For our annual fundraiser at the IACP’s 39th conference in Louisville KY, The Culinary Trust held an amazing gala and put together a “flash auction” which was underwritten by our sponsor, Michter’s, Louisville’s oldest artisan small-batch whiskey, bourbon and spirits distillery, founded in 1753.
Michter’s has a rich heritage and a “Cost be Damned” Approach to their whiskey-making, and their team spares no expense in its efforts to produce the greatest American whiskey possible. There is a tremendous amount of attention to detail in every step of the production process from yeast selection, to fermentation to distillation, temperature and air flow conditions. This passion and fervor earned them the seventh Heritage Member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association in 2015, the first to achieve that status in 33 years.
The gala dinner was held at Harvest, a “locally grown” restaurant in the trendy NuLu district of Louisville on East Market Street. Harvest’s core mission is to serve outstanding, local “farm-to-table” seasonal cuisine. Chef Ivor Chodkowski paired “Rustic Regional” foods with Michter’s cocktails and spirits, creating huge buzz at the conference and a true taste of the South for its attendees.
The event was one of the best TCT dinners in recent memory, raising enough money in the auction to cover the two grants we awarded to local Louisville non-profits, New Roots and The Food Literacy Project. The Michter’s team supported the event through remarkable financial, event and marketing support creating a truly wonderful keepsake program to remember.
The seven flash auction items were a huge hit and raised a significant amount of donations for the event, including artwork by Jacques Pepin; two registrations to IACP 2018 in NYC; a week at Twin Palms on Anna Maria Island, Florida for 10 people; a Food and Wine Celebration at Petrichor Vineyards in Sonoma; a NYC Insider’s Food Trip for Two; a Tour of Seattle’s Food Scene; and a “Best of Louisville” gourmet food and spirits basket.
The evening started with a delicious selection of Specialty Cocktails designed by Michter’s including Kentucky Champagne mixed with Michter’s Rye, Faretti Biscotti Liqueur and Ale-8-One Soft Drink; Pam’s Derby Pie made with Michter’s Bourbon, Faretti Biscotti Liqueur, Crème de Cacao and locally crafted BD’s Dark Chocolate Bitters; and The Farm-Tini made with Farmer’s Gin, Capriole Farms Goat Cheese Stuffed Olives and Foro Extra Dry Vermouth and a few other delicious concoctions. Another noteable cocktail was the Farmer’s Victory Garden made with Farmer’s Gin, Koval Ginger Liqueur and Honey Tarragon Syrup and Beet-Carrot Shrub.
Passed Hors d’Oeuvres included Ivor’s Black Eyed Pea Hummus with Michter’s Char Pickled Vegetables; Rivercrest Farms Chicken Liver Tartine paired with Blueberry Sour and Egg Froth; Kentucky Lake Catfish Brandade Croquette with Rouille; Red Claw Lobster Cappucino and Rye Chantilly; and Michter’s Cured Pastrami with Barrel Cured Kraut, Rye Crumb, and Thousand Island paired with Michter’s Oak Smoke.
The Dinner Stations showcased a mouthwatering feast of dishes created with ingredients from local purveyors and farmers: Willie’s Rabbit (fried and stewed) with Fricasse of Shoulder and Saddle, KY Fried Hind Quarter and Early Spring Vegetables; Silver Creek Trout with Red Flannel Hash, Braised Beet Greens and Horseradish Butter; Black Hawk Farms Beef with Oxtail Arancini, Marrow Basted Striploin and Short Rib and Tripe Bordelaise; Red Hog Country Ham with House pickles, Chow Chow and Sauerkraut; and Capriole Goat Cheese and Pasta with a selection of Capriole Cheeses, Beet Greens and Chevre Agnolotti, Shitake and Mt. St. Francis Tortellini, and Pappardelle with Goat Milk Carbonara.
This was truly a spectacular event to remember, and The Culinary Trust Board of Trustees and International Association of Culinary Association (IACP) thanks Michter’s sponsors, Harvest restaurant and all the attendees and generous donors for making this one of the best expos and galas ever – we couldn’t have done it without you and your tremendous support.
Click below to download the TCT Program Gala PDF for more info on the event, sponsors, chefs, restaurants, farms and recipes