First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Celebrity Chef Dinner Series Features Kentucky Proud Products at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, December 02, 2009  
Contact Information:  Sarah Baird

Cookin’ in the Bluegrass: A Celebrity Chef Dinner Series - 16 Nights, 48 Chefs

FRANKFORT, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today applauded the James Beard Foundation for partnering with the Kentucky Horse Park and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games for Cookin’ in the Bluegrass: A Celebrity Chef Dinner Series. The series will coincide with the 16 nights of the World Equestrian Games and will feature Kentucky Proud products.

America’s leading chefs are partnering with the world’s most prestigious equestrian competition to showcase the country’s rich culinary heritage. Cookin’ in the Bluegrass will occur each night from Sept. 25-Oct.10, 2010 in Lexington, Ky. as the Kentucky Horse Park hosts the world championships in eight equestrian sports.

Cookin’ in the Bluegrass will provide guests from around the world an opportunity to experience the best Kentucky Proud products the Commonwealth has to offer and delicious meals prepared by well-known celebrity and local chefs,” said Mrs. Beshear. “We are very excited about this partnership with the James Beard Foundation.”

Each dinner will feature two celebrity chefs and one Kentucky-based chef cooking side-by-side at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Farmhouse restaurant. Each night, 80 guests will enjoy dining experiences that replicate the sumptuous dinners held at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

The Kentucky Proud Program (funded in part by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture) will sponsor this once-in-a-lifetime culinary event by facilitating the use of fresh, local ingredients each night of Cookin’ in the Bluegrass. The Kentucky Proud Program is dedicated to marketing Kentucky-made or Kentucky-grown food products. Kentucky Proud represents an array of products – from heirloom produce and handmade cheeses to craft beers, fine distilled spirits and award-winning meats – that are distributed locally, throughout the United States and around the globe.

“Great Kentucky chefs have prepared highly acclaimed Kentucky Proud dinners at the James Beard House in the past,” Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer noted. “This celebrity chef series is another chapter in that long-standing relationship. Visitors to the World Equestrian Games will find out what we already know – that nothing else comes close to the taste of Kentucky Proud. I am grateful to the James Beard Foundation for this opportunity.”

Tickets for Cookin’ in the Bluegrass will be available for purchase in early 2010 at  Prices have not been finalized.

Current Participating Chefs include:

John Besh, Restaurant August, New Orleans; Philippe Boulot, the Heathman at the Heathman Hotel, Portland, Ore.; Clifford Buittano and Anne Quatrano, Bacchanalia, Atlanta;.Sanford D’Amato, Sanford Restaurant, Milwaukee, Wis.; Roberto Donna, Galileo, Washington, D.C.; Jose Garces, 2009 Iron Chef Winner, Amada, Philadelphia; Mark Kiffin, The Compound restaurant, Santa Fe, N.M.; Mike Lata, Fig, Charleston, S.C.; Christopher Lee, Aureole, New York; Emily Luchetti, Farallon Restaurant, San Francisco;George Mavrothalassaitis, Chef Mavro Restaurant, Honolulu; Nancy Oakes, Boulevard restaurant, San Francisco;Vitaly Paley, Paley’s Place Bistro and Bar, Portland, Ore.; Joachim B. Splichal, Patina Restaurant Group, New York; and Mark Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia.

Proceeds from Cookin’ in the Bluegrass will benefit the James Beard Foundation, The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

About the James Beard Foundation
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog, Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter.

About Kentucky Proud
Kentucky Proud is Kentucky’s official state farm marketing program. Kentucky Proud is dedicated to opening markets for Kentucky producers and helping consumers find Kentucky Proud products. More than 1,800 farmers, processors, retailers, restaurants, farmers’ markets, Kentucky state parks and Kentucky Farm Bureau roadside markets are members of Kentucky Proud.

About the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation
Since its inception in 1985 the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and a prestigious board have been fulfilling the park’s mission to become the unquestioned leading equestrian facility of its kind in the world. The foundation continues to provide funding for the park’s facilities such as show rings and barns for equine competitions, horses and carriages, costumes, signage, demographic research, land surveys, and publications.

About the World Equestrian Games
The Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky will represent the largest equine sporting event ever held in the United States. The 2010 Games are comprised of the world championships for eight equestrian sports: show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting, reining and para-equestrian. The FEI World Equestrian Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Olympic Games and are governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The FEI is the international governing body of equestrian sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee. It is the organization that establishes rules and regulations for the conduct of international equestrian events. Today the FEI has over 130 member countries.