Are you into organic and sustainably grown food? The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s 25th annual conference on family farms will be Jan. 27 to 30 in Lexington. Besides a Taste of Kentucky banquet on Jan. 30, the forum has myriad opportunities to learn about improved vegetable production, developing community food systems and more. Kentucky author Wendell Berry will speak at an author’s signing on Jan. 28, along with other presenters.
▪ Bayou Bluegrass Catering is planning Mardi Gras celebrations at Copper Roux, 861 South Broadway. Reservations are available for “Fat Friday” dinner on Feb. 5 and Fat Tuesday lunch and dinner on Feb. 9. Reservations are required. Lunch is $16.50 a person; dinner is $28.50. Children 4 to 8 years old may eat for half-price and those 3 and younger eat free. Menu will include Louisiana-style fried catfish, alligator, red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo and more. Boil crawfish may be bought on Friday and at lunch; limited quantities of crawfish will be available at dinner Tuesday. Call 859-523-7915.
▪ Blue Stallion Brewing, 610 West Third Street, and The Gastro Gnomes will have a crawfish boil 5 p.m. Feb. 9 in the taproom. Zyde-Gators will play zydeco music. Blue Stallion will serve a special Mardi Gras beer. No cover charge.
▪ The Kroger store at 300 Brighton Park Boulevard in Frankfort will celebrate its grand reopening at 8 a.m. Jan. 21. The 108,000-square-foot neighborhood store now offers expanded varieties of produce, meat, seafood and deli. On grand opening day, the first 500 customers will receive two packages of Simple Truth Natural Boneless Chicken Breasts. Kroger also is opening a Wine & Spirits Shoppe there, with complimentary tastings weekly, and the store will launch ClickList online ordering on Jan. 28.
▪ Keeneland’s Track Kitchen, in the stable area of the race track on Versailles Road, is being renovated. Food service has been moved to the trackside Equestrian Room on the first floor of the Grandstand until March 15. The Equestrian Room will be open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breakfast is available to 10:30 a.m., lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu will continue to feature bacon and sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy, grits and choice of cereals as well as breakfast burritos, biscuit sandwiches, scones and fresh fruit. Lunch choices include entree specials, salads, soup, hamburgers and sandwiches.
▪ Two Kentuckians have made Garden & Gun magazine’s Southern Hot List for 2016: Mary Berry, Wendell Berry’s daughter and a food activist in her own right, and Marianne Barnes, master distiller and partner in the revival of the Old Taylor distillery in Woodford County.
▪ Tickets for the Birthday for a Cause at Crank and Boom, 1210 Manchester Street, on Jan. 23 have been dropped to $25; go online at Crankandboom.com to order. The event benefits Seedleaf, a nonprofit that operates community gardens and offers cooking classes.
▪ Jan. 20 is Russian night at Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street. From 5:30 to 9 p.m., the International Night menu will feature chicken with mushroom dumplings, house-made piroshki, mushroom stroganoff, Georgian cheese turnover, and red beans and walnuts. Next week Alfalfa will serve Greek cuisine.
▪ Want to learn how to make perfect macarons? Sylviana Herrin, owner of La Petite Delicat, 445 South Ashland Avenue, will teach the tips and tricks, provide a packet of recipes and show how to make ganache and assemble cookies. Classes are $110 a person. Call 859-338-1338 for reservations.
▪ Richmond wine importers Di Vino Wholesalers have repackaged their signature wine label, Italo Cescon, often referred to as its “stick” wines. Italo Cescon was established in 1957, not far from Venice by founder Italo Cescon. The history of the stick, or Tralcetto, dates to its founding. A thin, twisted bit of cane picked from the vine pruning originally by Cescon’s grandmother, Anna, is wound around the neck of each bottle of wine produced by Cescon. Di Vino owners Sergio Sgro and his wife, Susie, also sell all-natural Italian gourmet foods and espresso at PastaAndVino.com.
▪ BarFly Ventures has announced plans to open a HopCat in Louisville this summer in the historic Highlands neighborhood at 1064 Bardstown Road. Like the one in Lexington, it will feature a large selection of craft beers on tap, a full menu of “food your mom would make if she loved craft beer,” two private event spaces with private bars, a deck and outdoor seating.