– Hey, we’re Sorted Food. – And over the last five days, we’ve been on an epic journey through Kentucky. But this is no holiday. No, no. We’re taking inspiration from everything we’ve eaten and having a Kentucky Cookoff at the end of our trip. We’ve been completing a series of challenges to win extra cooking time. And as it stands, I have 35 minutes. And Jamie, he’s behind on just 25. It’s gonna be tight and there’s loads at stake. But first, to ease the nerves, we needed a drink. – Ebbers! (cheering) – You see, you’re now making
me choose between going to look at classic American cars or drinking bourbon. – No, no, we’re we’re not giving you a choice. We’re not stopping. (laughs) It’s big enough for you? – It’s never big enough for me. – We travelled to Bardstown Bourbon Company to learn all things bourbon with our new best mate, Dan. Bardstown is thought of as the bourbon capital of the world. And with 11 distilleries within just 16 miles, it’s easy to see why. Established in 2016, Bardstown Bourbon Company has quadrupled in size and makes use of the abundance of local corn
to start the distilling process. – This is all the grains cooking for four hours. You’re converting all the starches into fermentable sugar. So this is just converting
is the entire history of bourbon and whiskey dating back to 1892. So this is gonna be a little stronger proof a little more of a kick. – More kick, but still really smooth. – Really smooth, nice. Well balanced, right? – It’s great, isn’t it? – I want you guys to try a little piece of whiskey history, this. This is one of my favourite bottles in the world. So this is a a true rarity. So this is old Fitzgerald So this is old Fitzgerald 1956. – And out of interest, how much would this bottle be worth
now? – Probably about $10,000 right now. (laughs) (glasses clink) – Cheers. I’m not worthy of this. Wow. That is so sweet at the beginning, isn’t it? – That is so smooth. – It’s nice. – It’s so much dried fruit. It’s like figgy and – Figgy, figgy, yeah – Dried figs all the way. – Yep yep. Completely. – Wow, that is amazing. (laughs) Before we said goodbye, Dan had just one final challenge. – Okay. Got a special challenge for you this evening for 10 minutes. We have three unique finished bourbons. So these are bourbons that were
placed into a barrel that was previously used for another wine, beer, or spirit. So a secondary life in the barrel. You have bourbon finished in Napa Valley wine casks. Bourbon finished in Oloroso sherry casks, and bourbon finished in Orange Curaçao casks. Your goal is to identify each one. We’ll start at the back. The one that gave it away the most, the sherry finish. Correct. Orange Curaçao. Correct! You did it. (both cheering) – Yes! – You can both have the 10 minutes and I think you really need to thank Dan for the expert testing class we’ve
had. – Thanks Dan. – Thank you so much. – Thank you so much, that was incredible. That was a once in a lifetime that that’s how good that was. – That was unbelievable. – As a Brit, if you’re driving down the highway in Kentucky and you see a castle in the distance, you’re gonna stop to find out about it. So, that’s exactly what we did. And it turned out to be beautiful. The owners were inspired by a trip to Europe and came back and built this in 1969. And they also have a lovely garden where
you can pick your own. So we’ve just had lunch and the boys have got some battle ingredients. (wind blowing) – He’s so relaxed. – We arrived at the B&B in the stunning Kentucky countryside. And then it was finally time to battle it out. – Mike has won three extra challenges and therefore has a total of 45 minutes to Jamie’s 35. Which means you have a head start and you can begin in 3, 2, 1. Cook. – This is horrible. I want- I need to start cooking. – No, just relax. Chill. – No! Bloody elks. (laughs)
– An elk is a big deer. Key word: deer. (wheezes) – So Mike, what is your dish? – Okay, so a running theme throughout our time in Kentucky has been great chefs taking something that everyone wants to eat and giving it a bit of chef-y flair with some incredible locally sourced ingredients. So I’m making a grilled cheese with an outside of maple bourbon butter, beer cheese on the inside with some smoked Gouda, country ham, pickled salted tomatoes, and a side of spring onions and carrots with a southern fried breadcrumb. So all the best dishes that
we tried basically balanced smokey, sweet, and salty incredibly well. And that’s what I’m trying to do in this sandwich. So I’ve gotta start off by dry grilling my carrots. They’re going straight onto the grill. I’ll put them on the cold side because I think they might burn if I put them on the hot side. At Barn8, we had a massive piece of sourdough with these incredible tomatoes on top and that’s kind of where I’m getting the basis of my inspiration for this dish. I’m gonna put a little bit of sea salt on them and leave
