Dana McMahan

Dana McMahan is a would-be nomad who travels the world and writes about adventures in food and fitness, like getting a macaron tattoo in Paris, eating mystery meat at a Moroccan roadside cafe and riding elephants in Thailand.  Follow her adventures online.

When she's not in another time zone she's writing about food in Louisville where she's the Dish columnist for The Courier-Journal and the food writer for Kentucky Monthly magazine. She can also frequently be found lifting something heavy in her garage gym. 

Dana's work has appeared in Elle, Delta Sky magazine, the Huffington Post and Gadling.com, among many other publications. She was the 2010 writer-in-residence at Kitchen-at-Camont in Gascony, France. 

Food and Dining
3:13 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Women Breaking Down Hogs, Beef and the 'Old Boy Network' in Kentucky Butchering Camps

Meet your meat: the pigs on Napoleon Ridge Farm.
Tricia Houston Napoleon Ridge Farm

Single-sex education is a time-honored approach in the traditional classroom, but a workshop in Napoleon, Kentucky, is extending the trend into the kitchen. Grrls Meat Camp will offer a hands-on modern butchery class just for women April 12-14 at Napoleon Ridge Farm, between Louisville and Cincinnati.

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Food and Dining
10:37 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Review: Don't Resist Decca

Decca on East Market Street.
Dana McMahan WFPL News

I resisted going to Decca. Yes, I heard all the swooning, but I wasn't buying it. I blame my stubborn Kentuckian side. We have plenty of good chefs. Plenty! We don't need somebody to come in from California to show us what good food is. We know from good food here.

But I kept hearing about it, and every word I heard was a rave. Curiosity got the better of me and I caved, so my husband Brian and I went for dinner (812 E. Market St.) on a cold weeknight in February. I hoped for a pleasant meal.

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Food and Dining
9:55 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Secrets of a Lonely Planet Writer: How Food Helps a City Land on Top

Eiderdown on Goss Avenue.
Credit Dana McMahan / WFPL News

We’re number one! So says Lonely Planet in their list of top U.S. travel destinations for 2013. The publishing monolith has evidently caught on to what we all already know – that this is a fine place to be. Because I closely follow (and revel in) Louisville’s culinary scene, I give our food and dining a lot of credit for this recognition. But how exactly does a city rise to the top of these lists?

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Food and Dining
10:41 am
Thu January 3, 2013

REVIEW: Feast BBQ a Candidate for Last, Great Meal

The "Roosevelt" meal at Feast BBQ.
Dana McMahan WFPL News

The last thing you’d eat on Earth—should you have the choice—is a weighty matter. It’s no small decision to pick the food you’d go out on, and I keep a tight rein on my own shortlist. But the list grew by one when I crossed the river to New Albany on a dark December evening to visit Feast BBQ.

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Food and Dining
7:30 am
Thu November 29, 2012

How Prohibition Changed the Cocktail

The Opera is a classic cocktail from the 1920s served at St. Charles Exchange
Dana McMahan WFPL News

It's hard to believe there was a time when it was illegal to produce, sell and ship alcohol. Then again, in some places Prohibition might well have never been repealed. I lived in a dry county (Pulaski) myself, where I had to drive 50 miles to buy wine. The inhumanity! My delight at moving to Louisville, a block from Old Town Liquor, must have been something like the elation tipplers felt on Dec. 5, 1933, when the experiment known as Prohibition was repealed.

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Food and Dining
8:30 am
Thu November 1, 2012

REVIEW: Silver Dollar Brunch Satisfies

The Texas Toast Stack
Dana McMahan WFPL News

Food serves many roles. At a minimum, it’s sustenance, but it can also nourish, nurture, heal—and sometimes it can revive. I went in search of all of these things when my husband Brian and I stepped into the Silver Dollar (1761 Frankfort Ave.) on a nippy Sunday morning for brunch.

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