Southern Cooks Tour


sights worth seeing

Southern Cooks Tour

Kitchens, Recipes and Food Galore!


Lakes Region of Western Kentucky and West Tennessee

The best fun is always in the kitchen! Go behind the scenes at some of our area’s favorite eateries. Enjoy traditional Southern meals, take home mouthwatering recipes and learn how these cooks make it happen like silk off a spool.

Day 1

4:00 pm – Arrive and check in at the Lake Barkley State Park Resort lodge, the oldest, all wooden lodge east of the Mississippi. You won’t find nails, only wooden pegs.

5:00 pm – After getting settled, come down to the Windows on the Water Restaurant where the chef will take you “behind the stove” to help create Southern dishes that keep this restaurant’s patrons in hog heaven.

(HOG HEAVEN – noun – 1. A state of complete happiness.)

6:00 pm – Enjoy a delicious supper from the restaurant’s patio where the view and the food are to dine for! From fried chicken to a Kentucky Hot Brown, you’ll love it. (Recipe sheet to include Kentucky Hot Brown and fried chicken.)

7:00 pm – Ever wonder how restaurants prepare for their Saturday night crowds or feed folks at enormous conventions? A Hospitality Roundtable that includes a Lake Barkley chef, a server and a hotel group sales associate give you the skinny on preparing feasts for the multitudes.

8:00 pm – Take a walk down to the lake, stroll around the wooded grounds or visit the gift shop.

Day 2

8:00 am – As Southern mamas are known to say, “Rise and shine, it’s time for a biscuit and gravy breakfast!” This buffet has plenty of each, plus lots of other options, too!

9:00 am – Depart for the Elk & Bison Prairie at Land Between the Lakes – this 750-acre, bus friendly, fenced, native prairie is home to the Southeast’s first, re-introduced elk herd in a century and a half. They share their home with a herd of American Bison. Don’t forget your binoculars.

9:20 am – Majestic, mesmerizing and magnificent – they all apply to the elk and bison herds. Enjoy a step-on guide from the 1850’s Homeplace who explains how these animals were prepared for the dinner table back in the day. (Recipe sheets on elk/deer meat and one for bison/hamburger.)

9:45 am – Depart for Land Between Lakes 1850’s Homeplace – A Living History Farm where they cook their meals the old fashioned way, over a fire.

10:15 am – Arrive at the Homeplace where you can lend a hand with lunch preparations and experience a time when “farm to table food” was a way of life. Mosey around the farm to see some blacksmithing, plowing, quilting and more examples of life between the rivers in the mid-19th Century. (Recipe sheets on stew, greens and root veggies.)

11:15 am – Depart for Paris Landing State Park Inn’s River Boat Restaurant for lunch. The 841-acre park is located near the landing’s original site, which served steamboat traffic on the Tennessee River throughout most of the 19th Century.

11:45 am – Arrive at the Riverboat Restaurant for a lunch that includes a buffet of Southern favorites made by cooks who learned from their grannies. Don’t miss the gift shop for fun mementos.

12:45 pm – Depart Paris Landing for Paris, Tennessee. En route, enjoy our step-on guide who will share tales of Paris and Henry County’s most famous meal, fried catfish, which is fitting for the home of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. (Recipe sheet for fried catfish, hushpuppies, beans)

1:15 pm – Arrive at Lee Academy for the Arts where our ham aficionado from Clifty Farm Country Ham will explain the difference between old fashioned and modern processing methods. This gent knows more about country ham than the law should allow, so listen up while he shares his no-fault method of cooking this Southern staple. It’s larruping. (Recipe sheet with ham recipes and ham biscuit slices.)

(LARRUPING – Adjective – 1. Especially good food.)

2:15 pm – Depart for Historic Downtown Paris.

2:20 pm – Arrive downtown for a guided or self-guided tour. Along with handsome, historic architecture, you’ll find treasures in the inviting shops, a good cup of coffee and sweet treats on and around the court square. You’ll find locally made Sally Lane and Gio-Bella candies and Allegro Marinade in several shops.

