On The Road culinary adventure to Louisville, Kentucky – September 18 – 20, 2011

On The Road culinary adventures was started as a way to share some of the experiences we have had while going On the Road at Bunkycooks.  The people, places and personalities behind our food continue to inspire us on a daily basis. The travel, farms and chefs we have met along the way have had a profound affect on our lives.

I am so excited to be able to announce this culinary adventure to Louisville in September!  When you think of Louisville, you might think about horses and the Kentucky Derby.  You should also be thinking about great food, beautiful farms with rolling hills covered in bluegrass and of course, bourbon!  We are going to enjoy all of these things, including a very special tour and luncheon highlighting one of our favorite bourbons, Woodford Reserve.  Louisville has become quite the culinary destination, so we have planned an unforgettable culinary adventure and hope you will come along and join us!

We have worked with with some of Louisville’s finest chefs, farms, bourbon distilleries and hotels to bring you this unforgettable culinary experience.  We will learn from these James Beard nominated chefs, experience their fabulous cuisine, meet the farmers and learn about the challenges and opportunities on today’s farms.  We will also enjoy some of Kentucky’s best bourbon, tour the historic facility and learn how bourbon and its many flavors are used in cooking.

This culinary adventure includes a 3 day, 2 night stay at the beautiful 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville.  This luxury boutique hotel has been voted the #1 hotel in the U.S. and #6 in the World in the Condé Naste Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards in 2009 and 2010.  It is also rated #2 for the best hotel for food in the country by Condé Naste Traveler’s Gold: List for 2011.  It has been applauded by Travel and Leisure Magazine as “one of the most ambitious unions of art and hospitality ever undertaken,” and hailed by The New York Times as “an innovative concept with strong execution and prompt and enthusiastic service.”

Waterfront Park in Louisville

Guestroom at 21c Museum Hotel *

We will begin this culinary adventure with a wine and cheese reception Sunday evening followed by a 3 course dinner with wine pairings at Proof on Main, which is located in the hotel.  Named one of  the “Best New Restaurants,” by Esquire Magazine, Proof on Main “offers a combination of inventive food and beverage”.  Chef Michael Paley has worked with several great chefs such as Daniel Boulud (Paley opened Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach).  He is “committed to supporting the region’s sustainable farmers and producers and is known for his flavor-focused cooking that is inspired by the culinary traditions of Italy and the American South”.  Chef Paley will be joining us at the reception.

Chef Michael Paley – Proof on Main *

The Proof on Main bar stocks 50 of Kentucky’s finest bourbons and they feature seasonal, ingredient-driven cocktails.  I expect that several of you may want to enjoy one of these bourbons or cocktails to end your evening.

We will depart early the next morning on a private motor coach to begin our tour while enjoying baked goods and coffee from Proof on Main.  Our guide for the day and chef for the evening’s dinner will be Chef/Owner Anthony Lamas of Seviche.  Chef Lamas is a strong supporter of using  meats and produce that are local and organic.  In addition to many accolades and awards, he has been featured in Southern Living, Food Arts, Bon Appetit, and Wine Spectator.  “Most recently, Seviche was named one of the “ten great places for Latino flavor and flair” in the country by USA Today.  In 2011 Lamas received a “Seafood Ambassador Award” from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program for his efforts in sustainable seafood. He was nominated in 2010 and 2011 for the James Beard Awards “Best Chef Southeast”. ” He was also just named as “one of America’s best chefs” by Esquire and they said “Seviche stands out as the most exciting restaurant in the city.

Chef Anthony Lamas – Seviche *

Our first farm visit will be Woodland Farms in Goshen, KY which is home to Kentucky Bison.  We will tour the farm and be able to get up close and personal with these incredible animals.  Woodland Farm is home to a beautiful fruit orchard, heritage hogs and chickens.  Their farm manager, Kristopher Kelly, will talk to us about the challenges farmers face, tell us how these animals are raised and cared for and why these protein sources are so different from what is available to most of us at the grocery store.  Chef Lamas will provide the culinary perspective on these farms.

Kentucky Bison *

The vegetable garden *

One of the types of Heritage pigs at Woodland Farm *

From there we will travel to Woodford Reserve in Versailles, KY to tour the distillery with Master Distiller, Chris Morris.  Chris has been with Brown-Forman for 18 years and has been the Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve for 7 years.  This is truly one of the most beautiful distilleries in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Woodford Reserve has the longest barrel run in the world

The distillery is located in beautiful Versailles, KY

Chris Morris, Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve

The tour will be followed by a bourbon tasting with Chris.  We will then learn about the bourbon Flavor Wheel with Chef Ouita Michel.  Although there are 200 flavor notes in Woodford Reserve, most people are only able to pick up approximately two dozen of those notes.  Chef Michel will discuss the ways in which we can discover more of those notes on our palate.

