Eight international chefs will be cooking in Central Kentucky restaurants Friday and Saturday, and they will take a break to taste some Kentucky foods while here. The international chefs will join their local counterparts for the International Chef Showcase to prepare three- or four-course meals featuring Alltech's Lyons Farm products: beef, chicken, libations and coffee.
The flavors of Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and the Czech Republic will inspire the menus at the eight top restaurants, but it's all Kentucky at Saturday's Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show. It takes over Lexington Center to offer a taste of the best food products the state has to offer.
Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show
Food Network celebrity chef Tyler Florence will be the star of Saturday's Incredible Food Show, taking the stage at Rupp Arena at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
He is the host of the Food Network shows How to Boil Water, Food 911, Tyler's Ultimate and The Great Truck Race.
At the food show, participants can learn culinary skills at seminars, meet local cookbook authors and sample food from more than 100 Kentucky Proud vendors. A free Kentucky Proud breakfast, prepared by students and staff at Sullivan University, will start the day.
Stella Parks, pastry chef at Table Three Ten, will be a seminar speaker. Parks, who blogs at Bravetart.com, was recently named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in the country by Food & Wine Magazine.
"I'll be talking about ways to simplify and streamline the holiday baking routine with pro kitchen tips," Parks said.
She commends the Kentucky Proud show for "helping Kentuckians realize that our local food scene is incredibly dynamic. We don't just have great restaurants and chefs, but also companies like Bourbon Barrel Foods, who are doing fabulous things.
"We don't have to fly up to New York to check out an amazing food show. We've got everything we need right here."
Cookbook author Rona Roberts will give her "sorghum sermon" at a class Saturday. She is the author of Sweet, Sweet Sorghum: Kentucky's Golden Wonder and an advocate of local foods. Roberts will talk about ways to add healthful sorghum to everyday foods and will have sorghum crinkles for sampling. Randal Rock of Country Rock Sorghum will join Roberts to offer the producer's perspective on sorghum.
There are some new features at this year's show. Among them:
â– A quick-tips booth in the marketplace section will offer cooking demonstrations on making biscuits, quick-and-easy appetizers, and baking the perfect apple pie.
â– A traditional foodcraft area will feature outdoor demonstrations on making sorghum, pressing apple cider and processing apple butter.
â– Restaurant row will have small-plate offerings for sale from area restaurants.
â– Sullivan University chefs John Foster and David Walls will demonstrate how to butcher a whole hog.
Alltech's International Chef Showcase
This weekend's International Chef Showcase was the idea of Alltech founder Pearse Lyons.
He wanted to pair Central Kentucky chefs with international chefs for a weekend culinary competition. It's being held in conjunction with the Alltech National Horse Show, which opens Tuesday and runs through Nov. 4 at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The guest chefs are being be paired with local chefs to prepare three- or four-course meals using Lyons Farm chicken and beef; Pearse Lyons Reserve whiskey; Café Citadelle coffee from Haiti; Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale; Town Branch bourbon; and Bluegrass Sundown, a bourbon-infused coffee drink.
Judges will be at each restaurant event, and winning team members will receive a cash prize of $2,500.
Ouita Michel, chef/owner of Holly Hill Inn in Midway, will share her kitchen with Alan Clarke of Ireland.
"It's such a great idea to bring chefs from around the world to Kentucky, and I'm thrilled to be a part of this 'culinary exchange' program," Michel said.
"Alan has sent some absolutely lovely ideas, and we're still working out the final details of our menu," she said. "We will be offering a four-course Irish menu with Kentucky inspiration that includes both Lyons Farm filet of beef and chicken.
At Portofino, chef Rob Nathanson will be teaming with Spanish chef Angel Fernandez de Retana.
"For me, this is a rare opportunity to collaborate with an internationally acclaimed chef who is regarded as a master of molecular gastronomy," he said, referring to the modern style of cooking. "I'm looking forward to learning a few new techniques.
Jeff Keatley, sous chef at Serafini in Frankfort, will be teaming with French chef Cyrille Berland.
"I hope to be able to absorb as much culinary knowledge from him, and at the same time I also hope that his experience visiting with us will be as fulfilling and fun as ours," Keatley said.
Here's the lineup, locations and information for making reservations at participating restaurants, which are in Lexington unless otherwise noted. Dinner prices will vary with locations.
Azur Restaurant & Patio: Jeremy Ashby and Petr Elias. 3070 Lakecrest Circle. (859) 296-1007 or Azurrestaurant.com.
Ashby is executive chef at Azur and a graduate of Johnson & Wales in Charleston. Elias is executive chef at Hotel Villa in Prague, Czech Republic.
Bellini's Italian Restaurant: Craig de Villers and Alfonso Crescenzo. 115 West Main Street. (859) 388-9583 or Bellinis.us.
De Villers is a chef at Bellini's. He learned to cook as a teen while working with the kitchen staff at his family's lodge in South Africa. Crescenzo is chef de cuisine of Splendido Restaurant at the Ritz- Carlton in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. His specialty is Italian cuisine.
Holly Hill Inn: Ouita Michel and Alan Clarke. 416 North Winter Street, Midway. (859) 846-4732 or Hollyhillinn.com.
Michel is chef/owner of Holly Hill Inn and Wallace Station Deli in Midway, and Windy Corner Market in Lexington. She is also chef-in-residence at Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles. Clarke is executive chef for The Right Catering Co. in Drogheda County, Louth, Ireland. His clients include Microsoft and Disney.
Jonathan at Gratz Park: Jonathan Lundy and Manu Buffara. 120 West Second Street. (859) 252-4949 or JAGP.info.
Lundy is chef/owner of Jonathan at Gratz Park and received a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. Buffara is chef at Manu in Curitiba, Brazil, and teaches gastronomy at Centro Europeu.
Portofino Restaurant: Rob Nathanson and Angel Fernandez de Retana. 249 East Main Street. (859) 253-9300 or Portofinolexington.com.
Nathanson is chef at Portofino and a graduate of Sullivan University. De Retana is chef at IKEA Restaurant in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
Serafini Italian Restaurant: Jeff Keatley and Cyrille Berland. 243 West Broadway, Frankfort. (502) 875-5599 or Serafinifrankfort.com.
Keatley has been sous chef at Serafini for four years. Berland is chef at Toques Rebelles Academy of Cooking in Caen, France.
Triangle Grille: Josh Winslow and Martin Angel Rodriguez. 369 West Vine Street. (859) 281-3773 or Trianglegrille.com.
Winslow is executive chef at Murray's and Merrick Inn. He's a graduate of Johnson & Wales in Charleston, S.C. Rodriguez is chef at Diapri in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Village Idiot: Andrew Suthers and Javier Ampuero Figueroa. 307 West Short Street. (859) 252-0099 or Lexingtonvillageidiot.com.
Suthers is chef at The Village Idiot and received culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu program at Brown College in Mendota Heights, Minn. Figueroa is chef/owner of Ampuero Restaurant in Lima, Peru.