Many Louisvillians are familiar with the popular Highlands dining landmark, Ramsi’s Café on the World… But did you know that Ramsi, along with his wife Rhona, also own an organic farm? We recently visited their Raising Hope Organic Farm and learned—not only of its role in their widely favored restaurant—but also the importance the land itself has on their well-being.
It seems as though Rhona and Ramsi Kamar are leading a dual life. Farmers out in Fisherville by day, restauranteurs by night at Ramsi’s Cafe on the World in the social epicenter of Louisville, Bardstown Road. But it’s not a dual life, rather, it is a complete arc. And it’s the purist form of arm to table: Grow the food that will sustain you. Feed your people through the soil that you till. It is a natural fit and the Kamars have completely assimilated into their new roles as farmers.
On a recent bright, warm, sunny day, Ramsi Kamar strolled along a row of Tuscan kale growing on his farm near Fisherville, a half-hour from his popular Highlands restaurant, Ramsi’s Cafe on the World.
Ramsi Kamar, owner of Ramsi’s Café on the World in the Highlands, admits that when he starts talking about the 16-acre organic farm he’s developing in Fisherville, he sounds like a farming evangelist, or a “born again farmer. The story of farming is that of love,” he said from a table in his restaurant, which has been a staple in the Louisville dining scene for 20 years.
Co-owner and chef Rhona Kamar has seen positive results in her own life eating “super healthy organic” food, inspiring her to offer special menu items featuring foods from Raising Hope, the organic farm she and her husband run. You can feel both virtuous and decadent with dishes like the Spice Market – a plate redolent of the souks in Marrakech, piled with roasted carrots and fennel with lemon essence and toasted cumin served with Moroccan millet pilaf and Syrian tomato jam.
Rhona Bowles Kamar has more jobs than I can count. With her husband Ramsi, she is the chef/owner of Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, and they also own and operate Raising Hope Organic Farm, located in east Jefferson County. She also is a writer and has three children.
This garlic scape confit can be drizzled on salads, or do as I do — put some on your fried egg in the morning. Another option is to toss artichokes and lime zest with this garlicky dressing, or try serving it simply on some crispy bread.
“Rhona and Ramsi Kamar, owners of Ramsi’s Cafe in Louisville, served the most beautiful dishes we saw… Deviled Eggs with Tomato Jam and Corn Cakes with a flash fried Kale topping. These eggs will make all other deviled eggs I eat just pitiful in comparison, for they looked like little ice cream cones with the egg yolks whipped up high. Layers of flavor, as you popped them in your mouth, made you quickly reach for 2 more before someone else saw you. My friend encouraged me to take a bite of the corn cake offering. To my amazement the fried Kale just melted into thin air while the cake filled your mouth with crunch and a cheesy like taste. We ate more of those as well! Kudos to these “rock star” chefs for participating in the evenings festivities! We have been to all of their restaurants and were reminded we need to venture back.”
Rhona Kamar, co-owner of Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, also runs Raising Hope Organic Farm in eastern Jefferson County. The past couple of years, she’s been busy learning the ins and outs of farming. Here, she talks about her first time taming two furry, little beasts.