them to basically bring out all that lovely umami flavour for about 20 minutes. – Has it been 10 minutes? – Not yet. – Oh, come on. – It’s been eight. It’s been eight. – These haven’t even done anything, so that’s worrying. – If it’s been eight, I’m gonna get my stuff- – No, you stay sat on the rocking chair. – I’m gonna get my stuff out the fridge. – No. – So that I can get going. – No. – No don’t start. No. – His stuff’s already out the fridge when he started his minutes. –
Yeah, because I’m forward thinking. – Well then you’ll have to go and get it when your time starts. – No, I’m going now. (laughs) – Carrots are taking ages to cook, so the spring onions are going on too now. – Your 35 minutes begins in 3, 2, 1, now. (bell dings) – Right. We always say celebrate seasonal and local ingredients. And in Kentucky that’s incredibly easy cause there’s so much of it. And it’s all fantastic. So I’m doing a celebration of Kentucky across four dishes. Dish number one: KFC. That’s right, Kentucky Fried Catfish. I’m gonna
start by marinating catfish fillets in hot sauce, buttermilk, and garlic. We had catfish at Wallace Station Cafe and Ouita told us that it’s an absolute Kentucky staple. – Nice. – I need to make a beer cheese, inside. We had beer cheese at multiple places, including the James Beam distillery. It was always excellent. It was really yeasty and delicious and I thought do you know what? Stick that between two toasted pieces of bread. That’s gonna taste amazing. – Oh. That’s nice. Nice to see you. – Could you please just keep an eye on my carrots and
stuff? – I don’t know. – If you’re over in that way, just an just an odd look. So I’ve got cheddar, cream cheese, bit of that smoked Gouda, and some butter going into a blender. Then I’m chucking in some vinegar, some Worcester sauce, and a little bit of smoked paprika as a nod to the pimento cheese that we’ve been tasting so frequently here. The mustard I’m using is the honey and bourbon mustard that I bought from Rebecca Ruth’s. Finally, drizzling a little bit of local IPA and that should all come together as a really punchy
but smooth, beery cheese sauce. – How are Mike’s carrots looking? – Not my problem. – We’ve set them up to dry store in the uh what is it? A bandstand? – Dish number two, marinated cucumbers. Picked these cucumbers earlier from a farm outside of Castle, obviously. I’m gonna slice them up thinly and then marinate them in some cucumber vinegar, soy sauce, and bourbon maple syrup. We had marinated cucumbers at OBC and at Barn8 and they were both spectacular. – An embarrassingly simple dish, but like so many of the things we’ve had across the state, if
it’s awesome local seasonal fruit and/or veg, less is more. We’ve got 25 minutes left. Not seen Mike for 10 minutes. – Yeah, I’m guessing he’s all right. – It’s rather a change to proceedings. I could get used to this. It’s much easier than standing on the sidelines in the studio. – Dish number three, and I think you’re gonna like this one, Ebbers. Old-fashioned Brussels sprouts. I think Brussels sprouts were basically on every menu of every restaurant that we went to. We had them in a variety of different ways and I’m gonna see if I can
come up with my own special spin on them. I’m frying Brussels sprouts in olive oil, adding some garlic. Then in with more bourbon maple syrup. Let that caramelise down. Add in freshly squeezed orange juice, little pop of fresh corn. Job done. (wheezes) I want that to caramelise up nicely, Ebbers. It’s not as dark as I wanted it to be. It’s just not getting hot enough. – Oh, how are my things getting on? They are not cooking. – What are you gonna do about that? (sighs) – Get them in the oven. – No, put them on
the hotter side. – I’ve moved my carrots and my spring onions to the hot side because everything is going wrong. So, you can see all of this amazing delicious tomato-y water has now come out of my tomatoes. Now I’m gonna cover them in this cucumber infused vinegar. Thanks J. – Oh, you’re welcome. – It will give an acidic twist. It’s not gonna pickle them. – Oh, hang on boys, trouble. Got a fly in my wine. – Oh. – Oh it sucks to be Ebbers. – So some of the way that I wanna get across this
sweetness in this dish is by making the maple bourbon butter. So just combining the two and I’m hoping that it’ll give it a really sort of like syrupy glaze on the outside but caramelise really nicely when I put the bread on the grill. So I’ve got a Kentucky bourbon syrup that I’ve borrowed from my good friend Jamie here. – Sorry mate. I’ll get the syrup. I’ll get the vinegar. – Do you wanna try some of this? – Nope. – Fine, thanks. – That’s nothing against you. I wanna hold back and enjoy it at the end.
