Published on : Friday, July 18, 2014
The Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRōNA) honorees will gather for their North America Conference and Reunion October 5 to 8 in Louisville at the Brown Hotel. In addition to panels on emerging trends and discussions on the millennial workforce and customers, participants will learn about all things bourbon. More than 150 industry-leading restaurateurs and their staff are expected to attend.
The event is hosted by Winston’s Restaurant at Sullivan University and Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant along with other local DiRōNA award recipients. To learn more about DiRōNA, visit dirona.com.
“We are honored DiRōNA selected Louisville to host such a prestigious group of restaurateurs,” said Sullivan University Chancellor A.R. Sullivan. “Louisville continues to rank among the top mid-sized cities for culinary and bourbon trends and is now being recognized across the country for its innovative and diverse restaurant culture, and we are looking forward to showcasing our city’s talents to this distinguished audience.” Sullivan University’s Winston’s Restaurant was inducted into the DiRōNA organization in 2002 for Achievement of Distinction in Dining.
In keeping with Kentucky tradition, this year’s theme—“Bourbon and Beyond”—will explore the many aspects of bourbon from production to sales and its tremendous culinary potential. This three-day conference will feature bourbon authors, bartenders, food and restaurant writers and a tasting panel sponsored by the Kentucky Distiller’s Association featuring three of the world’s renowned master distillers. Attendees will also receive an in-depth tour and dinner at the Woodford Reserve Distillery, sponsored by Brown-Forman.
Louisville’s diverse culinary scene will also be showcased with field trips to the new Copper & Kings American Brandy Company, where brandy is aged for a minimum of six years in bourbon barrels; Bourbon Barrel Foods, makers of the only micro-brewed soy sauce aged in bourbon barrels; Louisville Stoneware, a 200 year-old pottery company; and Capriole Farms, where cheese maker Judy Schad has been making award-winning goat cheese for more than 20 years.
Chef Joe Castro of GE Monogram’s 3D lab will provide insight into the latest high-tech cooking equipment in action.
Also participating in the conference is DiRōNA’s new strategic partner, online reservation giant OpenTable. OpenTable’s founder, Chuck Templeton, will be honored at the conference with the prestigious DiRōNA Hall of Fame Award.
The conference will conclude with a Gala Awards Dinner and presentation of the 2014 Hall of Fame honorees. To qualify for the Hall of Fame, nominees must demonstrate at least 25 years of dedicated service and significant contributions to the dining industry. The Gala’s five-course menu will be prepared by chefs John Castro (Winston’s Restaurant at Sullivan University); Josh Bettis (The Brown Hotel); Agostino Gabriele (Vincenzo’s); Dean Corbett (Corbett’s and Equus/Jack’s Lounge): and Anthony Lamas (Seviche). Desserts will be prepared by The Bakery at Sullivan University and the Sullivan World Culinary Baking and Pastry Team.