Chef Jamie Gwen Talks 4th of July Meal Ideas

Celebrity chef Jamie Gwen shows off what she’s got on her 4th of July menu, including a delicious BBQ pulled turkey recipe that lets your slow-cooker do most of the work.

Chef Jamie Gwen’s Recipe for More Fun, Less Food Prep This Summer

Summer’s always been about taking it easy, and Chef Jamie Gwen will show you how to do so without sacrificing legendary flavor at mealtime.

Let’s be honest. Who really wants to stand beside a roaring grill in the season’s heat (okay, a few of us out there!) or roast anything in the oven and risk making the whole house uncomfortably sweaty?

Tune in to your local morning news Wednesday morning, June 30, 2021, for a chance to see celebrity chef, cookbook author and radio host Jamie Gwen reveal one of her favorite recipes for big summer flavor with minimal effort.

Spoiler alert: Chef Jamie Gwen’s magic formula involves combining the deliciousness of Kentucky Legend turkey with the convenience of your slow cooker or crockpot to make BBQ pulled turkey.

Double-smoked just like our bestselling hams, Kentucky Legend Quarter-Sliced Turkey comes with legendary built-in flavor. Cooking them low and slow in your crockpot gets them tantalizingly tender while bringing in the wonderful flavor of your favorite barbecue sauce and, most importantly, freeing you up for more summer fun.

For building meals, Chef Jamie’s BBQ pulled turkey is incredibly versatile. Fold some in a tortilla with coleslaw and pickles for a zesty, creamy wrap. Drop some on a potato bun or pretzel roll for a pulled turkey sandwich. Scoop some onto nachos, tater tots or mac ‘n’ cheese for some ultimate comfort food. Any leftover pulled turkey can be stored in Ziploc bags and frozen for easy, delicious dinners down the road.

When all’s said and done, the only remaining issue is, what are you going to do with all the free time suddenly on your hands? We hope something fun!

A graduate of both the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Jamie Gwen is a celebrity chef, syndicated radio host and cookbook author based in southern California. Chef Jamie’s been featured as a guest judge on “Master Chef” and competed on the Food Network show “Beat Bobby Flay.” Her other TV appearances include “The Martha Stewart Show,” “Emeril Live,” The Talk,” HGTV, HSN, Bravo TV, DIY Network and more.

Her favorite ham is Kentucky Legend’s Brown Sugar Ham.

Oink for Owensboro 2020

It’s official: the “Oink for Owensboro” pigs are going out to pasture. Started in 2017, the giant, hand-painted pig statues are part of a philanthropic art project that has raised $100,000 for local non-profits while adding a little local flavor to the city.

One Last Oink

It’s official: the “Oink for Owensboro” pigs are going out to pasture.

See the Oink for Owensboro Pigs before they’re gone.

Started in 2017, the giant, hand-painted pig statues are part of a philanthropic art project that has raised $100,000 for local non-profits while adding a little local flavor to the city.

“The sculptures are really incredible works of art to have on display downtown,” says Tim Ross, Director of Public Events for the City of Owensboro. “They remind us of the great partnership with Kentucky Legend and the sponsors helping raise so much for local charities.”

After seeing the success of similar projects, like the painted horses of Lexington’s Horse Mania project, Kentucky Legend Brand Manager Brooklyn Maple had the “pig idea” for Owensboro to do its own version as a way to encourage donations for local charities.

To date, 20 larger-than-life fiberglass pigs have been scattered throughout downtown Owensboro and surrounding areas, bringing color to the cityscape and reminding passers-by of Owensboro’s long, rich history of agriculture, meat production and barbecue.

While traditionally hogs have a reputation for being selfish or greedy, the Oink for Owensboro pigs are a symbol of the city’s generosity. Each statue represents a $5,000 contribution from an Owensboro organization to an area non-profit of their choosing.

Upon receiving their unpainted fiberglass statue, each donor had to put more than just lipstick on their pig. Donors were responsible for personifying their pig with a name and artwork before having it placed in a prominent location around town.

Alas, the Oink for Owensboro Project will officially come to a close in October of this year.

