“That was the best meal I’ve ever had!” the guest exclaimed as I asked how everything was the night before. I was coming in as she was checking out and as pleased as I was at her response, I wasn’t surprised. Our chef, Jason Walls had been delighting guests for a couple of months now and personally my top several meals I’d ever eaten all have been cooked by him at special events in our first few months working him.
It was great to get this feedback from a guest, though. As a flight attendant she flies all over the world and has no deficit of options and exposure to great food. Now, after several months of preparation, we’re ready to finally share this experience with everyone. You can make reservations at The Castle Farms restaurant NOW through Open Table! We have very limited seating to start, so we apologize in advance if we don’t have the time or day you’re looking for.
It all started when we first were planning to buy the castle. We knew we had to get the food right. That was paramount. It had to be delicious, but it had to more. As an ER doctor I see patient after patient come into the ER who are sick and hurting. No matter the diagnosis, though, it seems that the vast majority of time the problem stems from or started with the food that they’re eating day in and day out. It’s a cliche to say “you are what you eat”, but you literally are. Every cell in your body is made up of exactly what you put into it. Every bite of food is a hormonal experience that activates different cascades and determines how your genetics are expressed. Food and nutrients can lead you to express your absolute peak self, or they can make you tired, depressed, and incredibly sick. Very few people realize how much of a difference what you consume makes in your overall well being.
So the food had to be delicious, but it had to be more. We had food from many chefs and talked to a lot of people with great training. We just couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for until one of the other owners called me extremely excited one night.
“We’ve found our chef!” he exclaimed. He had been heading up the search and happened on this night to be at the farm of Chef Jason Walls. Jason is a chef, but he also has a farm in Frankfort that he and wife, Tiffany work with their daughter, Ava. He’s an absolute artist when it comes to preparing food, but he also understands just how important the ingredients are to his art form. He understands this so much that he’s committed to growing as much as possible himself. I couldn’t help but be excited by the contagious elation that Ryan expressed, but I wanted to taste his food myself. So, I invited him over.
When he arrived at my house, I had several bags of fresh vegetables, just harvested, and I said, “Go for it. Let’s cook something.” The food he made was some of the most flavorful, perfect food I had ever eaten and the other two owners there were also just as impressed. We knew we absolutely had found our chef!
It has to be more than delicious, though, and Jason gets it. Food has to nourish the body as well as the soul, and that happens when you use the absolute best ingredients possible. That’s what we’re committed to. There’s a real difference in taste and nutrition depending on where the food comes from. A carrot is not just a carrot. The nutrition and flavor profile of that carrot completely depends on where and how it was grown. The soil, the nutrient profile of the soil, the microbes, all of it. You are what you eat, and you are what you eat eats. Whether we’re talking about the lush pastures that a cow eats or we’re talking about the nutrient rich soil that our locally grown vegetables “eat”. You simply are what you eat eats. It all starts with the soil.
There are several different levels of produce quality. You can buy cheap produce from the grocery store that is picked when not ripe, flown in from South America, and then gassed in order to force ripening. This soulless food has a poverty of both taste and nutrition. You could buy organic or even local organic instead. This is a much better choice, but you can use literally hundreds of different chemicals and still label food as organic. Our goal is an even higher level of dedication to quality and sustainability. We want to produce the food ourselves in a moreganic (sorry for the cheesy word mash up of “more organic” there) method. We care for the soil first, which produces the produce. The only way to absolutely control the quality of our ingredients is to produce it ourselves.
There is definitely not a shortage of great local farmers right now, so until we have our farm up and running we’re sourcing our ingredients from trusted local farmers who do share our values and are just as committed to quality as we are. Farms such as Blackhawk, Wholesome Living, Three Walls, Blewegrass Apiary, and Marksbury Farms.
We truly believe that there’s something special about preparing food with care that’s been grown by people with care within our own community. You can taste and feel the difference in food prepared with that level of mindfulness and commitment, and we really want to be able to share that experience with you!
We have a local restaurant manager, RJ Bilinovich, who has been nominated at restaurant manager of the year in Kentucky in the past. He is from rural Kentucky and understands the vision of highlighting our local foods and farmers in the process of creating an overall great guest experience. You can feel the hospitality and his love for people as soon as you meet him. Service is about the delivery of the product, but hospitality is how we make you feel. We understand that and are dedicated to making sure every part of your experience with us makes you feel cared for and like you’re family. There’s no reason you can’t have the best meal of your life in a castle and feel like you’re dining with old friends at the same time.
It’s about more than just the food, though. We have a top notch bourbon program being developed by our bourbon steward in residence, Tim Knittel. He has years of experience in the bourbon industry and loves to teach people. You can take your bourbon knowledge to a whole new level while eating great food if you come to any of our monthly bourbon dinners created by Tim and Chef Jason. Or, just ask Tim what bourbon he would suggest for your dinner during regular service. There is no one more knowledgeable about this special Kentucky treat.
We are supremely confident that the combination of quality ingredients and great people that we’ve brought together will deliver an experience you absolutely can’t get anywhere else in the world. We’re constantly tweaking and always improving, but the experience we’re serving up right now will not disappoint. Make your reservations TODAY!