A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘Better in the Bluegrass:’ Celebrating culinary tourism, special fare, upcoming season of Top Chef

Kentucky is a hidden gem of Southern fare, featuring one-of-a-kind restaurants and chefs specializing in local ingredients and distinctive cuisine. With the newly announced Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative, nine regional signature meals, culinary trails and hosting of the upcoming season of Top Chef, Kentucky continues to grow as a must-visit destination for all food lovers.

The Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative encourages guests to learn about the unique cultural aspects of each region that in turn contribute to their signature dishes. A talented group of chefs, farmers, food producers, historians and tourism professionals from all across the Bluegrass State worked together to create these nine signature meals that best represent the beloved tastes and ingredients of each of our nine tourism regions.

“The Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative is a fun and interactive way to highlight the state’s signature dishes and encourage locals and visitors alike to explore every corner of our great state,” Kentucky Department of Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum said. “We are excited to watch the Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative grow to feature additional chefs and restaurants across the state.”

To make it easy for visitors to enjoy the nine signature meals, the Kentucky Department of Tourism and Kentucky State Parks announced the new Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail.

A Kentucky State Park restaurant was designated in every tourism region of the state to offer one of these signature meals. By picking up a special Culinary Passport at any state park, guests can get stamps after trying the featured meals at all nine parks along this culinary trail to receive a gift.

Meals will be served May 14 thru Oct. 31 and local producers will be utilized for portions of each regional meal.

State Parks Featured:

• Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
Bluegrass Blues & Barbecue Region

• Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough
Bourbon, Horses & History Region

• Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade
Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone Region

• Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas
Caves, Lakes & Corvettes Region

• Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Kentucky Appalachians Region

• Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville
Daniel Boone Country Region

• Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, Carlisle
Northern Kentucky River Region

• Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Jamestown
Southern Shorelines Region

• Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Gilbertsville
Western Waterlands Region

To learn more about each region’s cultural heritage, signatures dishes, recipes, and the Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail, please visit betterinthebluegrass.com.

To plan your next vacation or getaway, visit kentuckytourism.com.

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