“Getting this project up and running was so much fun,” says Brooklyn Maple, Brand Manager for Kentucky Legend. “And we’re super thankful to all the groups that joined in and helped us hit our goal of raising $100,000.”

“While this project is obviously near and dear to our hearts, we’ve decided to move on in order to free ourselves up to consider new ways that Kentucky Legend can support our Owensboro community going forward,” says Maple. “At Kentucky Legend, we’re always brainstorming about that.”

Even though Oink for Owensboro is coming to a close, a number of donors intend to keep their statues on display indefinitely. Even so, the best time to view the pigs on a walking tour is before the end of October, just in case some donors decide to relocate their pigs.

If you’re not a fan of long walks, don’t worry: all 20 “porks of art” will be corralled into one large “Pig Pen” in front of the Owensboro Convention Center from July 2, 2020, to July 7, 2020, for easy viewing.

From July 8, 2020, until the end of October, you can find the pigs at their locations listed below.

Chef Jamie Gwen’s Ham & Melon Summer Skewers

Celebrity chef Jamie Gwen takes to the airwaves to show off her bright, delicious Kentucky Legend Ham & Melon Summer Skewers–the perfect kickoff to your 4th of July party or any backyard barbecue.

Summer’s here, the weather’s glorious and that means there are tons of opportunities for eating outdoors.

Especially with travel being somewhat iffy this year, small get-togethers with family and friends will become so much more important as many large-scale events get canceled this season.

Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, picnic at the park or some other fun type of al fresco mealtime, Chef Jamie Gwen has an absolutely delicious starter to add to your shindig’s menu.

Chef Jamie’s Ham & Melon Summer Skewers are a riff on a classic prosciutto and melon salad. Threaded on skewers for fun, hands-on eating and better presentation, this recipe features cubes of cantaloupe or honeydew melon, slices of Kentucky Legend ham, leaves of fresh mint and a mustard vinaigrette.

The sweet brightness of melon contrasts wonderfully with the rich, savory flavor of Kentucky Legend ham and fresh herbaceous mint, which is growing like crazy in so many folks’ gardens by this time in summer.

The best part is this appetizer is quick, easy and can be thrown together in advance. Just store the Ham & Melon skewers in the fridge until serving time. They make a great bite to tide everyone over while the hot dogs and hamburgers are still on the grill.

Check out the video below or our Ham & Melon Summer Skewers recipe post for more details on how to make this fabulous seasonal appetizer.

A graduate of both the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Jamie Gwen is a celebrity chef, syndicated radio host and cookbook author based in southern California. Chef Jamie’s been featured as a guest judge on “Master Chef” and competed on the Food Network show “Beat Bobby Flay.” Her other TV appearances include “The Martha Stewart Show,” “Emeril Live,” The Talk,” HGTV, HSN, Bravo TV, DIY Network and more.

Her favorite ham is Kentucky Legend’s Brown Sugar Ham.

Helping Out However We Can

Donating to local food pantries and shelters is just one small part of responding to this national crisis, yet—for a community that’s been so supportive of us—we feel fortunate to be able to give back.

Grocery stores aren’t the only ones getting hit hard right now.

As measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 have essentially placed numerous industries on pause, the economic ripple-effect has been felt in communities across the country. As a consequence, social services are seeing their resources stretched thin.

That’s why, last week, we put a call out to various social services and religious organizations in our home-region of Owensboro, KY, asking how we could help.

By Friday, April 17, we had coordinated with nine different groups to donate more than 23,000 pounds of our products to the food pantries and homeless shelters they run.

It’s just one small way we can give back, but—for a home community that’s been so supportive of us—we feel fortunate to be able to help out in this way.

“We recognize the stress this crisis has placed upon many families and organizations in our community, and likewise the need for us to pull together and help each other through this time” says Eric Sheiss, the President of Specialty Foods Group, our parent company. “Product donations are just one piece of the puzzle of responding to this national emergency, and we feel fortunate to be able to contribute to our local community in this way.”

