On Saturday evening we celebrated the 9th Annual Derby Day Gala at Rockledge on Mill Mountain, Roanoke, Virginia with 200 + friends …
143rd Run for the Roses…May 6, 2017
The Best Derby Day Gala Ever!
Mint Juleps With Sugar Cane Stirrers
All net proceeds from the Derby Day Gala at Rockledge benefit the Southwestern Virginia Chapter of American Culinary Federation (ACF) and Apple Ridge Farm. The fabulous food at the Gala is prepared and artfully presented by the Chefs and the Chef Students. This culinary magic is created with the leadership of Chef John Schopp and Chef Ted Polfelt, both renowned chefs from Southwest Virginia. This year a portion of the Derby Gala funds raised will go to support Team USA in the “Culinary Olympics”, which will represent our country in the Olympics-level event held every four years (the next one is in Germany 2020). Prominent Guest Chefs at the Derby Day Gala associated with the “Culinary Olympics” included:
Chef Jeff Blount – baking and pastry instructor in Myrtle Beach. He created the chocolate lounge at the Derby Gala. The lounge included a Derby Day lady wearing her fancy Derby hat…the entire sculpture was made of chocolate!
Handmade lime coconut and Dreamsicle chocolates!
Chef Denny Trantham was the former executive chef at Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC) and now works for US Foods. He is known for his southern cuisine.
Kevin Storm is the Assistant Manager of The American Culinary Federation’s Culinary Team USA and Executive Chef at Bellerive Country Club St. Louis, Missouri.
Chef Chris Hill has a huge social media presence and has just released his first book “Making the Cut”. https://www.facebook.com/ChefChrisHill/
Chef Jeff Bland also joins the Derby Day culinary team from US Foods.
The Derby Day Gala Menu included:
Assorted Appalachian Inspired Sushi Maki Boards ~ Pimento Cheese, Trout Rillettes, Fried Pork Skin, Shaved Brussels, Pickled Spring Vegetables.
Garden Table (All Vegetarian) including Blackberry Salad With Heirloom Tomatoes and Lemon Verbena.
Assorted Yuca, Potato And Beet Chips
Cathead Biscuit Station With Hams, Jam, And Country Greens (Cathead biscuits are called “cathead” because they are the size of cats heads)
Smoked Prime Rib With Duck Fat Yorkshire Pudding
“Gator And Grits” With Barley Grits, Alligator, And Tasso Ham Gravy
Plancha Fried Crisp Corn Funnel Cake With Drunken Bourbon Blackberries, Pickled Strawberries, Orange Carmel Cream, Peach Salsa, Minted White Chocolate, And Sourwood Honey Marshmallow Cream.
And the grand finale….
Adult Cotton Candy With Nougatine Dust, Flower Petals, And Fennel Pollen
Created By Chef John Schopp
The attire that evening was as magnificent as the food…
And The Best Lady’s Hat Winner Is…
Best Dressed Gentleman
Dehydrated orange peels bring out the essence of the orange to make the drink flavors POP!
Lucky Bar Featured Cocktail
The Bourbon Stinger
Bourbon, Honey Infused With Sage And Habanero, Lemon And Orange Bitters.
Celebrity Bartender Hunter Johnson one of the owners of Lucky Restaurant crafted special Derby cocktails onsite…
The Handsome Devil
A beguiling beginning, smooth finish and a quality, complex spirit beneath it all make this quaff an unabashed lady killer.
1/2 cup (2 ounces) bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons Lillet Blanc
1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup
4 mint leaves
2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
1 (3 x 1 inch) orange peel strip
Combine first 6 ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously 30 seconds or until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Top with orange peel and mint. Makes one drink ~ Lucky, Roanoke, Virginia