Louisville: Fried Chicken Throwdown 2015

Imagine the perfect setting: Ohio Riverfront, perfect sunny fall day, public art installation of Connect|Disconnect and then imagine the perfect smell of fried chicken wafting throughout this landscape. The Second Annual Fried Chicken Throwdown was just that on Saturday, October 17. Held down at the western end of the Louisville Loop on the waterfront, a large crowd came out for the five hour event from noon to 5 p.m. to try out all the fried chicken that Louisville has to offer.

The weather was perfect, with mild temperatures and a clear sunny day, which let everyone bring their best fall clothes out of retirement. Boots, jeans, vests and hats were all on display here, and of course, some great looking sunglasses.

But, let’s not forget the reason for the event, fried chicken. Sponsored by Slow Food Bluegrass, this event allows samplers to vote on their favorite chicken, side item and dessert. Participating restaurants and caterers included Joella’s Hot Chicken, Wiltshire Pantry, Farm to Fork Catering, Milkwood, Against the Grain Brewery, Pollo, Marketplace Restaurant, Over the 9Gelato Gilberto and Royal’s Hot Chicken. Chefs did a little bit of everything, from fried chicken to hot chicken to smoked chicken wings. The sides are where the creativity really showed. Guests sampled broccoli cheese casserole in pastry, as well as pickled cauliflower, and greens and black eyed peas. Dessert bites were popular as well; you cannot pass up a Nutella Popper, ever.

And the winner was……Joella’s Hot Chicken for the chicken vote and Wiltshire Pantry for both the side, a broccoli cheese casserole in a pastry, and the dessert, which was a small pie with a marshmallow topping dipped in caramel sauce. It was a hard vote as all selections were delicious.

All this finger lickin’ fun was accompanied by live music, beer and signature cocktails, and Lucky’s Moonshine.

In our straw polling, folks were having a hard time picking an outright winner. Many guests were a little too brave with the hot chicken selections (myself included) and went for the hottest level of chicken, only to hit the gelato cart quickly after to soothe my tastebuds.

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Photographer: Heidi Potter

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– the SB Team