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Taste of Derby @14HandsWine #14HandsDerby
I was so excited to be asked by Stacie Connerty of Divine Lifestyle to represent her at the 142nd Kentucky Derby – a once in a lifetime experience for sure and was definitely on my bucket list.
The weekend started out with The Taste of Derby, A Celebration of Cuisine and the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which took place at the KFC Yum! Center. Over 2,000 horse racing enthusiasts, local celebrities, and foodies attended the event.
A host of top and up-and- coming chefs prepared sumptuous appetizers showcasing their talents. Here are a few highlights from the evening:
Chef Tiffani Faison, her fifth year representing Top Chef at Taste of Derby, was first runner up on the first season of “Top Chef,” fan favorite, “Top Chef All-Stars” and finalist of “Top Chef Duels.” Chef Faison prepared caviar topped Maine Lobster over Salt Baked Dutch Yellow Potatoes. This amazing dish was paired with 14 Hands Chardonnay.
Chef Jeremy Ford, of the Matador Room at the Edition Hotel in Miami, FL, is the 2016 Winner Top Chef Season 13. Chef Ford prepared a mouth watering Hamachi Sashimi with crushed Olives and Lemon Snow. The dish was paired with 14 Hands Riesling.
Chef Michael Gulotta, 2016 Best New Chefs Food & Wine, dazzled the crowd with his Nuoc Mam glazed Manchester Farms Quail with Cucumber, Mint, and White Barbecue Sauce. While it was a little difficult to maneuver eating the quail leg while standing, it was nevertheless delicious. Paired with 14 Hands Hot to Trot White Blend.
The Chef with the most personality for sure is Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini of Sugar Fueled Inc. in NY. Chef Iuzzini, was a Judge for ABC’s Great Holiday Baking Show and was a 2014 Nominee for America’s Best New Restaurant, Bon Appétit. He also has two popular cookbooks: Sugar Rush and Dessert Fourplay. Chef Iuzzini, dressed in what appeared to be a fabulous American flag designed Elvis cloak, as he prepared Cordillera Los Andes Chocolate Sorbet with Espresso & Hazelnut. Paired with 14 Hands Muscato.
Chef Sean Thompson of Chops Lobster Bar, Boca Raton, FL, prepared a very flavorful Prime Beef Carpaccio with Smoked Vidalia Onion Aioli – – a very popular dish at the event. Paired with 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon.
My most favorite dish of the evening (and believe me with all of the wonderful dishes it was a difficult choice) was prepared by Chef Cory Bahr of Restaurant Cotton, Monroe, LA and 2015. Chef Bahr was the Spokesman for the Louisiana Tourism Culinary campaign and 2014 and 2015 People’s Best New Chef Food & Wine. The Jurgielewicz & Sons Duck Wrap with Bacon, Creole Cream Cheese & LA Honey appetizer was a flavorful combination of sweet and succulent and was perfectly paired with 14 Hands Merlot.
Through the Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation, a portion of the event’s proceeds benefited Louisville’s Dare to Care Food Bank and the Sullivan University Hospitality Studies Taste of Derby Scholarship Fund.
outdoor seating areas for the pleasure of its guests and is also home to a lovely tasting bar as well as a unique barrel room. 14 Hands new facility also proudly showcases an expanded collection of 14 hands.