Join me today, Aug. 21, at the Kentucky State Fair bourbon cooking competition

Funnel cake because it's time for the Kentucky State Fair.
Funnel cake because it’s time for the Kentucky State Fair.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, guys. The Kentucky State Fair is in full swing.

This year’s fair runs Aug. 20 through 30. Find out all the info about admission and hours here. I’ve documented my love affair with the fair for the past five years, so I won’t waste time running my list of reasons why you need to set aside some time to make it out to the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. But I will mention one event that’s worth making a trip to the fairgrounds this evening.

I will be one of a great group of judges at this year’s 30th annual Evan Williams Cooking Contest, at 6 p.m. today, Aug. 21, on the Gourmet Garden culinary stage in South Wing Lobby A of the expo center. The competition pits amateur and professional chefs against one another to find out who can prepare the best entree, soup, stew, barbecue or casserole that features Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The Courier-Journal reports that there will be more than 80 dishes entered in the competition. That’s a lot of eatin’, friends. But someone has to judge these dishes, and I’m the lady for it. And you know I love judging a cooking competition — it’s like Chopped come to life.


Evan Williams Cooking Competition at the Kentucky State Fair

When: 6 p.m. today, Aug. 21

Where: South Wing Lobby A, Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center

For more information: Kentucky State Fair’s website

Listen to this week’s Deliciously Louisville podcast with Bourbon Built’s Katie Kelty

Katie Kelty knows her bourbon.

The co-founder of the company Bourbon Built is a big fan of this Kentucky beverage, and I talked to her about it on this week’s episode of Deliciously Louisville with Ashlee Eats, my podcast at Louisville.am.

Bourbon Built sells Kentucky-inspired T-shirts, coozies and other goods with a Southern flair. My new favorite shirt, a grey tee with “Bless Her Heart” on the front, is a Bourbon Built product.

I had a lot of fun talking bourbon, business and food with Katie. Best quote of the interview:

“It tastes like angels.” Katie describing the doughnut/croissant hybrid at Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Café

Good news — you can now download this episode of Deliciously Louisville and others on iTunes.

Better news — you can listen to the episode right here.

The Ashlee Eats guide to last-minute Christmas gifts

That’s me and my little tree. Christmas-y, huh?

You waited until now to start Christmas shopping, huh?

It’s OK, you have 120 hours and counting to grab some stuff for friends, family and your office Secret Santa.

Here’s a quick and dirty list of food-centric presents that you can scoop up for the big day. Good luck, and godspeed.

  • For the drinker
    • Bourbon. Duh. (Any decent liquor store)
    • Against the Grain Brewery has glassware to hold plenty of beer. The restaurant and brewery also offers Grainiac memberships come with anytime for discounts on beer all year long. (401 E. Main Street at Louisville Slugger Field)

 

 

  • For the barista in training
    • Quills Coffee has some deals that let you treat yo’ self while buying for the ones you love.
      • 10 percent off Quills diner mug when you buy a bag of coffee
      • Buy a bag of coffee and get 15 percent off your second bag
      • Free drink with a $25 Gift Card purchase
      • Fancy coffee-brewing sets

(quillscoffee.com or one of three locations)

 

 

  • For the out-of-towner
    • Bourbon is the gift that keeps on giving. Why not give the ones you love a little taste of Kentucky by buying products spiked with a nip of bourbon? Bourbon Barrel Foods has an array of sauces, marinades and seasonings worthy of any gift bag. (bourbonbarrelfood.com or various locations)

 

Bourbon Barrel Foods profiled on foodie website The Kitchn

A local food company got a nice profile on one of my favorite websites.
The Kitchn, a great blog for everything food, recently highlighted Bourbon Barrel Foods in its Marketplace feature.
Bourbon Barrel Foods is a small artisan company based here in Louisville. Here’s more:

They don’t make bourbon; rather,they repurpose bourbon barrels to craft small batches of bourbon-infused gourmet sauces and spices, like Worcestershire and soy sauce, sorghum vinaigrettes, even barrel-smoked paprika and sea salt.

This puts me in the mood for some Bourbon Barrel sorghum. Mmmmm.

Get some local brews, good bourbon and free appetizers at Four Roses Bourbon Loft opening

Got some free time tonight?

The folks of Bluegrass Brewing Company and Four Roses Distillery will celebrate the opening of the Four Roses Bourbon Barrel Loft with a party today from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the third floor of BBC at 300 W. Main Street across from the Yum! Center.

The 3,000 square-foot loft will be “an upscale, contemporary location for private parties, luncheons, wedding receptions and dinners,” according to the companies. And BBC will also “age some of its specialty beers in barrels that previously aged Four Roses bourbon.” That sounds downright tasty.

And this event sounds like it has a lot going for it, especially if you’re like me and probably can’t afford to rent the space:

  • Free and open to the public
  • Free appetizers
  • A chance to talk to BBC Brewmaster Toby Hunt and Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge

Got bourbon? Get some and support Brightside at Four Roses Flower Hour

I’ve written before that I’m a fan of charity and food. Add bourbon to the mix, and you’ve got yourself an even better time.

Four Roses Bourbon and Nanz & Kraft Florists will sponsor the fourth-annual Four Roses Flower Hour charity event next week that benefits Brightside, an organization that promotes clean, green activities and initiatives in Louisville. 

Flower Hour will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Nanz & Kraft, 141 Breckenridge Lane. With a minimum $5 donation at the door, attendees can shop for gifts, drink a little bourbon and have some snacks with Master Distiller Jim Rutledge. All proceeds go to Brightside, so it sounds like a great deal.

What: Four Roses Flower Hour

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Feb. 11

Where: Nanz & Kraft, 141 Breckenridge Lane

Cost: Minimum $5 donation with proceeds going to Brightside