WEG Kentucky Celebrity Chef Dinner Series – 16 Nights, 48 Chefs

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NEW YORK, Dec. 2–America’s leading chefs are partnering with the world’s most prestigious equestrian competition to showcase the USA’s rich culinary heritage for 16 nights during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, with Cookin’ in the Bluegrass: A Celebrity Chef Dinner Series.

The James Beard Foundation has partnered with the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games for Cookin’ in the Bluegrass. This dinner series will occur each night from Sept. 25 to Oct. 10 in Lexington as the Kentucky Horse Park hosts the world championships’ eight equestrian sports.

Each dinner will feature two celebrity chefs, many of whom are James Beard Award-winners, and one local or 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.

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

Current Participating Chefs include:

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

“The James Beard Foundation is honored to be part of an event that allows a diverse group of chefs to share their culinary points of view with a whole new audience,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Our 2010 Games dinners will pair the best local and national chefs in America’s great southern region, where we celebrate so many of our nation’s deepest culinary roots.”

In spring 2010 the James Beard Foundation will offer a coinciding “Bluegrass Experience” at the James Beard House in New York to honor the World Equestrian Games culinary events.

Sponsors include the Kentucky Proud Program, dedicated to marketing Kentucky-made or –grown food products (funded in part by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture). From local farmers to brewers, distillers, growers and cheese-makers, Kentucky Proud represents an array of local products distributed throughout the world. Kentucky Proud will facilitate the use of fresh, local ingredients every night of Cookin’ in the Bluegrass.

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