Le Bec Fin chef Georges Perrier (left) and sous chef Nicholas Elmi in Erika Frankel's documentary "King Georges." | Image courtesy of Erika Frankel
Le Bec-Fin chef Georges Perrier (left) and sous chef Nicholas Elmi in Erika Frankel’s documentary “King Georges” | Courtesy of Erika Frankel

Speed Museum and Café launch Cinecuisine series: Everyone likes dinner and a movie, but even better is a movie about dinner just after you finished a multi-course meal. That’s what the Speed Art Museum and the Wiltshire Café there are offering with their new Cinecuisine series starting Thursday, April 21.

This, the first of a quarterly series, includes the movie “King Georges” (click here to see the trailer), which is about the struggles of Le Bec-Fin, a legendary French restaurant in Philadelphia trying to remain relevant in that city’s evolving food scene. Its chef, Georges Perrier, must decide to sell or reinvent the business by hiring a new protégé, Chef Nicolas Elmi. As you might guess, the mercurial Perrier struggles to release control of the kitchen.

Prior to the movie is a three-course, wine-paired dinner prepared by the Café. A champagne reception begins at 5 p.m., followed by the meal. The movie begins at 7:30.

Speed Museum member price for the meal and the movie is $120, $130 for non-members. For the film only, the price is $7 for members and $9 for non-members. Click here for tickets to the movie and the dinner, or click here for just the movie.

Laurent Geroli returns to Louisville — at least temporarily: Recall when Laurent Geroli was the executive chef of the Brown Hotel? The gregarious French Canadian made one of the city’s most historic dining rooms, the English Grill, even better known before leaving in 2013 for a Vermont resort.

Laurent Geroli (right), former executive chef at the Brown Hotel, is currently chef at Brasserie Provence. | Photo by Steve Coomes
Laurent Geroli (right), former executive chef at the Brown Hotel, is currently chef at Brasserie Provence. | Photo by Steve Coomes

A few months ago he returned to Louisville, where his friend and former English Grill colleague, Guy Genoud, co-owner of Brasserie Provence, needed some help. The restaurant’s chef, Edoardo Bacci, had moved along, allowing Geroli to assume executive chef duties.

Geroli did not return a call for comment, but he did text saying his stop there is likely temporary while he decides on his next career move — which may not include cooking. He’s already logged about two decades in professional kitchens around the northern hemisphere, so a career change wouldn’t be surprising for a man not yet 40 years old.

At the very least, his name on this special Derby Week menu confirms he’ll be around until at least the first Saturday in May.

Down One gets Louisville’s first Maker’s Mark Private Select dinner: We talk lots about paired dinners at Insider, but this April 28 event is a big deal. Down One Bourbon Bar will host the city’s first such meal using Maker’s Mark’s Private Select Bourbon. This is not a private barrel pick, rather Down One’s staff blended this 111-proof whiskey using five unique expressions of Maker’s 46. Maker’s aged that blend nine weeks more using an array of specially dried and aged staves, and then bottled it exclusively for Down One.

So far, the only Louisville retailer I’m aware of to get its Private Select bottling is Westport Whiskey & Wine, where 240 bottles were sold in just a few days. At $75 per bottle, that’s $18,000 of whiskey, folks. That should give you an idea of how good this stuff is. And if that’s not enough proof, I got to sit in on Prospect Party Center’s Private Select blending, which was probably the best bourbon experience I’ve ever had. Definitely the best Maker’s I’ve ever sipped.

So the three-course dinner will begin with apps and a cocktail hour, followed by dinner with Maker’s pairings. (Click here for the menu.) Better yet, none other than Bill Samuels Jr., the brand’s questionably retired spokesman, will host the event, which costs $75 per person. Call Down One for reservations at 566-3259.

The Bardstown Bourbon Sampler will be held April 30. | Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival
The Bardstown Bourbon Sampler will be held April 30. | Courtesy of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Loads of bourbon, lots of glasses, fun night: Kentucky hosts several large beer tastings each year, but did you know there are several large bourbon tastings in Bardstown year round? The first is from 7-10 p.m. on April 30 at the annual Bardstown Sampler.

Several hundred bourbon fans pack the Guthrie Opportunity Center (900 Nutter Drive, Bardstown, Ky., 40004) to sip about four dozen excellent Kentucky-made whiskeys. Even better is every sip is served in distillery-branded cocktail tumblers guests take with them. This is a great event if you’re a collector of such sturdy and unique glassware. (Put it this way: The event’s $60 ticket price would get you only three to four of those glasses at a distillery gift shop — but you’d get no bourbon. You can easily acquire a dozen vessels at this event.) To carry that hardware safely, guests get heavy duty plastic bags at the door.

The Sampler sells out each year, so if interested, get your tickets now by clicking here.

Word to the wise: There’s a lot of bourbon to be had there, so drink responsibly and take the advice of my friend and bourbon writer Fred Minnick. When offered a pour, say, “Just a nip, please.”

Cocktails more your thing? Then start April 30 at 2 p.m. in Bardstown by heading to Kreso’s for the Bourbon Mixed Drink Challenge. For two hours, about a dozen local bartenders will shake their best bourbon combos for guests and judges, and your $25 ticket gets you samples of all of them. Kreso’s is at 218 N. Third St., the main drag into Bardstown’s downtown.

Don’t give up on Derby night dinner out: Counterintuitive as it sounds, a good strategy for getting a reservation at a fancy local restaurant is to wait for Derby night itself. Why? Because a day at the track is longer than ever (thanks for the late start time, NBC), more expensive than ever (thanks to price gouging at Churchill Downs) and more tiring thaFontleroy's biscuit socialn most imagine.

Yet despite the increasing practice of restaurants insisting on deposits for Derby Week dinner reservations, no-shows and cancellations happen. So if you’re feeling spontaneous, have some serious winnings burning a hole in your pocket and not quite ready to dispatch with the seersucker suit or frilly hat, give it a try. It’s a lot like flying on standby, but it could be the perfect and unplanned ending to a great week.

Skip the cereal, Fontleroy’s has breakfast! Starting this week, Fontleroy’s is open for brunch daily from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Dubbed “Biscuit Social,” the new menu includes multiple sandwiches, skillets and even hot chicken and burgers. Prices range from $5-$12.

No grilled cheese for you! Tom + Chee’s St. Matthews shop is now closed, so make plans to get your grilled cheese and soup at its 1704 Bardstown Road location. No word on why it closed. The operators simply R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

I have to admit I never saw the promise in a grilled cheese and soup-centered restaurant concept, but despite this closure (and my clear lack of imagination), the chain has grown from a food festival pop-up tent to 34 brick-and-mortar units in less than four years.

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Steve Coomes
Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 24-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Louisville magazine, Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass and Food & Dining Magazine. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.