The donations, which were largely hams and different types of lunchmeat, were distributed to the Salvation Army of Owensboro, the Help Office of Owensboro, Boulware Mission, St. Benedict’s Homeless Shelter, the Daniel Pitino Shelter, God’s House of Hope, King’s Table Food Pantry, the Christian Food Bank of Hopkins County, and the Senior Community Center of Owensboro-Daviess County.

Jerry Moore, employee at the Daniel Pitino Shelter, which offers housing and meals for those experiencing homelessness, says they’re definitely seeing a spike in visitors: “Our kitchen usually serves between 85 and 100 lunches per day, but lately I’d say we’re averaging about 150, so these food donations are a huge help.”

Easter Dinner Inspiration

Chef Pagano Shares Easter-Dinner Inspiration on Lifetime TV’s “The Balancing Act”

“Orange” you glad we got an Easter glaze recipe for you?

Kidding aside, Easter may look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have the same great tastes you’ve always associated with the holiday, including the rich flavor of Kentucky Legend’s double-smoked ham.

In the video below, you’ll see celebrity chef Ralph Pagano, who’s previously appeared on Hell’s Kitchen and gone head to head versus Bobby Flay on Iron Chef, showcase Kentucky Legend in three very different yet equally delicious ways: 1) as a stunning Easter centerpiece with a delightful orange honey glaze, 2) as a tasty addition to any side dish such as in his Brussels sprouts recipe, and 3) as creatively repurposed ham and cheese biscuits so that no leftovers go to waste.

If you’re worried about too many leftovers this year, don’t be! Kentucky Legend hams come in a variety of sizes, including wholes, petite wholes, halves and quarters, so you can find the right size for your household.

But, then again, that leftover ham sure tastes good anywhere you put it, from charcuterie plates to pizza! Visit our “Recipes” page for more ways to make delicious use of any leftover Easter ham.

Easter Dinner + Leftovers

Chef Duran Talks Revised Easter Plans, Reimagining Leftovers

Given the circumstances, Easter 2020 may likely be a scaled-back affair compared to years before. Maybe you’re wondering if that whole ham is really necessary this year, since you’ll probably only be cooking for your immediate household.

There are two possible game plans here.

On the one hand, a whole ham can provide great mealtime mileage—as long you plan ahead for how to use the leftovers. Precooked, with rich, double-smoked flavor that only needs warming up, Kentucky Legend ham is the perfect quick-meal building block that easily adapts to a wide variety of recipes, from sandwiches to skillet stir-fries to breakfast burritos to you-name-it. Good for up to a week in the fridge or two months in the freezer, it also has a relatively long shelf-life.

On the other hand, you can “right-size” your ham for the number of folks you’ll be serving. Kentucky Legend hams are available in multiple sizes, including Petite Wholes, Halves and Quarter Sliced. Plan one pound per person and you’ll have enough for each person to have a second serving if they’re feeling extra hungry—or just really loving that ham.

For some help simplifying mealtime, we’ve asked celebrity chef George Duran, former Food Network cooking show host, for some advice. Check out the video below, as Chef Duran graciously Skyped in from his apartment kitchen in New York City.

Kentucky Legend named “2020 Manufacturer of the Year”

Recognition by the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce makes for a bright start to the new year.

Kentucky Legend representatives receive the 2020 Manufacturer of the Year Award at the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Celebration on Friday, January 24, 2020
Photo credit: AP Imagery/The Owensboro Times

At a packed RiverPark Center on Friday evening, January 24, 2020, the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce honored Kentucky Legend with the “2020 Manufacturer of the Year” Award.

Each year the award is given to a regional manufacturing business that demonstrates exceptional performance and growth, outstanding employment practices, innovative products or services, exemplary customer service, response to adversity and community involvement.

“We are so thrilled to have received this award from the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce,” says Brooklyn Maple, Brand Director for Kentucky Legend. “It is definitely a proud moment for us and a great start to the year and the accolades go out to all the hardworking teams at our organization.”

This is the first year since the founding of the company that Kentucky Legend has been awarded this honor.

New Year, New Pier

World-renowned artist and Owensboro-native Aaron Kizer paints an original 2,000-sq. ft. artwork for the Kentucky Legend Pier.

