Harrodsburg’s Beaumont Inn Named an ‘America’s Classic’ by James Beard Foundation
Harrodsburg’s legendary Beaumont Inn was named one of five 2015 “America’s Classics” by the New York based James Beard Foundation at its 25th annual awards banquet last night. According to the Beard Foundation, “the America’s Classics Award is given to restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community.”
The Beaumont Inn was founded in 1917 and opened in 1919 in the building of a former women’s college that was built in 1845. The Inn is run by the Dedman family, who are descendants of the original founders Glave and Annie Bell Goddard.
The menu is the epitome of traditional Kentucky cooking using recipes handed down over five generations: fried chicken, corn pudding, and two-year old country ham matured in the Inn’s own aging house. The Beaumont Inn has even revived Kentucky Owl Bourbon, which was made by the Dedman family until 1916 when production ceased. The Beaumont Inn has been a Kentucky classic for decades as Kentucky-based food writer Duncan Hines famously noted in 1949:
Now write this down for the people in Kentucky. I’ll be happy to get home and eat two-year-old ham, cornbread, beaten biscuits, pound cake, yellow-leg fried chicken, and corn pudding. And you can say what I think is the best eating place in Kentucky: Beaumont Inn at Harrodsburg.
John T. Edge, Director of Oxford, Mississippi’s Southern Foodways Alliance, had praise on Twitter for the Dedmans last night during the awards ceremony:
Best speech of the night so far goes to the young man from Kentucky. Beaumont Inn wins America's Classic. Congrats.
— John T Edge (@johntedge) May 5, 2015
The James Beard Foundation also produced this informative video about the Beaumont Inn:
“As the destination marketing organization for the United States, Brand USA is proud to present the America’s Classics Award to these five distinguished restaurants, each of which exemplifies the varied and vibrant food available across the United States,” said Brand USA President and CEO Christopher L. Thompson. “By promoting exceptional offerings such as those created by these beloved eateries, we hope to inspire more travelers from around the world to visit and experience the USA, one dish at a time.”
In Spring 2016, Rizzoli Publications will issue a collection of recipes from each of the James Beard America’s Classics including The Beaumont Inn.
Eat Kentucky extends a hearty congratulations to the Dedman family and The Beaumont Inn for being recognized for being what Kentuckians have known for nearly a century: An American Classic.