Friday February 3, 2012
More evidence of Louisville’s growing food reputation
Louisville received more evidence of its growing reputation as a great place to eat earlier this week, when it was named one of the “Best Foodie Getaways around the World” by Zagat.
The story, published on the well-known restaurant digest’s website, noted that in Louisville “you’ll find an impressive amount of top-notch restaurants featuring both rustic and city-fied food.”
“Being on lists like this is not only a lot of fun,” said Mayor Greg Fischer, “it’s another indication of the growing strength of the food and beverage sector in the city’s economy. Louisville has worked hard to enhance our already strong reputation for great food.”
In his “State of the Local Food Economy” address last month, Fischer discussed the way that private-public partnerships had reinvented Louisville’s food scene – building on a longstanding tradition of fine hospitality by becoming truly innovative and cutting-edge.
Programs like Farm to Table have helped connect local farmers to caterers, chefs, and school cafeterias, the mayor noted. Meanwhile, excellent culinary-arts education programs at Sullivan University and JCTC have supplied local restaurants with top-quality chefs.
“We’ve coupled the freshest possible food with the fresh ideas of talented and trained people,” the mayor said. “So it’s no surprise that we’re gaining national and international respect.”
In addition to the Zagat list, Louisville was named one of the South’s Ten “Tastiest Towns” by Southern Living magazine in December. The #1 winner of that contest will be announced March 20. (Louisville was running neck-in-neck with Lafayette, LA., in the final days of the contest.) This spring, the Slow Foods National Congress will be held in Louisville. And this summer, Middlebury College in Vermont will be sending 12 college students to Louisville in a program called FoodWorks Louisville.
The focus on quality food and fresh ingredients is not just part of Louisville’s high-end dining scene, but is also reflected in efforts of the Healthy Hometown program to make fresh produce available in areas of the city underserved by full-service groceries. Last month, that program received the national Childhood Obesity Prevention award. “We’re committed to enabling everyone to eat better,” said Fischer. “From the kid picking up a snack at a Chickasaw convenience store to the couple celebrating an anniversary at one of our finest restaurants – everyone deserves fresh, healthy food.”