2013 Mystery Basket-36

Photo by Les Roll.

Jonathan Piercy grew up in the foothills of eastern Kentucky, and he’s been fascinated by food and cooking ever since he read an oatmeal package that said, “For thicker oatmeal, use less water; for thinner oatmeal, use more.” At five years old, it was the first time he realized that he could be in control of something.

He was inspired by his mother, who taught school every day but still managed to get real food on the table just about every night. In college he taught himself how to cook with the help of thrift store copies of the Frugal Gourmet cookbooks and a large troupe of friends who weren’t afraid to eat the early attempts. Later he became a student of Alton Brown’s Good Eats, which helped him think scientifically in the kitchen and understand what’s going on at every step.

Jonathan’s favorite food topics include Appalachian and Kentucky cuisine, all things Spanish, beer and cocktails, and Cajun/Creole cooking, but there isn’t much he’s not interested in.

In 2009 Jonathan and his friends Jenny and Tricia became the hosts of What’s Cookin’ Now!, the world’s only live radio cooking show (that we know of), on 88.7-WMMT-FM; in Whitesburg, KY. The show ran monthly for six years before they brought it to a close in August of 2015. They were featured in the New York Times and in Kentucky Monthly. Jonathan started his new blog Eight Piece Box in September of 2015, with plans for a podcast that should debut in November.

Jonathan lives in Hazard, KY with his wife/co-conspirator Tamara and a bunch of poorly-behaved animals. When he’s not thinking about food, he can often be found banging on his ukulele as Jonathan and his Four-String Fiasco. The rest of the time, he’s an internist and a professor with the UK Department of Family Medicine.