Louisville restaurants, chefs, stakeholders meet with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner during 'Restaurant Roundtables'
Kentucky Proud Buy Local restaurants give insight to challenges faced during COVID-19 pandemic
LOUISVILLE (April 15, 2021) – Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles met with several Louisville small business owners, chefs, and stakeholders today for the next stop in his “Restaurant Roundtables” series to thank Kentucky small business owners and chefs for sourcing food from Kentucky farms and hear firsthand about the challenges they faced during the coronavirus pandemic.
“With the Kentucky Derby right around the corner, Louisville’s hospitality industry will be on high display soon,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Across the state, this industry was one of the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite those challenges, our Kentucky Proud Buy Local restaurants continued to support local farmers. These Restaurant Roundtables are one way I can personally thank them for being part of the farm economy and hear directly from these small business owners about how they survived during the pandemic. It’s time to reopen Kentucky.”
The Commissioner’s first stop on the tour was in Lexington with future Restaurant Roundtable stops in Bowling Green, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky. Each roundtable will follow recommended Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for social distancing and mask wearing.
“Attending the Roundtable this morning and listening with Commissioner Quarles to restaurateurs talk about their challenges really highlights the relationships and partnerships we need with the KDA, farmers, and connectors all over Kentucky," said Stacy Roof, president and CEO of the Kentucky Restaurant Association. “As Kentucky restaurants prepare to fully reopen, these connections will remain invaluable. We thank the Commissioner for prioritizing our local restaurants, cornerstones in each of their communities.”
Those taking place in the forum are participants in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud Buy Local program for restaurants, caterers, schools, and other food service participants that source and support local farms. Offered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, this program rewards participants for enhancing their menus with locally-sourced Kentucky Proud farm ingredients. The Buy Local program is funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.