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James Beard Foundation Teams Up With...Horse Olympics

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Today, the esteemed James Beard Foundation announced that it has a new partnership with ... horsies! Specifically, the JBF will team up with the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington—an event better known as the Olympics of the horse world (you didn't know?)—in order to "share America’s rich culinary heritage with the equestrian and local communities." Jokes aside, there are actually a pantheon of serious chefs and past James Beard Award winners involved in what's shaping up to be a star-studded 16-day dinner series, like John Besh, Joachim Splichal, Marc Vetri, Nancy Oakes and the newest Iron Chef, Jose Garces.

The press release:

New York, N.Y. (December 2, 2009)—To celebrate the U.S. debut of the World Equestrian Games and share America’s rich culinary heritage with the equestrian and local communities, the James Beard Foundation has partnered with the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games™ for Cookin’ in the Bluegrass: A Celebrity Chef Dinner Series, to coincide with the 16-night games. The dinner series will be held on-site at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. during the World Equestrian Games from September 25-October 10, 2010. 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.

The Kentucky Horse Park, one of the world’s leading equestrian facilities, will open its charming Farmhouse to host the nightly dinners for the duration of the games. Each night, 80 guests will enjoy dining experiences that replicate the sumptuous dinners held at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Sponsors include the Kentucky Proud Program (funded in part by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture), dedicated to marketing Kentucky-made or -grown food products. From local farms to brewers, distillers, growers and cheesemakers, Kentucky Proud represents an array of products distributed locally, throughout the United States and around the globe. Kentucky Proud will facilitate the use of fresh, local ingredients each and every night of Cookin’ in the Bluegrass.

“The James Beard Foundation is honored to be part of an event that combines a diverse group of chefs and sustainable ingredients,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “The Cookin’ in the Bluegrass dinners will match the best local and visiting chefs in America’s great southern region, where we celebrate so many of our nation’s deepest culinary roots.”

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, Roberto Donna, Galileo, Washington, D.C.; Jose Garces, Amada, Philadelphia; Mark Kiffin, The Compound restaurant, Santa Fe, N.M.; Mike Lata, Fig, Charleston, S.C.; Christopher Lee, Aureole, New York City; 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 Splichal, Patina Restaurant Group, and Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia.

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

· World Equestrian Games [Official Site]
· James Beard Foundation [Official Site]
[Horse photo via WEG site]

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