Eat your way through Kentucky on new State Parks Culinary Trail
The new Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail is encouraging people to eat their way across the Bluegrass.
FALLS OF ROUGH, Ky. (WDRB) -- Surrounded by rolling countryside, the deep, clear waters of Rough River Dam State Park baits fishermen and boaters. But a new attraction could be the latest draw.
Grayson's Landing Restaurant at the Rough River Dam State Resort Park is one of nine stops on the Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail, serving up a special meal for the summer.
"As we say everybody's got to eat and the best way to get a true sense of a place is basically by the food that it serves," said Kristen Branscum, Kentucky Tourism Commissioner.
For years, the bourbon trail has been Kentucky's major draw. Now the food industry is trying to get in on the action.
"Culinary tourism is very hot right now across the U.S. and across the globe, and we really wanted to highlight the foods and the producers and the chefs and the restaurants in Kentucky that are so iconic," said Branscum.
The Kentucky Tourism Cabinet is launching the program just in time for summer travel. Each featured park is cooking up a different signature meal that represents its region. We headed into the kitchen with Rough River Chef Calvin Bishop to see what's on the menu.
"It's a biscuit bread pudding and it has a bourbon glaze on top of it," said Chef Bishop.
The bread pudding is the dessert of the "History, Bourbon and Horses" themed meal. A hot brown, served with succotash, a bib salad and an old fashioned round out the menu. Seem like something you'd see in the Derby City? That's because Louisville falls in this region and will satisfy the palette of park visitors making the drive.
"You could easily drive all the way here, have lunch and then drive back and it wouldn't take three or four hours tops," said Bishop.
Other signature dishes around the Bluegrass include burgoo, soup beans, spoonbread and even moonshine. It's standard fair for many Kentucky communities, but for many state park chefs, it's a chance to get creative.
"It's nice having the freedom to come up with new things. Nobody wants to do the same thing everyday, so we do this and it gives people an opportunity to try something new and unique," said Chef Bishop.
At Rough River Dam State Park, dining on the signature meal comes with a panoramic view of the water combining both attractions in one scenic location.
"We want to use these meals as an experience in itself but also to extend your trip," said Branscum.
Parks will serve the meals through October 3.
Visitors can get their culinary passport stamped at each participating state park. Once the passport is full, visitors will receive a prize.
Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.