The best way to get to know Kentucky is through its food.
At least, that's what Maggie Keith would say.
Owner and operator of Foxhollow Farm, Keith is a fourth-generation farmer and passionate advocate for Kentucky farmland. She joins Lindsey McClave, a food and wine writer and self-taught home cook, to host the show "The Farmer and The Foodie."
In the locally-produced show, Keith and McClave travel the state searching for unique ideas and local ingredients to infuse into original recipes in the kitchen.
The educational food show returns to Kentucky Educational Television (KET) for its second season beginning on April 30. The first season was produced in 2020.
"I love developing approachable recipes that anyone can do in their kitchen," Keith said. "If we can connect people who are cooking to people who are growing food on a personal level, there's going to be a stronger support and a stronger dynamic between the two."
For the new season, McClave and Keith visited more than 20 Kentucky farmers and crafted 30 original recipes. They explore natural ways of raising chickens, visit an urban farm in South Louisville, tour the Jeptha Creed and Maker's Mark distilleries, and even stopped by Kentucky State University to learn about the pawpaw, Kentucky's native tropical fruit.
Each episode ends with McClave and Keith sitting down with their new friends to enjoy a meal together. One of the standout recipes for Keith was a simple fried green tomato dish with panko crust, featured on the episode with Black Soil KY, a statewide agrotourism company focused on reconnecting Black Kentuckians to their roots.
Another standout visit was to the Iroquois Urban Farm, which until the end of last year operated at 1400 Bicknell Ave. and employed young people who grew 48 varieties of vegetables and shared more than 4,000 pounds of produce with more than 5,000 neighbors.
Keith said it was great to work with teenagers and hear how growing food made them more invested in eating it.
"We really saw a raw connection between farming and food," Keith said. "It was so nice to see someone discover that for the first time. For some people it's nostalgic, but for them, it was a new, exciting adventure, and it seemed to stick."
Keith said the biggest thing she'd like viewers to learn is that food tastes a lot better and is easier to cook using local ingredients.
"You don't need to add so much stuff to it because the flavor is already there," she said. "It's more simple recipes that don't require a bunch of steps to make it taste good. I also learned it's more fun to cook with a friend, so why not get together with another family and celebrate the food on your table together?"
The Farmer and The Foodie's new season premieres Saturday, April 30, on KET. Preview events will be held in Louisville at Logan Street Market, 1001 Logan St., on April 26, and in Lexington at Greyline Station on April 28. Tickets are free, but registration is required. Snacks will be provided by Black Soil KY.
To register for one of the events, visit ket.org/farmer-and-foodie.
Keith said a third season of "The Farmer & The Foodie," already filmed, is expected to air in early 2023.
Features reporter Dahlia Ghabour covers food, dining trends and restaurants in the Louisville area. Send tips on new places or story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @dghabour.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: KET's 'The Farmer and the Foodie' returns for season 2