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Louisville Legends

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Ron Johnson

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Louisville Legends

by Ron Johnson » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:12 am

The talk about Ed Lee moving on to DC for bigger opportunities really made me appreciate even more those amazing chefs who stayed in Louisville and quietly made their mark by pushing the Louisville dining scene to where it is today.

I'm sure I am missing many, but those that spring to mind first:

Dean Corbett: A fitting name because he really has become the "Dean" of the Louisville culinary community.
Kathy Cary: Louisville's own version of Alice Waters. She was so far ahead of the curve in terms of using locally produced ingredients and "southern" sensibility married to french technique.
Anoosh Shariat: Proved that Louisville was more than a meat and potatoes town.
Sean Ward: Elevated the food at Jack Fry's to match the unbeatable ambience.
Bruce Ucan: Here is a guy who looked around Louisville 20 years ago, and thought to himself that this could the place for the authentic cuisine of Central America. And, he was right.
Ed Garber: The original Ed at 610 Magnolia.
Anthony Lamas: Again, a guy who never underestimated Louisville's appreciation for different flavors and ingredients. No one even blinks at diced raw fish in ponzu sauce now.

I'm sure I'm missing many others, plus the up and comers . . .
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Andrew Mellman

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Re: Louisville Legends

by Andrew Mellman » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:54 am

An addition to your list: a few years ago my wife and I got a notice (from our kids) about a new pan-Asian place in Chicago . . . as its opening week special, they had imported a "world-renown" chef who specialized in that cuisine, and were featuring his food at $150/person (which included his best selling cookbook). The chef was Peng Looi, of Asiatique and August Moon.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Louisville Legends

by Robin Garr » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:01 am

Great list! I think you'd almost have to add Bim Deitrich ... although he finally left town a few years ago, it was in retirement, and he was really present at the birth of our modern dining scene and stayed well into the 21st century.
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Re: Louisville Legends

by Ron Johnson » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:33 am

Completely agree on Peng Looi.

Bim wasn't a chef as far as I know, but he definitely makes the cut as restauranteur.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Louisville Legends

by Robin Garr » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:32 am

Ron Johnson wrote:Completely agree on Peng Looi.

Bim wasn't a chef as far as I know, but he definitely makes the cut as restauranteur.

Good point ... I was thinking in terms of outsize restaurant personalities, but you did say "chef," d'oh. :oops:

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