– So cute. – Dish number four. Let’s celebrate some great melons. Don’t, stop it. by just cutting them up, serving them with grilled country ham and a lovely Billy bonus: some fig balsamic glaze. Now we’ve had this in lots of places and it’s been a revelation to me and you don’t need to do anything to it because the ingredients are so good by themselves. Can you move those carrots out of the way? – I can’t. I need them. – You’ve had so much more time. – I’ve had 10 minutes. How is that so much more?
– Ebbers! – Just doing a taste test. – Okay, so there’s two thirds of the barbecue and you’re using two of those thirds. – Yeah, I would love to use this third. – What? So you wanna take the whole thing? – No, you can have that third cause that’s not working for me. Your carrots are coming over there. – No no no. They can’t. They haven’t- They’re not gonna cook. (angry sounds) You have not planned this. – Temperature control is everything and I’m not sure they’ve got it yet. – Can we have a time check
Ebbers? – Another half glass of wine. It’s about 11 minutes. – Time to fry some catfish. Gotta take the catfish out of the marinade. Dip it in some corn meal, get it all coated and then into oil on each side for a few minutes. Hope that it cooks through. Just gonna check the tongs work. (tongs click) Yep. They’re good. – Good temperature on the oil of that. You want a good sizzle so it doesn’t soak up the oil and go soggy, but not so hot that it browns and burns before your fish is cooked. –
So I have breadcrumbs. I’ve got smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder. Loads of stuff like that all going into a pan with some butter. And I’m gonna toast that off on the grill. – Three and a half minutes. – We’re fighting, we’ve run out of space on the grill so I am literally just going to pan fry the country ham and I’m gonna toast the breadcrumbs on the hob. They’ll have to do. (sniffs) How you doin’, Spaff? – Yeah. Alright. – Oh, looking all right. Looking all right. – No. Oh you piece of crap. –
I’ll just leave that there. – I’ve sacrificed some of my country ham to the barbecue gods. – They’re combining lots of flavours we’ve had over the week. Maybe they’ve been a bit ambitious with outdoor cooking in the time. Two minutes! – No! – Jay’s got four dishes to plate up. That’s 30 seconds a plate. – Bread time. I’m smearing the maple bourbon butter onto each side of my bread that’s going onto the grill to toast up and become lovely and golden and caramelised. Gonna spread my beer cheese over the top of each of those slices.
Then on with my country ham, my pickled tomatoes, and some more smoked Gouda. Top on, close the lid. We got hickory wood in amongst the charcoal. So when I close the lid all of that lovely smoke should penetrate my sandwich. – Last 90 seconds. – One plate done. – Let’s toss some salad. Carrots are a cross between charred and raw. Don’t know how that happened, but they’re going into a bowl with some olive oil and my spring onions. I’m gonna toss them all together. And finally, sprinkle over that southern fried crumb. – Lemon, lemon, lemon.
