Chef Michael Paley’s menu incorporates produce from local sustainable farms in dishes inspired by the culinary traditions of Italy and the American South.
Beyond the 100-bottle wine list, strong in boutique producers as well as more widely recognized brands, there is an extensive and frequently changing selection of wines by the quartino. Proof carries more than 50 Bourbons.
For more information about this Louisville, KY, restaurant, click here.
For more restaurants that serve sinful soul food, visit Art and Soul, Circa 1886, Commander’s Palace and Miller Union.
Hot Chef: Michael Paley
Wine Enthusiast: Can you describe your greatest wine epiphany?
Michael Paley: It was while creating a dinner with Wines of Spain at the [James] Beard House. My cooking had been Italian, French and American, so I was comfortable with those wines. This was an opportunity to go outside my comfort zone with a menu that ranged from Hamachi escabeche to salted bison tongue. The versatility of Spanish wines to the varying levels of acidity and richness of the dishes was both surprising and fun.
WE: What is your current favorite tool or ingredient?
MP: My favorite tool is my palate, because it’s always evolving. A chef with an active and imaginative palate cannot help but create good food. It isn’t always about cooking something to perfect doneness or seasoning to perfection.
WE: Where do you go for an amazing wine and food experience?
MP: I try to get to [Brooklyn] every few months: It’s filled with talented chefs and very personal restaurants.
WE: How does the adjoining art space affect you and your diners’ experience?
MP: The art adds another dimension. Guests experience it at their tables, the bar, walking to the restrooms, even in the restrooms. O ur food philosophy aligns itself with the entire property: urban renewal, revitalization, celebrating local artists. We use local farmers, our menu changes seasonally, as does the art. It’s created with respect for those who brought the ingredients to us.