“The only thing that will make a soufflé fall is if knows that you are afraid of it.”
— James Beard (1903-1985)

James Beard has been described as America’s first foodie. Beard cooked, wrote, taught, and perhaps most importantly, he surveyed the American melting pot and found a cuisine waiting there.

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to “celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”

On September 26 and 27 the James Beard Foundation’s Taste of America returns to Louisville, one of 20 American cities hosting the national series. According to a news release, these events spotlight “issues within the Foundation’s Good Food for Good platform, including food waste reduction, sustainability, inclusivity and chef advocacy.”

Taste America’s Louisville events kick off Thursday, Sept. 26, with a benefit dinner at The Speed Art Museum. Featuring a menu crafted by Taste America Visiting All-Star Richard Blais (Trail Blais), Local All-Star Sara Bradley (Freight House) and an esteemed lineup of local culinary talent including Kevin Ashworth (610 Magnolia), Samantha Fore (Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites), Josh Moore (Volare), Bruce Ucan (Mayan Café), Jeremy Ashby (Azur), Nokee Bucayu (Ashbourne Farms), Claudia Delatorre (The Bakery at Sullivan University), Annie Harlow (Hi Five Donuts) and Leslie Wilson (Hi Five Donuts). The dinner will celebrate the diverse flavors, cuisines and backgrounds that contribute to American cooking.

On Friday Taste America continues with Raising the Bar, a presentation on sustainability featuring bites and cocktails served on the Brown Hotel’s rooftop. Attending local mixologists and chefs include:  

  • James Adams and Dustin Willett (Brown Hotel)
  • Ming Pu (The 502 Bar & Bistro)
  • Barbara Turner (Butchertown Grocery)
  • Mark Ford (Anoosh Bistro)
  • Kristin Smith (The Wrigley Taproom & Eatery)
  • Max Balliet (Pizza LUPO)
  • Katie Smith (Pizza LUPO)
  • Davy Butterworth (Decca)
  • Eron Plevan (ALEX&NDER)
  • Jake Sulek (West Main Crafting Co.)
  • Matt Brown (Hell or High Water)

There is an excellent Taste America overview at the Voice-Tribune. For ticket information, visit the James Beard Foundation’s events page. Taste America’s presenting sponsor is Capital One. For more information, the @beardfoundation is on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.