Where did the lemon go? – One minute. It’s carnage. There is stuff everywhere. 20 seconds. Last 10 seconds. 5 4 3 2 1 Step back from the food. Get yourself a cold drink and we’ll get those into the sexies. (panting) – That was hard. – You’ve done a wonderful job there. – I dunno if it tastes any good. – Nah, same. (sighs) – Well I enjoyed that. – Oh, I’m sure you did. What chapter did you get up to? – You were neckin’ wine and reading books. (laughs) – And giving the occasional time check. Mike,
in 45 minutes you’ve made a beer cheese and country ham grilled cheese with charred carrots, southern fried crumb and extra dipping stuff. Grilled cheese, classic. But this is surprisingly inviting. – Charred. Key word, Ebbers. – Well, the good thing is that carrots can be eaten raw or cooked. So some of these might be halfway through, but we’ll enjoy. – Cheers. – Cheers. – Cheers. (crunching) – Oh wow. (crunching) That beer cheese is epic. – That beer cheese is really good, mate. – I’m actually quite happy with it. – The crumb is super tasty and spiced
and I like the fact the carrots have got a char albeit I think it’s fair to say a little crunchy at one end. (laughs) – They’re inconsistent. – But hey, that’s only half the dish. Been waiting for this. It’s got great colour on it and it feels like a great grilled cheese in the sense that it’s weighty but it’s all stuck and held together. I’m digging in. (crunching) – Cheers. (crunching) – It’s a ham cheese and tomato sandwich, but with lots of little nods to all the things we’ve picked up on our route. And I’m
loving that kind of char on the bread and the smokiness throughout. That’s good. – Well thank God for that. I’m happy with that. – Very nice. – Yummy yum yum. – Ebbers, I have a Kentucky smorgasbord for you. (laughing) Cucumbers, catfish, old-fashioned Brussels sprouts. And finally, watermelon, country ham, and a figgy balsamic vinegar. – Cheers. – Cheers. It’s a lovely nod to so many of the places where we’ve wanted to eat the entire menu. So rather than order entrees, we’ve ordered loads of the appetisers or sides so that we can share and taste lots of
different things. I love that. And all the ingredients are those seasonal ones we’ve seen across so many menus. – I’d love to have done barbecue properly. Not in 35 minutes. – And you were too rubbish at the challenges. – Right. – But I have to say, in 35 minutes you’ve achieved a lot. Each dish is very, very simple, but there’s four of them going on, which means you’ve done each of those in less than 10 minutes. There is nothing original about putting ham with melon. – Nope. – However, what I quite like is the fact
you’ve got it and it doesn’t need changing. The cucumber with the catfish is really, really good. For me, this is the most inspired dish: the old-fashioned sprouts. And it’s an idea I’m gonna steal. If I’m picking holes, the sprouts could have been hotter. – Yeah. – Cooking for less time. But actually right in the centre there they’ve still got a good bite. – They’re delicious. – And they taste great. – They’re delicious. – The orange and the bourbon maple. – Wow – That is so yummy. – That is a genius dish. Like conceptually, that’s brilliant.
And they taste great. – I think they’re both great celebrations of a few days driving around Kentucky. And therefore I don’t really want a loser. I feel like there’s two winners but I think there is a winner of winners. – Mhmm. That’s very nice of you. – Well wow that’s a polite way, yeah. – And I think today my winner of winners as lovely as that beer cheese is, are these four plates. – Oh! Oh, that was not in the bag. (all laughing) That was not in the stars. – You have been the underdog ever
since the elk. – What a time. – We’ve driven a thousand miles around Kentucky. – What a time. – And we have eaten so much amazing food. And met so many incredible people. And that, is just a little homage to it. Well done boys. – Thanks, Ebbers. – Yeah. – Great time. – What a trip. – What a trip. – Should we get a beer? – Yes. – Or a bourbon? – Both. (laughs) – At the heart of this journey has not only been the delicious food, but the welcoming people that make Kentucky what it
is. And we couldn’t have done this trip without you, our community. Sometimes in life there are experiences you know you’ll never forget. And travelling around the USA in one of their most iconic cars with two of your best mates. Well, this trip will certainly not be forgotten in a while.