Went for the music, stayed for the food at Lexington’s Railbird Festival

Went for the music, stayed for the food at Lexington’s Railbird Festival

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Dan Wu of Atomic Ramen at Railbird Festival
Dan Wu of Atomic Ramen / Photo credit Austin Johnson

This past weekend, Railbird Festival took over the historic grounds of Keeneland to celebrate music, bourbon, and Lexington tradition with a lineup of well-known headliners, Kentucky homegrown artists, and prominent local chefs. 

Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn at Railbird Festival
Ouita Michel / Photo credit Austin Johnson

While thousands of guests showed up for the music, many stayed for the culinary experiences. 

Inside the Keene Barn, some of the region’s most iconic chefs led cooking demonstrations including Ouita Michel, Top Chef season 16 runner up Sara Bradley, Master Chef alumnus Dan Wu, Toa Green of Crank and Boom, Keeneland’s Marc Therrien, and two of our Fridges of Fayette County chefs, Mark Richardson and Cole Arimes.

The Sip & Savor stage gave crowds an up-close-and-personal culinary experience while thirty lucky guests were able to sample the dishes. Tickets to each Sip & Savor demonstration were given out on a first come first serve basis an hour before each chef went on stage.

Dan Wu of Atomic Ramen at Railbird Festival
Dan Wu of Atomic Ramen / Photo credit Austin Johnson

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Kentucky music festival without bourbon. Inside The Rickhouse was a highly-curated bourbon tasting experience featuring hand-selected barrels from Kentucky’s finest distilleries. The bourbon Barrel selections were chosen in collaboration with Lexington-based filmmaker, AJ Hochhalter, who’s well-known for his 2018 documentary NEAT: The Story of Bourbon. 

On Friday night, the culinary adventures kicked off with an opening reception and dinner in the Saddling Paddock at Keeneland. On Saturday and Sunday, Executive Chef Marc Therrien of Keeneland prepared brunch on the Keeneland Clubhouse Lawn.

Whether or not Railbird returns as central Kentucky’s premier music festival, it wouldn’t be a true celebration of Lexington tradition without spotlighting our unique culinary landscape.

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