The show, which is seeking sponsors to help finish its first six-episode season for KET, focuses on following food from the farm to the table and is anchored by the friendship and onscreen banter of Keith and McClave, who have honed their media personas through a series of webisodes and two years of their radio show.
Louisvillian Kiley Lane Parker of Parker Lane LLC shot and produced the show.
Insider recached out to both McClave and Lane Parker via phone and spoke with them about the origins of the project, working on a pilot, and what happens next.
McClave first met Keith in 2009 when she was working in hospitality.
“I moved to Louisville in 2004 and spent 10 years in the hospitality world,” says McClave, who notes that hospitality involves a lot of food and beverage.
At that point, Keith already had turned Foxhollow Farm into a big name in local food by transforming her family farm into a biodynamic farm focused on grass-fed beef.
In 2011, McClave’s interest in food and beverage led her to start getting serious about learning to cook, and she decided to document the process. “I had started to teach myself to cook, for fun and for a hobby, and I decided to record those exploits in a blog I started in 2011 called ‘Foodie Girl,’” she says.
As the blog took off, McClave started doing freelance food writing. She wrote articles for StyleBlueprint, Edible Louisville, Kentucky Monthly and Today’s Woman.
Keith and McClave’s friendship involved a lot of talking about food, and they turned that conversation into a radio show in 2014. That show, also titled “The Farmer and The Foodie,” has aired on Crescent Hill Radio for just over two years.
“It was such a good time, and we really began to come into our own with that,” says McClave, adding that after the duo got comfortable on the radio, they began asking themselves what might come next. “We loved the idea of moving in front of a camera, but we didn’t know how to make that happen.”
The answer came in the form of social media advertising for Keith’s brother, George Barrett, who works with Homepage Realty. They shot a series of webisodes in the kitchens of homes the company was trying to sell and added those videos to Homepages’s online presence.
That’s when Lane Parker got interested. She is active in Louisville’s budding film scene and is best known for her documentary “Raising Ms. President.” Previously, she cut her teeth creating TV content in Colorado.
Lane Parker saw some scenes of the webisodes and was intrigued by the pair’s camera presence and great chemistry.
The trio had lunch to discuss possibilities, and they decided to work together to bring “The Farmer and The Foodie” to the small screen. Lane Parker started by filming the two together in a kitchen and sending the footage out to industry contacts.
“I sent some clips of Maggie and Lyndsey off to my friend at KET, and the Food Network, and they loved them on camera, but both said, ‘Where’s the farm? We wanna see the farm if it’s gonna be a show,’” says Lane Parker.
That suggestion fit well with the trio’s concept for the show.
“In our daydreaming, we had fleshed out the general outline of how we want the show to be,” explains McClave. “We start the episode visiting a farm or food artisan and learning about what they are doing, and taking whatever we find or harvest back to the kitchen and making an original recipe.”
Of course the trio decided to film the pilot at Foxhollow Farm since it’s a well-known local farm the crew wouldn’t have to jump through any hoops to use.
Lane Parker was able to get the pilot of “The Farmer and The Foodie” placed with KET, but KET only airs content, it doesn’t fund it. So the remaining episodes of the show still need sponsorships. While the team would no doubt love to find one sponsor to help produce the entire first season, KET allows each episode to have a different sponsor.
McClave believes that featuring farms is important, but adds that it’s the farmer that really separates “The Farmer and The Foodie” from other shows that only feature cooking.
“There are food and lifestyle shows where someone might visit a farm, but there isn’t a farmer who has the actual firsthand knowledge of working with the land,” she says.
The pilot episode of “The Farmer and The Foodie” premieres on KET on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 10:35 p.m. It will re-air on KETKY on Thursday, Aug. 25, at 9:30 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 26, at 10:30 a.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 28, at 5:30 p.m. And it’ll show on KET2 on Friday, Aug. 26, at 10:33 p.m.
What local farms and products do you think should get an episode dedicated to them? Sound off in the comment section below.