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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kentucky Food Bloggers Association Inaugural Networking Dinner

Way back when I started this blog, I thought that the only people who would care what I was cooking up was my mom and maybe a friend or two.  I quickly realized that this food blogging thing was bigger than I ever imagined.  It's a whole community of people willing to cook and share and help whenever possible.  I was lucky enough to meet a fellow food blogger, Lori at Fake Food Free, in the infancy of my blog.  I was living in France and she in Brazil, but we connected over food and the fact that we were both ex-pats.  I returned to Kentucky and a few months later, she moved to the small town bordering mine.  Crazy! 

Last spring, we started to realize that there were quite a few food bloggers in Kentucky.  She knew Melissa at My McDonald Meal, and I knew Sami from A Teenage Gourmet.  We started talking about organizing a group of Kentucky food bloggers...because surely, if there were four of us in Central Kentucky, there would be more.  Sixty (yes, 60!) food bloggers later, we have a strong and talented group.  (Go check us out on Facebook if you haven't already!) And it doesn't stop there!  In the spring, Alltech, a Kentucky company, approached Lori to see if we would be interested in hosting a dinner sponsored by them.  Of course, we were!  And that dinner finally happened last Friday night.  At Jonathan's at Gratz Park nonetheless.  And there was food.  And swag.  And raffles.  And tickets to the Incredible Food Show.  And laughter, always laughter.

From left to right: Carolyn from Bourbon & Beans, Lori from Fake Food Free, and Jessica from Urban Sacred Garden.
Jonathan Lundy and his staff created an amazing menu for us, featuring Alltech products.  And man, was it good!  We started with a little appetizer of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Beer Cheese on Fried Cornbread.  Beer Cheese is something I had never had before moving to Kentucky, but I love it!  A cheese spread with a kick to it...what's not to love?!

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Beer Cheese on Fried Cornbread
The next course was a Pearse Lyons Reserve – Molasses Marinated Alltech Angus Flank Steak with Arugula & Crispy Sweet Potatoes.  I love arugula and I love steak...and now I love crispy sweet potatoes!

Pearse Lyons Reserve – Molasses Marinated Alltech Angus Flank Steak with Arugula & Crispy Sweet Potatoes
The next course scared me as I'm not a huge fan of shrimp.  Weird, huh?  But I ate this Shrimp Corn Dog (Kentucky Ale Beer Battered Fried Shrimp) with Hot Mustard down to the tail.  And if I could have licked that mustard off of the plate, I would have.  The sauce was amazing!

Shrimp Corn Dog (Kentucky Ale Beer Battered Fried Shrimp) with Hot Mustard
Now, I mentioned earlier that I was a steak girl, and the next course fulfilled my every steaky desire.  The Grilled Alltech Angus Ribeye with Horseradish Creamed Collard Greens was done to perfection, and I wish I could have taken a tub of those collards home with me.  This steak was so huge that none of us could finish it...but we had to save room for dessert, right?!

Grilled Alltech Angus Ribeye with Horseradish Creamed Collard Greens
And what a dessert it was!  Jonathan served us a Bluegrass Sundown Chocolate Pot Pie with Jonathan’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  It was so pretty that I didn't want to break into it, but once I did, the crusty chocolate cake was filled with gooey chocolate filling.  It was messy and rich, but I managed somehow to finish the whole thing!

Bluegrass Sundown Chocolate Pot Pie with Jonathan’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
I came away from the whole experience with a renewed sense of food, blogging and just being with people who love the same things I do.  We're a diverse group, from college students to moms to professional chefs, but we're all in it together.  And I can't wait for our next get-together!

From left to right: Me, Carolyn (Bourbon & Beans), Megan (The Art of Homemaking), Amy (Pappardella), Fiona (Crazy Englishwoman Cooks), Candy (Candy Girl), Cavan (ManCaveCuisine), Sarah Jane (BraveTart), Melissa (My McDonald Meal), Stella (BraveTart), Danielle (A Day in the Life), Meagan (Meagan's First Kitchen), Lori (Fake Food Free), Jessica (Urban Sacred Garden), Jennifer (Kentucky Foodie)
We were also lucky enough to receive a signed copy of Jonathan's cookbook Jonathan's Bluegrass Table from Alltech, "swag" from Kentucky companies, and quite a few raffle items.  I can't wait to try all of this out in the kitchen!  (This picture is minus the beer cheese, which I ate before taking the picture!)  :-)

A big thank you to all of the organizations and companies who sponsored and supported this event:

Jonathan's at Gratz Park
Incredible Food Show

Bourbon Barrel Foods
Bauer's Candies
Herb'N Renewal
Weisenberger Mill
Whole Foods Lexington
Howard's Creek Authentic Beer Cheese
Elmwood Inn
Holly Hill Inn

Raffle Items:
Whole Foods Lexington
Lexington Chocolate Company
Marksbury Farm
Lori Rice
Kentucky Cutting Boards
Bleugrass Chevre

Disclosure: The foods and products reviewed in this post were given to me free of charge. I was under no obligation to post about them and received no compensation for doing so.

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amy @ fearless homemaker November 3, 2011 at 4:38 PM  

sounds like an amazing event with lots of great people + fun people. i had no idea, either, how quickly i'd connect with people + make lots of friends through food blogging. our nashville food bloggers group is super tight-knit + we meet at least once a month for happy hours, events + get-togethers. the people i've connected with is definitely my favorite part of blogging!

architecture dissertation topics February 2, 2013 at 5:57 AM  

You are a extremely specialized blogger. I have joined your feed Kentucky Food Bloggers Association Inaugural Networking Dinner and look forward more of your brilliant blog posts,

Beth Trout February 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM  

Yummy! Well, I guess, the event was just standing by what it is for since, they are food bloggers it's just justifiable for them to have a bunch of delicious foods. I also remember appearing to an event about foodie stuff in a catering hall in Long Island, NY. I must say the foods are really exquisitely tasty.

Scott West February 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM  

Grilled Alltech Angus Ribeye with Horseradish Creamed Collard Greens is one of the best steaks that I’ve ever tasted! I can’t really resist this food that it made me try this recipe at home, good thing there’s a nearby meat market in our place, and cooked the recipe in a well done manner!

Sienna Dana March 21, 2013 at 10:18 PM  

You are right about that. Food blogging has a large audience because all of us love food. Unlike other niche where it will depend to the knowledge and profession so your audience will really be sorted out.

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Excellent blog you have here.. It is onerous to search out high-quality writing like yours these days. I really respect folks like you! Take care!!

Alexandra Bull April 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM  

Like what I expect from a food bloggers gathering. All the foods looks yummy and delicious, I hope I could eat up some of them too.

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The resto looks like a good place to unwind. Looking at the resto’s interior design makes me want to visit this place.

Alisha Weston July 29, 2013 at 5:16 PM  

That sure is a lot of food to eat! I was hoping I could create something as close to the ones you've got here but I note that I should have all those proper equipment to cook like a pro.

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