Newcomers learn of native Kentuckian’s culinary reviews
by Hawkins Teague
Apr 04, 2007 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although Aunt Jemima and Betty Crocker may sell more, there’s one thing that has always set Duncan Hines apart: Hines was a real person.

Jonathan Jeffrey, a Kentucky Humanities Council speaker, came to Lake Barkley on March 21 to speak to the Trigg/Lyon Newcomers Club about the Bowling Green native who is mostly known through the packaged foods that bear his name. Jeffrey works at Western Kentucky University’s Kentucky Library, which he said is several blocks from where Hines used to live.

Jeffrey told The Cadiz Record that he first started researching Hines in conjunction with Bowling Green’s annual Duncan Hines festival. Over time, he dug up enough history to put together his detailed and informative lecture and give his talks on behalf of the Kentucky Humanities Council.

Hines rarely cooked himself, Jeffrey told the Newcomers. He was a man known more for his passion (for food) than for his personality. Of course, Hines was at his peak long before most people were concerned about health. Jeffrey read the club a recipe for fried eggs from one of Hines’ cookbooks that elicited several grimaces and chuckles from those present.

Hines was one of six children and was born in Bowling Green in 1880. His claim to fame didn’t come until after he worked for a printing company for 33 years. As he traveled around the United States selling printing products, he ate at many restaurants, all the while taking diligent notes about what he liked and didn’t like about the food. Even when he was home from his business trips on the weekends, he continued to put many miles on his car because his wife, Florence, enjoyed going for drives too.

Hines eventually compiled a list of some of his favorite restaurants and sent out Christmas cards with their names. Word reached the public about the list and a Chicago newspaper story about Hines’ hobby dubbing him the “‘Dear Abby’ of the culinary world” only increased demand for it. In 1935, Hines released an expanded version of the recommendation in the form of a book called “Adventures in Good Eating.”

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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