The $500,000 Horseshoe Casino Spiral Stakes, a key Kentucky Derby prep race, is taking place at Turfway Park in Florence on April 2, where 2003 Derby winner Funny Cide will lead the Spiral post parade.
Guests can enjoy a deluxe buffet and open bar in the VIP tent for $175 per person, make a reservation in the grandstand (some seats include buffet lunch there, too) or go for $5 general admission and snack at the concession stands.
Rich Rosendale, host of television’s Emmy-nominated Recipe Rehab and former executive chef at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, is the talent behind this year’s VIP tent menu as well as elements of the grandstand buffets. Among items on the VIP tent menu are hand-carved beef brisket; slow smoked, maple glazed turkey breast; corn pudding soufflé; and a mac-and-cheese bar.
▪ Speaking of Derby, Churchill Downs in Louisville has announced the menu for the 142nd Run for the Roses on May 7. Besides 300 crates of mint for mint juleps, the menu includes green beans with Louisville sorghum and bourbon-smoked sesame seeds, bourbon-pickled peaches, shrimp and grits, roasted chicken breast with moonshine-spiked raisin sauce, New York strip loin, smoked turkey and brie with apple butter on rosemary bread, blackberry cobbler with lemon-rosemary biscuit top, white and dark chocolate terrine, warm chocolate crepes, bourbon ball ice cream with caramel pecan sauce and bourbon crème brulee tart.
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▪ Waveland State Historic Site, 225 Waveland Museum Lane in Lexington, will be hosting two Derby breakfasts on Derby Day, May 7. One breakfast option will be in our newly renovated barn, tent and grounds with three seatings, 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Price is $25 per person. Reservations are required.
Another breakfast will be offered at 10 a.m. in the mansion, served on fine china and served by period dressed interpreters. Breakfast will include a tour of the mansion highlighting how Waveland influenced horse racing in Lexington. Price is $50 per person. For reservations call 859-272-3611 or 859-619-8189.
▪ Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, will feature North African cuisine for International Night on March 30. Menu includes curried beef pie, piri piri shrimp, yetakelt w’et (vegetables simmered with tomatoes, chilis and spices and served with Ethiopian flatbread), mafe (sweet potato, onion, peppers, kale, okra and tofu in peanut sauce with tomato, garlic, red chilies and spices), and yemiser w’et (brown lentils simmered with onion, eggplant, tomato, garlic and spices served over couscous topped with cucumber, chili sauce and crumbled feta.)
Alfalfa also has a new spring menu including red chili-coconut-lime curry with local chicken or tofu and vegetable pancakes with mango chili and hoisin peanut sauces.
▪ Check out the Culinary Evangelist, Chef Dan Wu’s show on Lexington Community Radio, WLXL 95.7 FM, every Wednesday at 3 p.m. I was on last week (thanks, Dan!) and broadcasts are available online at lexingtoncommunityradio.org, where you’ll also find episodes of Hot Water Cornbread, the show from Rona Roberts and Ouita Michel, as well as Kosher Cuisine.
▪ The former Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville, once a nationally known hub of locally sourced cuisine known as much for the quirky decor as the food, has been sold. The restaurant closed in January 2013; owner Lynn Winter announced last week that the property on Barrett Avenue has been sold to a Nashville-based restaurant group. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the buyer is a franchisee for Taziki’s, which is opening at 117 Southland Drive in Lexington on April 18, but also owns other restaurants, including independent ones. So stay tuned.
▪ Michter’s is releasing a 10-year single barrel bourbon in April. “I love our 10 Year Bourbon and wish we could sell it year-round, but we just don’t have enough,” said Willie Pratt, Michter’s master distiller. The suggested U.S. retail price will be $120 per 750ml bottle.
▪ Kentucky State Parks have three special wild game meals scheduled in April. Pine Mountain State Resort Park will hold its Frontier Night Buffet from 5 to 8 p.m. April 9. The menu features baron of elk roast carved on the line, chicken and dumplings, friend catfish, buffalo meatloaf, elk stew and frog legs. Cost is $27 per person, plus tax and tip. The price is $10 plus tax for ages 6-12 and 5 and under are free.
▪ Lake Cumberland State Resort Park in Jamestown will hold a Frontier Night Buffet from 5 to 8 p.m. Central time April 9. The menu will include buffalo chili, alligator and sausage gumbo, carved buffalo, braised venison brisket, fried quail with cheese grits, Cajun fried alligator, roast of sage and garlic duck, chunky mashed new potatoes, chuck wagon green beans, trail corn and cream peas with mushrooms. The price for adults is $20.95; children ages 6-12 are $10.95 and children age 5 and younger are free. The price includes a drink, but not tax. Call Lake Cumberland State Resort Park at 270-343-3111 for more information.
▪ Natural Bridge State Resort Park in Slade is hosting its Appalachian Heritage Wild Game Feast from noon to 8 p.m. April 23. The wild game buffet will include roasted top round of bison carved to order, Ale-8 One country ham, tender barbecue buffalo ribs, buffalo meatloaf and buffalo burgers, venison and rabbit burgoo, snapping turtle soup and all the fixings. There will also be a dessert bar including baked Alaska. The buffet is $21.95 for adults, $8.95 for children ages 6-12 and children under 6 eat free.
▪ New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program will host a celebration of the expansion of their Kentucky retraining facility. The open barn and barbecue will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 29 at their new location on Mereworth Farm, 719 Dolan Lane. A Southern-style buffet dinner will be available, and attendees will be able to listen to live music while touring the barn, meeting the horses and mingling with acclaimed jockeys. Touring the facility is free; tickets for dinner and drinks are $20 and available for purchase at Newvocations.org.
▪ The Forecastle Festival, which will be July 15-17 in Louisville, has announced that the Bourbon Lodge will include a Flight Bar, as well as the return of the mixology station and fireside chats with distillers. This year the Gonzo Bar will feature Grant Goodwine as the bar’s artist-in-residence, featuring his “traveling madhouse” of illustration, ink, watercolors, and various paintings inspired by the works of Hunter S. Thompson illustrator Ralph Steadman, according to a news release. Also new this year local chef Jason Brauner of Louisville’s own Bourbons Bistro will be creating a unique, rotating bourbon-centered menu, featuring food from locally sourced farms.
Kentucky bourbon brands including Bulleit, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Larceny, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s, Old Forester, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve will offer more than 30 unique selections. More information and tickets available at Forecastlefest.com.