Cassoulet, ceviche and crepes!

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Drifting high in the October blue sky above views of downtown and the river last night I nibbled on treats from all corners of the globe. The Sister Cities ‘A Tasteful Affair’ events brought out a fun creative streak in some favorite local chefs as they served up tastes of foods from France, Ecuador, Germany, Ghana, Argentina, Russia, China, and England. The event, a fundraiser for the Sister Cities program, aimed to bring a taste – in the form of food, music and culture – of the world to Louisville. Mayor Abramson spoke to the buzzing crowd asking us once to settle down as this would only take a couple minutes), reminding us that as our fastest-growing segment of Louisville’s population, “internationals” make up part and parcel of our cultural fabric. And the cities that will thrive are those that embrace this diversity. They certainly made it easy to embrace it last night, wandering from country to country at tables run by some of Louisville’s favorites, including 610 Magnolia, Mayan Cafe, Limestone, Varanese, The Brown Hotel and Lotsa Pasta. Of course it didn’t hurt that, as Mayor Abramson put it, “The boo- … the wine” was flowing. Entrance included two drink tickets, making (at least me) more likely to approach and talk to our international visitors. Especially when a departing guest gave my husband and me her extra tickets. With Argentine Tango music and a swirl of languages in the background, I performed my foodie duty and studied each country’s culinary offerings, sampling most. Some favorites included a play on fish and chips representing England from Limestone, and lobster ceviche from Varanese. As well, though I’m not normally a meat-eater, I had to try the Brown Hotel’s cassoulet -- a richly fragrant and earthy French stew of white beans, vegetables and duck confit. Mainly I just liked saying the word cassoulet, and listening the the French chefs describe it. I didn’t have the pocket money to bid on any of the silent auction items, but wished I’d saved up to do so – my favorite was the British basket chock full of scones, McVities and Stilton. Or maybe it was the Soviet leader matroyshka dolls and selection of Moldovan cognacs. Either way, next year I’ll come ready to not only feast, but bid. See a photo slideshow.
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