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Boone Tavern Hotel's chef to participate in ''Cooking in the Bluegrass'' dinner @ New York's James Beard House

Jeffrey Newman, Executive Chef at Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant of Berea College, is one of four Kentucky chefs selected to prepare a Kentucky-centric meal at the James Beard House. The special dinner in New York, to take place May 24, is a precursor to a world class culinary extravaganza with other Kentucky chefs scheduled during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games September 25t through October 10, 2010. The event at the James Beard House is being billed as a “1 Night, 4 Chefs, Once-in-a-Lifetime Culinary Experience.”

“For the New York event, we wanted to feature true Kentucky fare prepared by chefs from some of the state’s most prominent dining establishments,” states Chef Newman. “As a Kentucky Proud Restaurant, Boone Tavern Hotel uses Kentucky products on our menu, including meats, cheeses, and fresh produce, much of which comes directly from the Berea College gardens and greenhouses. When I met with the three other Kentucky chefs to plan this upcoming event at the James Beard House, I encouraged them to develop a menu that would highlight the Commonwealth.”

Along with Chef Newman, Jeremy Ashby, Executive Chef at Azur Restaurant & Patio (Lexington, Ky.), Andrew Myer, Executive Chef at Bellini’s (Lexington, Ky.), and Dallas McGarity, Executive Chef/Partner of Z’s Fusion Restaurant (Louisville, Ky.) developed a menu that blends traditional Kentucky fare with contemporary twists. It features: Passed Hors D’oeuvres of Pan Fried Rabbit Liver with Flavors of Kentucky Burgoo; Cornmeal Hoecakes with Goat Cheese Mousse, Pickled Spring Onions and Truffled Kentucky Honey; Kentucky Ale and Farmhouse White Cheddar Soup Shooters with Crispy Country Ham and Toasted Almond Grissini; Kentucky Paddlefish Caviar and Sunny Side Up Quail Egg on Brioche with Chive Crème Fraiche; Citrus and Beet Ceviche with Moonshine and Rhubarb Compote on Yucca Chips; Lemon Basil and Bourbon Juleps and a Tasting of Kentucky Produced Wines. The dinner features Kentucky Bison Carpaccio with Bibb Lettuce, Arugula, Crunchy Black Eyed Peas and Apple Cider-Sorghum Vinaigrette (Equus Run, Vidal Blanc 2008); Truffle Potato Gnocchi with Garden Peas, Morel Mushrooms and Brown Butter (Jean Ferris, Chardonnay 2007); Bourbon Black Pepper Glazed Pork Belly with Kentucky Style Soup Beans served beside Kentucky Blue Prawn with Grits and Salsa Verde (Talon Winery, Syrah 2007); Coffee Rubbed Lamb Loin with Spiced Carrot Puree and Banana Pepper-Green Tomato Relish served beside Bacon Praline Crusted Beef Tenderloin over Oyster Bread Pudding with Asparagus and Salsify (Elk Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon Blue Ribbon Series, 2006); and for dessert Strawberry, Kentucky Brie and Black Walnut Cobbler with Blackberry-Buttermilk Ice Cream and Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt (Jean Ferris, Blanc de Blanc, 2008).

During the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in September, the Celebrity Chef Culinary Series will offer an intimate gathering of 75 guests each night to enjoy the chefs’ epicurean delights in the center of the Kentucky Horse Park’s Historic Farmhouse, setting a stage similar in experience to that of dining in the James Beard House in New York City.

The James Beard Foundation, a celebrated U. S. culinary organization, is renowned for its dedication to the educational initiatives, development and recognition of the culinary arts. It annually awards upcoming new chefs with what many deem as the “Oscars” of the industry.

Jeffrey Newman, who grew up in central Kentucky, got his start in the culinary world by watching his mother cook and by working in casual restaurants and pool concession stands. He worked his way up through the ranks at The Mansion at Griffin Gate, a Four Star Restaurant at the Lexington Marriott, while earning a Business Management Degree at a Lexington university. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York before returning to Kentucky to rejoin the Marriott as Sous Chef at The Mansion at Griffin Gate. Currently, Newman is at Boone Tavern, where he has made a name for himself by focusing on simple food with an emphasis on local and regional fare with just enough forward thinking and creativity to move the restaurant into its new identity while continuing to honor its historic past.

Built in 1909 as a guest house for Berea College, Boone Tavern is prominently located on the College Square in the heart of Berea where the old Dixie Highway intersected with the campus. The historic hotel and restaurant became a popular destination with the traveling public from the beginning of the "automobile age." Boone Tavern's 63 guest rooms include modern amenities to ensure comfort without infringing on the historic beauty of the hotel. All guest rooms feature handcrafted cherry furniture made by Berea College Student Crafts over the past 100 years. Boone Tavern, a member of the Historic Hotels of America, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This spring Boone Tavern earned a new honor as Kentucky’s first LEED certified hotel for its recent “green” renovation and sustainable features. Boone Tavern is also a member of the Green Hotel Association and is managed by CUSA LLC.

Boone Tavern is owned by Berea College and students make up much of the staff at the historic hotel and restaurant. In addition to carrying full academic loads, Berea College students are required to work at least ten hours per week at Boone Tavern or one of the other 130 college departments and work areas across campus. Students earn money for books, room, and board at the College – but pay no tuition – thanks to the generosity of donors who support Berea College's mission of providing a high-quality education for students primarily from Appalachia who have high academic potential and limited financial resources.

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