Five Louisville restaurants and two Lexington spots are among 100 restaurants nationwide competing in the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Local Dish Challenge.

The Louisville list includes Decca, Proof on Main, Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, Seviche and Varanese. Lexington’s lineup includes Azur Restaurant & Patio and Sabio.
But the truth is, the restaurants aren’t really the competitors—their customers are.
They go to each participating restaurant from now through Oct. 31 and order its featured Taste America Local dish and post it to Instagram with #JBFTasteamerica and the hashtag of that city.
The example supplied by JBF is this: “Just had this savory #jbftasteamerica dish from @Varanese featuring delicious local produce in #Louisville”.
The restaurant that gets the highest number of these Instagram posts sees JBF donate up to $10,000 to a local food charity in its city.
Other restaurants participating in the contest are located in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. (To see the complete list click here.)
Serious company, no? Perhaps more recognition of the power of the restaurant scene in Louisville and the fast-growing one in Lexington.
Some idea of what to look for when you head out:
Varanese will serve black pepper bacon wrapped pork tenderloin topped with a dried cherry, bourbon and sorghum glaze, served with fall squash and goat cheese gratin.
Seviche will serve “Old Fashioned” seviche.
Ramsi’s will serve chicken confit in blackberry-bourbon preserves with creamy grits, crispy kale, pan-seared cherry tomatoes and goat cheese mousse.
All three restaurants—and we’re assuming all participants—will donate $1 from each dish sold to the JBF Taste America Education Drive, which supports JBF’s educational programs on topics surrounding our country’s food system.
So there you have it, yet another good excuse to get out and eat out!