Chef Michel and her culinary team will then prepare lunch using some of the area’s best local produce and meats built around the flavor profile of Woodford Reserve.  There will be a cooking demonstration by Chef Michel and a visit by one of the area’s farmers that supplies local ingredients to this chef.  We will learn how to use bourbon in our own cooking and how it can enhance many dishes we create at home.

Chef Ouita Michel has been chef-in-residence for Brown-Forman Corp.’s Woodford Reserve Distillery since 2009.  She and her husband also own three Kentucky Bluegrass restaurants including Holly Hill Inn in Midway.  Graduating from the CIA in New York, her formal training is classic French cooking, however, she combines this with local ingredients for a French-Southern style cuisine.

Chef Ouita Michel – Woodford Reserve *

“Ouita has won acclaim in radio, television and print, including The New York Times, which called the Holly Hill Inn “a gem of a restaurant.” She also has appeared in publications such as Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Southern Living and on Martha Stewart Living Radio.  Ouita was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in 2011 for the fourth year in a row as Best Chef: Southeast, competing against chefs in major metropolitan areas. The Holly Hill Inn was named a Fodor’s Choice restaurant in 2010. The restaurant’s wine list has been honored annually by Wine Spectator since 2002.”

Barrel storage at Woodford Reserve

We might have a little bit of this at lunchtime!

We will depart Woodford Reserve after lunch for Stone Cross Farm and Cloverdale Creamery in  Taylorsville, KY.  Patrick and Leeta operate a 103 acre family farm about 30 minutes outside of Louisville that is known for their beef, pork and Farmstead Cheeses.  They raise free range and grass and grain fed Angus cattle.  They work closely with some of the area’s best chefs to provide them local quality meat and cheese products.  Their raw milk Farmstead Cheeses are made and aged at their on-site dairy, Cloverdale Creamery, from their own Jersey and Holstein cows.  Some of these aged cheeses include Bellemoral Plain (similar to Cotswald), Smoked Bellemoral and Cowbells in Clover (which is very much like a Double Gloucester).  After our visit to Stone Cross Farm, we will head back to the hotel.

Farmstead Cheeses from Cloverdale Creamery *

Following a rest at the hotel, we will meet at Seviche for a cooking demonstration and a fabulous dinner with wine pairings prepared by Chef Lamas and his culinary team.  Many of the dishes will be prepared with ingredients that we will have gathered throughout the day.

The Dining Room at Seviche *

Tuesday morning guests can have breakfast at their leisure.  We are finalizing details with one of Louisville’s great chefs to host a cooking class that will include lunch (details will be coming very soon.)  The class will focus on using some of the region’s best local produce and meats.  Lunch will be the last event in our On The Road culinary adventure.

We are offering this culinary adventure at $795 per person (double occupancy).  We are limiting the group to 16 participants and would like to fill the space as soon as possible in order to plan the next adventure.  Prices are available for single occupancy as well as tour only (no hotel).  Please contact us for the details.  Payments can be made via PayPal or you can pay by check.

We have planned this adventure around the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival.  Those dates are September 13 – 18.  If you are interested in additional evenings at the hotel, we have arranged for a reduced rate, if rooms are available.  Please contact me for details.  There is so much to see in and around Louisville, I am sure you may want to come in town early or stay for a few days after our culinary adventure.

Here is a recap of what is included:

Sunday September 18th:

Wine and cheese reception with the Chef Michael Paley

Dinner at Proof On Main with wine pairings

Hotel room including all taxes

Monday September 19th:


Travel by private motor coach for the farm and Woodford Reserve visits

Farm tour of Woodland Farm and Kentucky Bison

Tour of Woodford Reserve distillery with Master Distiller Chris Morris

Bourbon tasting

Lunch with James Beard Best Chef Southeast (4 time) nominee Chef Quita Michel, including cooking demonstration

Farm visit to Stone Cross Farm

Dinner with wine pairings with James Beard Best Chef Southeast (2 time) nominee Chef Anthony Lamas at Seviche

Hotel room including all taxes

Tuesday September 20th:

A very special cooking class with Chef Michael Paley at Proof on Main, including lunch and wine

** Personal expenses and incidentals are not included.

We have negotiated the best pricing available for this trip and it is a non-profit venture.  Our own personal journeys have changed our lives.  We have designed this trip to have a profound impact on the way you think about the people and places behind our food.

If you are interested in booking this trip or you require additional information, please contact us at info@ontheroadculinaryadventures.com or you can call us at 404-380-1010.  Payments can be made via PayPal to gwenpratesi@gmail.com or contact us for address to remit your check to.

We look forward to seeing you in Louisville in September!


* Denotes photos that were courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel, Woodland Farms, Kentucky Bison, Stone Cross Farm, Seviche or Brown-Forman Corp.


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