5 questions with Lilly's Chef Kathy Cary

Published: Feb. 19, 2016 at 4:13 AM EST|Updated: Apr. 3, 2016 at 10:10 PM EDT
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Lilly's Chef Kathy Cary
Lilly's Chef Kathy Cary

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A James Beard Award is often called the "Oscars of the Restaurant Industry."

This year, two local chefs are up for a James Beard Award. Chef Edward Lee -- of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood and Succotash -- is one of the 20 semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Southeast.

The other is Kathy Cary of Lilly's, which opened on Bardstown Road in 1988. Kathy is known to be as gracious a host as she is an amazing chef. This week, I ask Kathy five questions:

1) You've been a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in the past. What would it mean to you to win?
It's the ninth time being a semifinalist and (I've been) a finalist seven times. It would mean so much to me, my family and my staff after cooking for over 40 years in Louisville. Winning the award would be a life changer and inspire me to keep going.

2) What's the one seasoning you couldn't live without in your kitchen? 
Pepper: White, Black and Red.

3) If you could have any four people in the world dine with you at your restaurant, whom would you choose?
The Pope, Julia Child, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

4) Why is your restaurant named Lilly's Bistro?  Who is Lilly?
Lilly is our daughter and when she turned two years old, I wanted her name in lights!

5) For those who have never been to your restaurant, what do you tell them they must try?
Stonecross Pork Carnitas: Charred Pineapple, Quinoa Chili Relleno, Rosemary Naan, Cilantro, Coconut Curry Sauce & Cumin Sour Cream.

The JBF finalists will be announced March 15 and the winners will be crowned at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on May 2.

Previous installments
+ Feb. 12: Speed Museum Director Ghislain d'Humieres
+ Feb. 5: Miss Kentucky USA Kyle Hornback

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