Kentucky Legend, the maker of America’s number one-selling boneless ham and sliced turkey, has commissioned Owensboro-native and world-renowned artist Aaron Kizer to give the Kentucky Legend® Pier a major facelift. After four weeks of on-again, off-again work due to inclement weather, Kizer finished the massive artwork in December 2019.

Located just outside the Owensboro Convention Center, the Kentucky Legend Pier overlooks the scenic Ohio River and is a popular venue for weddings, receptions, live music performances and other events.

Using the pier’s surface as his canvas, Kizer will spend six to ten days, depending on the weather, to create an original artwork that will measure more than 2,000 square feet—roughly equal to the floor plan of of an average-sized American house. Kizer has previously created large-scale paintings for the Univeristy of Kentucky, Jim Beam, Nike and N.A.S.A.

“We’re thrilled to donate this artwork to the city of Owensboro,” says Brooklyn Maple, Brand Director for Kentucky Legend. “This project has been very exciting, and we’re grateful to the Owensboro Convention Center and Aaron Kizer for this opportunity to do something out of the ordinary for Kentucky Legend.”

“We absolutely love our partnership with Kentucky Legend these past few years with both the Kentucky Legend Café and the Kentucky Legend Pier. We look forward to working with them on more creative activations and events in the future.” says Laura Alexander, General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center.

Kizer’s painting, which will replace the Kentucky Legend logo previously displayed on the pier, will feature his trademark street-art style with bold color choices and dynamic brushstrokes.

“I was born and raised in Owensboro. I find inspiration, joy and love here. I’m honored and proud that Kentucky Legend and the city has given me an opportunity for my work to become a part of Owensboro. My goal is to attempt to make the city, Kentucky Legend and the people of Owensboro proud of what they have played such a huge role in cultivating.” says Aaron Kizer.

The “Mom on the Run” Talks Back to School Meal Prep

It’s that time of year again. Busy mom of six hungry boys, Colleen Burns offers her advice for stress-free back-to-school meal prep success.

It’s that time of year again.

Just when you got used to summer’s relaxed pace, the rise and grind of your kids’ school routine is back with a vengeance. From getting the kids out the door on time in the morning, to after-school activities like sports and choir practices, the to-do list in your head seems never-ending.

Thankfully, Colleen Burns is here to help.

Having raised six (hungry!) boys of her own, Colleen knows a thing or two about being a “Mom on the Run.” She especially knows how to whip together a quick and delicious meal that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Parents with kids of all ages will enjoy hearing Colleen share her favorite brands for simplifying meal prep.

Colleen especially likes the fact that Kentucky Legend’s ham and turkey come pre-cooked and pre-sliced, making for easy, grab-and-go DIY “sandwich bars” for after-school snacks or weeknight dinners.

Watch a recap of the Mom-on-the-Run’s advice below.

Colleen Burns, aka the “Mom on the Run,” has a psychology degree, a background in childhood education and the real-life experience of raising six sons. A former national and local TV journalist, Colleen shares tips on parenting, travel, looking and feeling good.

Always on the lookout for the most successful mom and kid-friendly brands, Colleen loves to help families get the most from their lives, while saving time and money. She regularly appears on Lifetime, the CW Network and network affiliates in New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago, Miami and elsewhere.


Chef Duran’s Favorite Holiday Glaze

Celebrity chef George Duran shows off the glaze he’ll be using on a Kentucky Legend ham this holiday season.

Only one thing can make the flavor and juiciness of a Kentucky Legend ham even better—an amazing sweet-savory glaze recipe by celebrity chef George Duran.

Watch the clip of Fox & Friends from 12/24/18 to see Chef Duran teach the Fox crew how to perfectly glaze a Kentucky Legend ham using his favorite glaze recipe.

Chef Duran also reveals a Mac N’ Cheese recipe that features Kentucky Legend Artisan Crafted Series Sausages.

Chef Duran’s cooking credits include hosting his Food Network show Ham on the Streets and more recently TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off. He’s also the author of Take This Dish and Twist It.

His favorite ham is Kentucky Legend’s Sliced Glazin’ Ham.