On The Road culinary adventures goes to Louisville, KY with Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon

As everyone headed back to Louisville for our cooking demonstration with Chefs Anthony Lamas and Bobby Benjamin at Bourbon Barrel Foods with owner/artisan, Matt Jamie, the Kentucky sky was a brilliant blue and the temperatures had soared giving us that final taste of summer.  The weather could not have been more picture perfect.

Bourbon Barrel Foods with Chefs Anthony Lamas & Bobby Benjamin and owner/artisan Matt Jamie

The event space at Bourbon Barrel Foods

Chef Bobby Benjamin prepared a classic French dish with a unique Southern variation – Fried Coq au Vin

Entertaining us with a cooking demo, each chef prepared a main course dish, highlighting their own flavors.  Chef Lamas served perfectly seared Diver Scallops with a luscious Bluegrass Soy Red Chile Butter (prepared with Bluegrass Soy Sauce from Bourbon Barrel Foods ) complemented with toasted Macadamia nuts and rice.  Chef Benjamin brought us his unique version of Coq au Vin, Southern fried with grits and a rich, savory gravy made from veal stock.  Each course was accompanied by a white and red wine to pair with the flavors of the dishes.

Julian Van Winkle enjoys a fun twist on popcorn

Chefs Lamas and Benjamin wowed our guests at lunch

Molecular popcorn

Julian Van Winkle joined us for lunch and was a willing participant to taste test the “molecular popcorn and caramel” prepared with liquid nitrogen by Chef Lamas.   An updated version of Banana Pudding, with both a French and Latin twist, combined Brûlée Bananas and Smoked Serrano with Bourbon Pecan Brittle for dessert.

Our French inspired dinner was our second evening’s event at La Coop Bistro with Chef Bobby Benjamin

Our guests began arriving at La Coop Bistro for our last evening’s dinner

Following an afternoon break for our guests to see the city, or visit their pillow, we made our way to an eight-course French inspired tasting dinner with wine pairings at Chef Bobby Benjamin’s La Coop Bistro.   A newer restaurant in the NuLu section of town, Chef Benjamin is a rising star in the culinary scene of Louisville.  Benjamin and the culinary team at La Coop created a menu with eight inventive courses that showcased his French training.

Chef Benjamin’s menu from the kitchen with his notes from the dinner

Wine pairings,  selected by Brett Davis, the Master Sommelier, included many beautiful wines, such as this white, Domaine Cady, Les Varennes, Coteaux du Layon Saint Aubin, 2004.  Paired with Benjamin’s Foie Gras Torchon with Sunflower Seed Nougatine, Kentucky sorghum, and sliced truffles, our senses and taste buds were delighted  The wines, perfectly paired, really elevated the incredible flavors of the dishes.

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