I recently had the privilege of attending the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Dinner here in Louisville, KY. If you are in-tune with the culinary world, you know that the James Beard Foundation is a big deal. As I like to say: it’s the crème de la crème of gastronomy.
Due to the fact that it was held at the Speed Art Museum, one of my favorite venues in the city, I knew that it would be a fabulous evening. That said, y’all – and I don’t say this lightly – it exceeded my wildest expectations.
The evening started on the lawn; libations were poured and reception tastings were curated by Jeremy Ashby (AZUR, Lexington), Kevin Ashworth (610 Magnolia, Louisville), Samantha Fore (Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, Lexington), Josh Moore (Volare, Louisville), and Bruce Ucan (The Mayan Cafe, Louisville). Fun fact: did you know that I did a winter term abroad in Mérida? Yucatecan food is thus very special to me and I love that I can be reminded of that period of my life – one of the best – when dining with Chef Ucan.
After being ushered into the main room (shoutout to my friends at Estes Public Relations for putting on an amazing event!), it was time for the real party! Dinner party, that is.
Our visiting All-Star, Chef Richard Blais, came to us from San Diego. And he brought the entertainment all evening – what a fun, hilarious guy!
We were also graced by our local All-Star, Chef Sara Bradley of Freight House in Paducah. You might be familiar with her work from her amazing run on Top Chef: Kentucky! She represented us so well!
The first course was a delicious tostada with an indulgent, creamy spread + pickled beets. Two thumbs up!
Next was a beautifully prepared Asian Carp, which as an invasive species, bodes well with the James Beard Foundation’s commitment to sustainability. (Something I learned at the event: did you know that almost 40% of food produced in the United States is wasted? What an unbelievable, hard-to-stomach reality! We must do better.)
The carp was prepared by Chef Sara Bradley – on the side, we also got one of her famous biscuits!
Lastly: a pork lover’s dream. Case-closed.
Where dessert goes, I go.
Desserts were provided by Nokee Bucayu (Ashbourne Farms, Louisville), Claudia Delatoree (The Bakery at Sullivan University, Louisville), and Annie Harlow + Leslie Wilson (Hi-Five Doughnuts, Louisville).
A plus: Please and Thank You had cookies being passed out, as well. I mean how can you complain?! They’re the best!
I look forward to attending more events with – and actively supporting – the James Beard Foundation, Kentucky Tourism, and our prospering culinary scene. I am consistently in awe at the talent that we possess in our Commonwealth. I have long believed that we are an over-looked state; however, from the work of many, we are starting to get the recognition that we have long-deserved.
As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!
Y’all come back now, ya hear?