Special Event
Walter Leffler
Host Chef
Walter Leffler
Mike Cunha (left) and James Gerhardt
Mike Cunha (left) and James Gerhardt
Limestone
Louisville, KY
Agostino Gabriele
Agostino Gabriele
Vincenzo’s
Louisville, KY
Anthony Lamas
Anthony Lamas
Jicama Grill
Louisville, KY
Peng S. Looi
Peng S. Looi
Asiatique and August Moon
Chinese Bistro
Louisville, KY
Anoosh Shariat
Anoosh Shariat
Park Place
Louisville, KY
 

Friends of James Beard Benefit
Louisville, KY

Friday, October 8, 6:45 pm
Members and guests $200

Event Location:
The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton Louisville
500 Fourth Avenue

For reservations or more information, please call 502.897.3112.

Host chef of our Friends of James Beard Benefit in Louisville, Walter Leffler, has a particularly effective credo: “Every element of every plate executed 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.” It’s that kind of dedication that has earned The Oakroom, where he mans the ranges, a perfect four-star rating from Louisville’s Courier-Journal. Leffler is a native New Yorker and graduate of Johnson & Wales University, an alma mater that has often asked him to return and inspire generations of future chefs. Before his arrival in Louisville, Leffler earned the Hilton Corporation its first AAA-Five Diamond restaurant award, through his work at the Hilton at Short Hills Hotel & Spa in New Jersey.

Oakroom alums Mike Cunha and James Gerhardt are credited with creating the concept of “Kentucky fine dining,” combining new Southern cooking with old Southern charm. Having been part of the team that earned The Oakroom its AAA-Five Diamond award, they’ve now moved on to Limestone, in Louisville’s East End. Cunha is another graduate of Johnson & Wales University who spent four years at L’Auberge de Maison in Marion, Massachusetts, and has also cooked at Hilton properties in Austin and Midland, Texas. Gerhardt’s résumé includes positions at Cincinnati’s Maisonette, The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, and the Stouffer Grand Resort on St. Thomas. He is a CIA graduate and was nominated in 2002 for Best Chef: Southeast by the James Beard Foundation.

Agostino Gabriele is a native of Sicily, who credits Palermo’s Rosticceria Domore with giving him his first job at the age of 14. After an apprenticeship at Le Caprice, also in Palermo, Gabriele worked at the Park Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Secondo Matteo, in Milan. He worked with brother Giovanni in St. Louis, Missouri, at Giovanni’s on the Hill, and in 1975 opened Agostino’s Little Place, also in St. Louis, where he remained until joining another brother at Vincenzo’s, where he is now partner and executive chef.

Anthony Lamas, another Oakroom alum, has been called “one to watch” by Louisville magazine for the innovative tapas menu he created at Baxter Station. Trained in the San Diego Apprenticeship program, Lamas cooked at Azzura Point at Loews Coronado Bay Resort and the Ocean Terrace Restaurant at San Diego’s Hotel Coronado before heading east. He became sous-chef at Lilly’s, in Louisville, and since 2000 has been chef and co-owner of Jicama Grill, named one of the “top ten best of the best” restaurants by the Courier-Journal.

Peng S. Looi, a native of Ipoh, Malaysia, earned a degree in civil engineering, but his true passion is food. He opened his first restaurant, August Moon Chinese Bistro, in 1987 and followed up in 1994 with Asiatique. Citing the “exciting panoply of ingredients” to be found in his native country, Looi injects Malaysian influences into his Pacific Rim cuisine. A recent guest at the Beard House, Looi was also guest chef at the Cheeca Lodge Food and Wine Festival in the Florida Keys.

Louisville food lovers rejoiced when, earlier this year, Anoosh Shariat took over the reins at Park Place (formerly Wellinghurst’s Steakhouse). Mere months into his tenure, Courier-Journal critic Susan Reigler gave the revamped restaurant 3 1/2, and declared, “Anoosh Shariat has long been one of the most creative and expert chefs in the city…Park Place is indeed poised to become one of the city’s top restaurants.” Formerly at his own namesake restaurant, Shariat is a native of Iran whose work has been featured in Food Arts, USA Today, Gourmet, Food & Wine, television’s Food Network and Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs of the South.”

Each chef will offer a specially created hors d’oeuvre.

Korbel Natural Sparkler NV


Timbale of Risotto with Jumbo Shrimp

Bolla Arcale Pinot Grigio 2001

Seared Beef Tenderloin Ceviche with Hart County Greens, Yellow Tomato, Cucumber, Red Chile–Ginger Mojo, and Crispy Tortilla

Mariah Zinfandel 2000

Freshwater Saltwater: Ocean Diver Scallops in the Shell and Basil-Crusted Freshwater Prawns with a New Spirit and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay 2002

Wok-Charred, Sumac-Crusted Onaga with Roasted Pineapple-and-Lychee Chutney, and Grilled Chinese Broccoli in Kaffir-Infused Curry Emulsion

Bonterra Viognier 2002

Seared Foie Gras and Monkfish Liver with Braised Oxtails and Smoked Cheddar Grits

Jekel Santuary 1999

Chocolate Orgy and Chocolate Mocha Shooter

Amarula Chilled South African Liqueur


Wines Courtesy of Brown Forman Corporation.

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