Department of Parks
State Parks Win Two Top Honors At “Battle of the Best” Culinary Competition
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky State Parks won two top awards Thursday in the “Battle of the Best” culinary competition.
The state park team won the awards for Best Catering Presentation and Best Catering Cuisine, based on a vote by guests who attended the competition sponsored by the Kentucky Bluegrass Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. The event, which featured eight competitors, was held at the Brown & Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.
Three state park executive chefs – Mike Vaughn, Eddie Hunt and James Lindsay – prepared the food items. The menu for the state parks featured bison tenderloin smoked with bourbon barrel staves, a pear, apple and serrano pepper chutney; sweet and spicy country ham balls with sweet chile sauce; and bourbon caramel pumpkin pies with maple mousse and candied pecans.
Vaughn works at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services building in Frankfort, Hunt works at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort and Lindsay works at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park at Gilbertsville.
The table decorations featured carved pumpkins, autumn leaves and pumpkins holding floral arrangements. The display was prepared by Sam Devine, an assistant director for customer service. Other members of the state park team included Food Service Director Danny Emmil and Administrative Branch Manager Jessica Rush.
Proceeds from the event help fund a scholarship in the hospitality industry at Sullivan University.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov