Albert Schmid taught classes at the culinary school at Sullivan University in Louisville for many years. He has since moved on to teach in North Carolina but he still loves his Bourbon. The recipes he collected for this book come not only from himself, but also many of his friends who are chefs in places like New Orleans and Texas. The book won the Gourmand Award in the cookbook category the year it was published. The book really is a must-have book for those who love to cook with Bourbon.

The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook, by Albert W.A. Schmid. University Press of Kentucky, 2010, Contents, Foreword, Appendix, Notes, Bibliography, Index, Illustrated, pp. 139.

Albert Schmid was an instructor in culinary arts at Sullivan University – an institution that is well respected for its culinary program – but has since moved on to another school. Schmid used many different cookbooks as sources for his own book, so this is not just a collection of his own recipes, but recipes from many different sources. That is good in that it leads to a variety of food styles. It would have been better if he had used sources other than cookbooks because then he might have gotten the definition of bourbon correct. He made not one, but two errors in defining bourbon: there is no upper percentage to corn or minimum amount of aging required for it to be bourbon.

Despite the flaws in research for the technical definition of bourbon, Schmid has done an excellent job with the recipes. After all, this is a cookbook and not a distillers guide. Schmid starts by giving some cocktail recipes. They are all pretty simple cocktails and many are the traditional bourbon cocktails. He then splits the recipes by season starting with “Winter” and followed by “Spring”, “Summer”, and “Fall”. “Winter” recipes are guided towards the holiday season, with “Spring” having Derby inspired foods, “Summer” focusing upon grilling and outdoor cooking and “Fall” looking at foods for your Thanksgiving feast. The recipes are for all courses from salads to desserts. For example, the bourbon hot dogs (p.47) are easily made and quite tasty.

The book is well designed with a section in the middle of the book with color photographs of many of the dishes. It is indexed to make finding individual recipes easy and he does list his sources for those wishing to add to their bourbon cookbook collection. It is a very complete Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook.

This book is a good addition to your bourbon whiskey library. Bourbon can be enjoyed on many levels and this book will help you take bourbon out of the bar and into the kitchen. Schmid does get the definition of bourbon wrong, but he definitely knows what to do with bourbon in the kitchen, so his mistake can be forgiven. Add this book to your collection and serve Kentucky Bourbon Prawns at your next Derby party.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller