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Chef Justin Thompson of Local Feed Highlights Farm Fresh Food at Yuko-En Garden

GEORGETOWN, KY (August 15, 2016) A romantic proposal, a speech by Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and the glow of Japanese lanterns on the pond were just some of the highlights of Friday's Seed to Feed dinner at Yuko-En on the Elkhorn. Hosted by chef Justin Thompson and guest chef Julian Stone of Local Feed, the upscale cocktail party provided an atmosphere for farmers, community leaders and locals to mingle on a hot, summer night.

Yuko-En Sister City was the second dinner in the dinner series highlighting food from local farms and sponsored by Georgetown/Scott County Tourism, Kentucky Proud (part of the Food to Fork program), LM Communications, Hank 96.1 and Local Feed.

"This event being a cocktail party, gave us the opportunity to mingle with everyone the whole time. We got to highlight Local Feed and our staff. It was a light, fun atmosphere," said Justin Thompson of Local Feed.

Triple J Farm, Bi-Water Farm and Greenhouse, Scott County Farmer's Market, Louisville Fish Co. and Bourbon Barrel Foods supplied produce and meat for Friday's dinner. Carriage House Flowers in Georgetown provided the floral arrangements made of native Kentucky flowers.

The menu highlighted the Japanese setting and included twelve items including pickled egg bonito with scallion and a soy reduction and shrimp balls (ebiyaki) teriyaki with chile mayo. "It's very rewarding as a chef to have someone try something with hesitance and then realize it's delicious," said Stone.

Traditional Japanese music added to the theme of the night with performances by Hung Sho and the Taiko Drummers.

"This is the type of event that the Yuko-En trustees are excited to be part of and it's been an honor to be included in the Seed to Feed dinner series with Local and Georgetown/Scott County Tourism," said Mason "Butch" Glass, Trustee of Yuko-En on the Elkhorn.

The dinner series is meant to not only promote local farm-fresh food, but to showcase local organizations. Each dinner features a raffle to raise donations. Friday's raffle featured a Kentucky Proud gift basket, a piece of raku pottery made by Anne Leader, a Pilates basket from Align Studio, a gift basket from Mason "Butch" Glass and tickets to the next Seed to Feed dinner.

Justin Thompson and Julian Stone felt at ease cooking for the crowd outdoors. They are accustomed to working in the kitchen together, having known each other for almost five years. "We always have ideas running in the background of our minds and like to brainstrom together. We start with a main idea - a theme, a protein or vegetable and start firing off ideas," said Stone. "We really have an ability to feed off one another's ideas. Julian has a passion for Japanese cuisine which made him a great choice for this dinner," said Thompson.

"It would be crazy for me not to want to be involved. We've been talking about doing something like this for years. It's really about education and getting involved in something bigger than yourself, to really help out your community," said Stone.

Community support has been overwhelming for the dinner series. "For the first dinner, I went to Evans Orchard. I picked out $400-500 worth of produce. The owner came out and refused my money and thanked me for what we are doing for the farming community. It brought a tear to my eye. Farmers have come up since then and offered me whatever I need," said Thompson.

Guests at the dinners have been effusive with praise. "People were blown away by the food, very impressed and happy. A lot of people expressed gratitude for what we are doing for the community," said Stone.

Mayor Tom Prather enjoyed his time at the event. "What a great night. I thought it was an outstanding community event - an event that all of Georgetown and Scott County can be proud of. I look forward to the next one," said Mayor Prather.

Lee Carter, chair of the Georgetown/Scott County Tourism Commission said, "When peole attend events like the Seed to Feed dinenr series, they are contributing to agritourism, culinary tourism and cultural tourism which benefits the communities involved and Kentucky as a whole."

"The dinner series is garnering attention from across the state. We've had guests from cities throughout the region and from as far away as Ohio and South Carolina," said Lori saunders, Executive Director of Georgetown/Scott County Tourism.

The dinner series has brought attention to Local Feed as well. "We're seeing new faces all of the time. 80% of our clients are brand new every night and business through the week has been steady. People are hearing about us from the hotels, other shops and restaurants, the community, the dinner series and tourism. It's been phenomenal," said Thompson.

The next Seed to Feed dinner takes place September 16 at Ward Hall. "It's called Kentucky Traditions. Expect to feel like you have transported to another era with the backdrop of a Greek Revival mansion and very classic old Kentucky dishes and techniques," said Thompson. Proceeds benefit the restoration of Ward Hall. Tickets are available at localfeedky.com.

 

 

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