured cooking by a caricature artist

Cooking As Passion

If you spend any time at all in the kitchen, you eventually find yourself making the transition from “a preparer of meals” to a “cook”. The difference, I think, is found in two things: passion and audience. Plenty of people have hobbies or like to dabble in various things. “Oh, it’s just something I do in my spare time” they might say if you were to bring it up in conversation. They are shy, or even sometimes embarrassed by discussing it. But when simple enthusiasm blossoms into true passion for an art, you can see the change on a person’s face. They carry their passion with them and seek out others with whom to share it. When the passion is food or cooking, that’s when friends begin to join family around the dinner table. When friends of friends are added to the mix, you are no longer just preparing food in a kitchen. The presence of others changes the whole dynamic of cooking. If your house is anything like mine, company tends to linger in the kitchen giving the process of preparing a meal a definite energy. A cook feeds off that energy every bit as much as the meal itself. And the food always seem to benefit from it.

Pirate Chef, at the 2011 High Hope Steeplechase

For more check out the blog’s inannaugural post below, “It Began With Dinner”:

It began with dinner…

October 5, 2008 by nthonaker

A hot and tired tailgate cook visiting with friends, post “Best Food” award presentation, 2008

The author behind the grill, High Hope Steeplechase 2009 (winner, Best Food)

The author behind the grill, High Hope Steeplechase 2009 (winner, Best Food)

One response

  1. A few Kentucky food bloggers are putting a group together to be able to connect with each other on Facebook:!/home.php?sk=group_154501454604863&ap=1. Feel free to join!

    Eventually, we’ll have a fan page for all of us (with links to our blogs), but we’re just trying to get the group together now to see who is interested and to touch base with each other. We’d love to have you!

    February 18, 2011 at 10:57 am

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