Matt Jamie, Bourbon Barrel Foods
If you’ve listened to this show a while (or read my work), you probably know that I find how people find their great ideas very interesting. Eleven years ago, Matt Jamie of Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, Kentucky had one of those great ideas -- to become the U.S.’s only soy sauce microbrewery, incorporating, wait for it, used bourbon barrels into the process. He had what he calls a “chef’s arrogance” at getting the whole thing started, and these days, he’s not only making a Bluegrass Soy Sauce sought after and used by some of the country’s leading chefs, he’s branched out into various other directions as well, from making products for Woodford Reserve to cookbook writing to smoking salts and spices. Still, it all comes back to the barrel, and to Louisville, of course, where he works to make soy sauce, an item essentially “branded” on another continent, all about Kentucky local.