3:30 pm – Depart for a photo op at Paris’ own Eiffel Tower. Our step-on guide will tell you how this 60’ tall replica of the Eiffel Tower came to reside in Northwest Tennessee.

3:40 pm – Don’t miss the opportunity to impress the folks back home with photos of you in your beret (provided) at the foot of the tower.

4:00 pm – Depart for The Old 23rd Restaurant at Christopher Manor for a private, “behind the logs” look at what fond memories and a full heart can accomplish.

5:00 pm – Arrive at The Old 23rd where owner and chef Linda Zanaty invites you to take a step back in time to her family’s home place. She’ll share some tales of the Old 23rd District, as well as some old, family recipes. (Recipe page for chicken and dumplings.)

6:00 pm – You may not be finished learning from Linda, but it’s supper time! We think you’ll agree that the local lore and made-from-scratch meals at The Old 23rd are equally delightful.

7:00 pm – Bid Linda farewell and depart Christopher Manor for Lake Barkley.

9:00 pm – Arrive at Lake Barkley. Sleep tight.

Day 3

8:00 am – Breakfast at Windows on the Water at Lake Barkley. If you missed something yesterday morning, here’s your chance to catch up.

9:00 am –Depart for MB Roland Distillery and find out how “America’s Official Native Spirit” AKA bourbon is made.

10:00 am – Arrive at MB Roland’s, Kentucky’s first completely “grain to glass” craft distillery where Merry Beth (“MB”) will welcome you. Caution, her devotion to her product is infectious. (Recipe page for items made with bourbon.)

11:00 am – Depart for Hopkinsville and a lip smackin’ Southern staple.

11:30 am –Whether someone has just died or just made a touchdown, bar-be-cued pork is our go-to food.  The folks at Pioneer BBQ have forgotten more about bar-be-cue than most folks will ever know. Get ready to learn from the best.

Noon – Take all of that new-found knowledge and enjoy a fresh, hot plate of “cue” with all the trimmings. (Recipe page for trimmings and/or sauce or slaw from the Pioneers)

(TRIMMINGS – Noun – 1. An accompaniment or garnish to a main dish. Example – hushpuppies, coleslaw and baked beans for pork bar-be-cue)

1:00 pm – Depart for Historic Downtown Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

1:15 pm – Grab a bench or stretch your legs and meander around this fascinating downtown. Shop the friendly boutiques or enjoy the Pennyroyal Area Museum and its neighbor across the street, the Woody Winfree Fire and Transportation Museum. These two fascinating galleries cover everything from fire trucks to psychics.

2:30 pm – Depart for Casey Jones Distillery where they’ll show you why so many Southerners like to “get their corn from a jar.”

2:45 pm – Arrive at Casey Jones. The sisters on “The Waltons” referred to it as “the recipe,” but here in the South, we just call it “shine.” Tour this cozy establishment with founder and Master Distiller A.J. Jones, whose granddaddy built an estimated 150 stills in the area. You might say it’s in his blood. (Recipes for moonshine or moonshine sauce, sweets, etc.)

3:45 pm – Depart Casey Jones Distillery and head for Patti’s 1880’s Settlement.

5:00 pm – Arrive at Patti’s and stroll through the settlement. Enjoy the ever-changing flower gardens, water features, unique shops and more.

5:30 pm – Settle in for a fine meal, served with generous portions of Southern hospitality. No wonder Patti’s received Southern Living Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Small Town Restaurant in Southeast.

6:30 pm– Whether it’s mile-high meringue pies, strawberry butter or homemade bread, there’s a lot to learn at Patti’s, so let’s get started. (Recipe sheet for flower pot bread, and/or strawberry butter or pie.)

7:30 pm – Depart for Lake Barkley

8:00 pm – Arrive at Lake Barkley with a full belly and happy memories.

Day 4

8:00 am – Savor the view and your mouthwatering breakfast at Windows on the Water. It’s your last chance to fill up on the delights of a Southern meal. Don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee for the road!

9:00 am – Depart for home – Share your wonderful recipes of the South’s Lakes Region and come back soon, you hear!


For details and prices contact:

Kerry Allen

270-924-1135 ext. 524,