Lexington, KY -- What do 9 phenomenal female chefs from across the nation have in common? A commitment to their community and using great food and their talents as a way to highlight the need for creative solutions to fresh food access for all! And this year, they’ll be gathering to host the second installment of F.E.A.S.T. (Food Equity and Access Sustains Tomorrow).

Returning from last year’s first F.E.A.S.T. event are all five of the participating chefs, plus this year, they’ll be joined by four more chefs from Kentucky. Once again, the chefs will prepare a dinner to benefit FoodChain on Tuesday, March 13 at the Apiary. 

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that these women were so enthusiastic to join us in Lexington once again to display their culinary prowess for a second year,” Ouita Michel said. “They will spotlight new ways to provide fresh food education and access to our community. The fact that each of these women are committed to food justice in their own home communities shows the power that chefs can yield by using their culinary skills to cultivate change in our local food systems.”

The event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $100 and include tastings from 8 food stations, signature drinks featuring bourbon and more. Tickets go on sale today and the event is expected to sell out fast, so purchasing tickets early is advised.

The event will support FoodChain, which was started in 2011 by Lexington native Becca Self. The organization has Kentucky’s first indoor aquaponics system, which has produced thousands of pounds of fresh fish and greens while also hosting over 10,000 visitors for education around local food systems. Just in 2017, FoodChain opened a Teaching and Processing Kitchen in the Bread Box on the corner of West Sixth and Jefferson. This new facility hosts cooking classes for youth and families, job training programs for work in the food sector, and allows for light processing of locally grown produce to yield longer-lasting, more convenient and affordable fresh food products. 

As a nonprofit, FoodChain is providing a new local food production model, which is equitable, sustainable, economically viable, and supports the social and ecological well-being of this community and region.

“We are so fortunate to have such strong advocates in chefs, particularly Ouita, who’s been a board member of FoodChain since our inception,” Self said. “As our signature event, F.E.A.S.T. provides us with a unique platform to show our Lexington community how innovative food access solutions are taking place right in their hometown. And doing so while enjoying delicious food from nationally recognized chefs is really the icing on the cake.” 

The featured chefs are:
Abra Berens is a chef and former farmer who cooks to celebrate the bounty of Midwestern food production. She is the Executive Chef at Local Foods Chicago and co-founder of Bare Knuckle Farm. She utilizes her sense of seasonality to show off the best of our Midwestern farms on each plate.

Jamilka Borges is the Executive Chef at Spoon, one of Pittsburgh’s premier dining destinations, and part of the S+P Restaurant Group. With expertise in regional, French, Italian and Latin cuisine, Borges brings a diverse and dynamic culinary style to Spoon and the S+P team.

Joy Crump, a Pennsylvania native is known far and wide for crafting the seasons’ best locally-sourced and organic ingredients into comfortably refined dishes. A graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Crump honed her skill while working at Woodfire Grill alongside Chef Kevin Gillepsie, an industry pioneer credited with bringing organic farm-to-table culinary practices to the Atlanta restaurant scene.

Amy Brandwein is the chef and owner of Centrolina, a combined seasonal Italian restaurant and market that opened in Washington, D.C., in spring 2015. Prior to opening her own restaurant, Chef Brandwein was the opening chef de cuisine at Alba Osteria in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Previously, Chef Brandwein launched Casa Nonna, the BLT Restaurant Group’s first Italian concept in Washington D.C and New York.

Annie Pettry brings to the table a passionate and uncompromising commitment to quality, a respect for technique, and an artistic sensibility that results in a balanced yet exhilarating eating experience. Chef and owner of Decca in Louisville, Pettry was named one of Restaurant Hospitality’s “15 To Watch in 2015,” a 2014 & 2015 Food & Wine “The People’s Best New Chef” nominee, a 2014 Star Chefs Rising Star, and can be seen competing on season 14 of Bravo Media’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning “Top Chef.”

Sara Bradley is the chef/proprietor at Freight House, located in Paducah, Kentucky. She developed her skillset under the tutelage of Michelin star Chefs John Fraser (dovetail, New York), David Posey and Paul Kahan (blackbird, Chicago). After careful consideration, Chef Bradley opted to open her own restaurant focused on agricultural sustainability in her hometown of Paducah.

Toa Green and her husband, Mike, own Crank & Boom, a Lexington company specializing in craft ice cream using local ingredients to create fun, unique flavor combinations. She has created community partnerships through her businesses with Seedleaf, Nourish Your Neighborhood, On the Move Art Studio and numerous other community organizations. Crank & Boom is now sold with 40+ retail partners, served at over 100 events each summer, and opened the second retail location at the Summit at Fritz Farm in Spring 2017.

Kristy Matherly is a London, Kentucky native raised with values and traditions from her family that influenced her passion of culinary arts. She and her husband Steve own and operate Sunrise Bakery, located in downtown Lexington. Kristy's love and care for people provides an optimal experience any time one has a chance to connect with her. Those who know her best would agree Kristy's secret ingredient to life and work is LOVE.

For more information on F.E.A.S.T. or to purchase tickets, visit https://feast-food-equity-and-access-sustains-tomorrow2018.eventbrite.com