First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Beshear launches Governor’s Garden expansion site at the Kentucky Horse Park

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 22, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

Produce from the garden will be used by national celebrity chefs and Kentucky chefs during the World Equestrian Games Cookin’ in the Blue Grass, Celebrity Chef Dinner Series

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Today First Lady Jane Beshear worked with students from the Scott County High School FFA Chapter and representatives from the Finance and Administration Cabinet, the Kentucky Horse Park and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Foundation to plant vegetables at the Governor’s Garden, located on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

“Gardening is a fun, healthy activity that allows families to work together to put food on the table while improving their diets and saving money,” said Mrs. Beshear.  “Through the Governor’s Garden initiative, I hope to demonstrate how anyone can grow fresh vegetables and fruit, even with limited space and resources.”

The Governor’s Garden initiative teaches families and communities across the Commonwealth how to grow fresh produce in their own backyards, providing access to fresh, local produce, reducing grocery costs and promoting healthier eating habits.  The Governor’s Garden is a part of the Beshear administration’s Green Team initiative, which strives to promote sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental preservation.

The garden in Lexington is unique because the produce harvested will be available for use by national and local chefs participating in the Cookin’ in the Blue Grass, Celebrity Chef Dinner Series, hosted by the James Beard Foundation, which will be at the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation’s Farmhouse each night of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Sept. 25-Oct. 10, 2010 at the park.

“To have the opportunity to promote gardening on a world stage like the World Equestrian Games is an ideal way to show that Kentucky is committed to good health and reducing our carbon footprint,” Mrs. Beshear said.  “Premiere chefs from all over the United States will be impressed while cooking with vegetables grown right here in the bluegrass; a secret our local chefs already know.”

The Celebrity Chef Dinner Series will feature two celebrity chefs, many of whom are James Beard Award-winners, and one local or Kentucky-based chef, cooking side-by-side, treating guests to a unique, culinary experience in Kentucky Horse Park’s Farmhouse.  The chefs will also have access to fresh, local ingredients through the Kentucky Proud Program, which is funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Jeremy Ashby, chef at Azur Restaurant and Patio in Lexington, also joined the First Lady in planting the garden.  Ashby will be the featured local chef, along with Chef Bernard Guillas from The Marine Room in La Jolla, Calif. and Chef Jose Garces from the Garces Restaurant Group in Philadelphia at the celebrity chef dinner during the World Equestrian Games on Oct. 6, 2010.

Mrs. Beshear created the first-ever Governor’s Garden in July 2009 on the grounds of Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort.  In 2010, the Governor’s Garden initiative has been expanded to six other locations throughout the state: Hazard, Florence, Paducah, Bowling Green and the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville and at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

“As a former educator, Mrs. Beshear likes to lead by example,” said Jonathan Miller, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, “and through the Governor’s Garden initiative, she will travel to all corners of the state teaching Kentuckians how to live more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyles.”

For more information about the Governor’s Garden and the Green Team, visit

To learn more about the James Beard Foundation celebrity chef dinners and to purchase tickets, go to

Proceeds from the Cookin’ in the Bluegrass Celebrity Chef series will benefit the James Beard Foundation, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and the World Equestrian Games.