DiRoNA, or Distinguished Restaurants of North America, is a nonprofit organization that certifies restaurants of the highest caliber based on criteria such as appearance, décor, traffic flow, quality of beverages, quality of service, and quality of cuisine, just to name a few. Each year only a handful of restaurants make the cut, while major achievements in the industry are recognized. Winston’s Restaurant in Louisville was inducted in 2002.
This year, Chuck Templeton, founder of the reservation app Open Table, will be honored with a lifetime achievement award. Open Table allows users to make reservations via the internet.
DiRoNA’s yearly conference will be held in Louisville this year October 5-8 at The Brown Hotel. During the conference, the group will visit Copper and Kings Brandy Distillery in Butchertown, Bourbon Barrel Foods, Louisville Stoneware, and Capriole Farms. Achievement awards will be given out at the close of the conference for the 2014 year.
What’s most important about this event, however, is that attendees will have the opportunity to learn about bourbon, from manufacture to drinking to cooking. The local bourbon community is seizing the opportunity to train restaurateurs in the ways of bourbon in order to further our cultural influence. Bourbon’s popularity is soaring across America and across the world right now, and this event will only serve to strengthen bourbon country’s ties with the rest of the world.
According to the press release, “In keeping with Kentucky tradition, this year’s theme—“Bourbon and Beyond”—will explore the many aspects of bourbon from production to sales and its tremendous culinary potential. This three-day conference will feature bourbon authors, bartenders, food and restaurant writers and a tasting panel sponsored by the Kentucky Distiller’s Association featuring three of the world’s renowned master distillers. Attendees will also receive an in-depth tour and dinner at the Woodford Reserve Distillery, sponsored by Brown-Forman.”
Louisville welcomes restaurateurs to bourbon country with the hope they will gain an understanding of bourbon’s influence not only on Kentucky’s culture, but on America’s culture as well.
Photos Courtesy of The Brown Hotel, Bourbon Barrel Foods, Maggie Kimberl, Louisville Stoneware, and Woodford Reserve