September 6, 2018

A Look At Kentucky's Food Culture

The September meeting of the Lexington Forum will feature a discussion on the different ingredients that go into making Kentucky’s food culture a growing national phenomenon. The Lexington Forum will host chefs Ouita Michel, Dan Wu, and Kate Horning, all of whom are Lexington area residents who have gained national recognition for their work in the food services industry. As these chefs perfected their business model, they helped create jobs in both Kentucky’s urban downtowns and its rural farms.

Ouita has a “traditional” business model for a food service business: she has built her restaurants through the well-known brick-and-mortar business model. Ouita’s brick and mortar restaurants in Midway, Lexington, and Versailles have purchased more than $3 million dollars’ worth of food products from KY farmers. Ouita also played an instrumental role in convincing the Top Chef television program, which averages 2 million national viewers, to showcase Kentucky in its upcoming season.Ouita knew that Kentucky’s authenticity–in its food, in its bourbon, in its beautiful landscapes, and in its people–were an unbeatable recipe for success. The exposure KY will receive from the Top Chef television program will drive tourism and economic development for years to come.

Dan Wu came to notoriety in 2014 as a contestant on the fifth season of Fox TV’s popular “MasterChef” program. Dan was able to leverage the exposure he received on that show to proselytize his style of food and his passion for the food industry through his efforts as the Culinary Evangelist by writing, podcasting, and teaching. As a TV star and an in-demand chef for pop up dinner parties, Dan was launched a successful Kickstarter campaign that helped create Atomic Ramen, Dan’s first foray into the retail restaurant world. Dan continues to collaborate with many local nonprofits, particularly in the areas of immigrant and refugee rights, food sustainability & education, and entrepreneurship.

Kate Horning started her career as a nutritionist and dietitian. Working one-on-one with clients, Kate was able to instill a passion for healthy living among her clients and colleagues. Her mantra of “Live it, Share it” helped her establish a food program customized to special events designed for an exclusive clientele. Through her passion for simplifying healthy cooking and eating for busy individuals, Kate and her team enable people from all over the United States to order healthy food online and receive it delivered in a convenient manner. Combining high tech with healthy food choices, Kate’s meal service uses artificial intelligence to answer the question of “what’s for dinner” with healthy, smart, convenient choices.

The Lexington Forum cordially invites you to join us on Thursday, September 6th, 2018 at 7:15 AM at the Hilary J. Boone Center on the University Kentucky campus. Please plan to arrive on time as we expect another full house.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hilary J. Boone Center – University of Kentucky Campus

7:15 – 7:30 am – Coffee & Networking

7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast & Program

Parking is available in the lot behind the Boone Center

Free for Lexington Forum Members in Good Standing

$20 Breakfast Fee for Guests

Please Reserve your seat using the link below by Tuesday, September 4th at noon.

Save My Seat!