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 Choppedcome 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
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:
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)
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.
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
A chance to talk to BBC Brewmaster Toby Hunt and Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge
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