Taste of Innovation For Outstanding Southern Fare At Churchill Downs Millionaires Row

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On Churchill Downs Millionaires Row 4 every year, the best chefs in Louisville Kentucky gather for a foodie event called Taste of Innovation, an event I’d had the pleasure of attending for the past four years. This year’s event, as always, was held as part of the annual Idea Festival and once again, the chefs nailed it. Sadly, one of my favorite picks each year (Lily’s) was out of food by the time I arrived.

With the view of the exquisite rack track, you spend the evening walking around to various tables tasting samples by top chefs and mixologists, which included the likes of Chef Levon Wallce, Kyle Tabler, Terra Weber, Dean Corbett and others. There was also music by DJ Ryan Coxx and a silent auction which benefitted the IdeaFestival Scholarship Fund.

Restaurants include Brix Wine Bar, Feast BBQ, Grasshoppers, Harvest, Marketplace Restaurant, Mayan Cafe, Proof on Maine, RYE, Shalimar Restaurant, Volare’s, Silver Dollar and others. There’s also Art Eatables, Food by Brigitte, The Comfy Cow, Tittles Cakes Dots and others who took on desserts. And it wouldn’t be a Kentucky event without bourbon, so Four Roses Bourbon was pouring and there was also tastes by Michter’s American Whiskey Company, Heaven Hill Distilleries and yes, even tea was had by Rooibee Red Tea company.

Plates included a Pastrami Octopus with sea bean slaw and a tomato horseradish vinaigrette from Main Street Cafe, Tomato 5 way (tomato lavish, tomato chevre, tomato chutney, tomato leather and tomato gastrique) from Harvest, Spaghetti Squash salad with a green mole sauce from Mayan Cafe, Seared Salmon on Watercracker with dill goat cream cheese, cusabi cream, lemon essence and red amaranth from Sidebar at Whiskey Row, a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Gelato from Volare Italian Restaurant, Shrimp and country ham grits pipette from Levy Restaurants, Goat cheese mousse with tomato confit in pasta stars from North End Cafe and Wiesemburger grits with salsa verde, hierloom tomato romesco and garlic sausage from RYE.

Have a meander below. Our favorites? Given that Lily’s was sadly not in the mix this year for me, my Taste of Innovation Top Picks would have to go to the Tomato 5 Way from Harvest and the delicious Spaghetti Squash salad with a green mole sauce from Mayan Cafe….but I can assure you, it was all a gastrique treat! Also see our write up from last year: 2012 Taste of Innovation.

All photos taken by Renee Blodgett. (Sadly, my lens was having some focusing issues, so bear that in mind)

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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