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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chef Ouita Michel given award for promoting local foods in her five Bluegrass restaurants

Chef Ouita Michel has received the Thomas Poe Cooper Farm Leadership Award, granted annually by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Chef Ouita Michel outside her Holly Hill Inn (Photo provided)

Chef Ouita Michel outside her Holly Hill Inn (Photo provided)

“This award is the highest honor the college gives outside of the University,” Jimmy C. Henning, associate dean and director for UK Cooperative Extension, said. “Ouita’s leadership in the area of promotion of local food and diversification of agriculture are exemplary and are recognized well beyond Kentucky.”
Thomas Poe Cooper, former dean of the college, established a trust fund to provide for the recognition of an outstanding farm leader in Kentucky each year. Nominations are accepted from within the college and recipients are selected based on their outstanding contribution to agriculture in Kentucky; their respected leadership in the community, county and state; and in their adoption of new ideas.
Ouita’s restaurant group has purchased more than $2 million of local farm products as of this year.
“I’m so proud to receive this award,” said Michel. “Kentucky’s food producers have a tremendous amount to offer and I believe strongly in the importance of local food production. Our restaurants are committed to that principle.”
Michel is the chef at Holly Hill Inn in Midway and Smithtown Seafood in Lexington and is owner of Wallace Station and Midway School Bakery around Midway and Windy Corner Market in Lexington.
For more information about her various food ventures, visit the chef’s Facebook page here.
From Holly Hill Inn