Bourbon Classic Awards Barrel Heads for 2019 Best Cocktail, Small Plate & Pairing

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Three hours after the competition began the judges in the highly anticipated and highly competitive 2019 Bourbon Classic Cocktail & Culinary Challenge hosted in Louisville, Kentucky, arm wrestled to pick a winner for the best of the best in bourbon and food. The competition featured cocktails and small plate pairings prepared by ten teams of chefs and master bartenders representing participating distilleries.

For the small plates, each chef used Kentucky Proud products as a main ingredient, focusing on foods raised, grown, or processed in Kentucky. The inventive and delicious creations were judged by an expert panel including Chef Robert Bleifer – Vice President Food Network, Sam Slaughter – Food and Drink Editor for The Manual and Molly Wellmann – Owner and Bartender of Myrtle’s Punch House and Japps Since 1879.

Bartenders were judged on a classic bourbon cocktail and a contemporary bourbon cocktail while Chefs were similarly judged on a classic small plate and a contemporary small plate offering. Barrel heads were also awarded for how the bartender and chef worked together to pair their cocktail and small plate offerings.

Drum roll… And the 2019 Bourbon Classic Winner is…


Best Classic Cocktail


Representing Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bartender: Kelsey Hoffman, RYE
Cocktail: Bourbon Amaretto Sour


Best Classic Small Plate


Representing Woodford Reserve Distillery
Created by: Chef Ouita Michel, Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants; Chef Charles Taylor, Ouita Michel
Family of Restaurants; Chef Nat Henton, Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants
Dish: Woodford Blintz
Featuring: Kentucky Rose Cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese in Austin, KY
Frommage Blanc Cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese in Austin, KY
Microgreens from Salad Days Farm in Versailles, KY


Best Classic Pairing


Representing Michter’s Distillery
Bartenders: Jayma Neese and Sarah Thomas, Bob’s Steak and Chop House
Cocktail: Rickhouse Sour
Chef Paul Sant, Bob’s Steak and Chop House
Dish: Bourbon Corn Mash Pancakes
Featuring: Smoked Salmon from Shukman’s Fish Co. and Smokery in Louisville, KY


Best Contemporary Cocktail


Representing Heaven Hill Distillery
Bartender: Karla Plott, ON3 at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
Cocktail: The Beetnik


Best Contemporary Small Plate


Representing Heaven Hill Distillery
Chef Bruce Ucán, Mayan Cafe
Dish: Winter Tok-Sel: Tok-sele Lima Bean Puree with Roasted Winter Root Vegetables and Pumpkin Seed Oil
Featuring: Elephant Ear from Field Day Family Farm in Louisville, Kentucky

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Best Contemporary Pairing


Representing Heaven Hill Distillery
Bartender: Karla Plott, ON3 at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience
Cocktail: The Beetnik
Chef Bruce Ucán, Mayan Cafe
Dish: Winter Tok-Sel: Tok-sele Lima Bean Puree with Roasted Winter Root Vegetables and Pumpkin Seed Oil
Featuring: Elephant Ear from Field Day Family Farm in Louisville, Kentucky

The Bourbon Classic was founded in 2012 by FSA Management Group and The Bourbon Review. The nearly week long event brings together the best of the Bourbon and culinary worlds through a collection of rare, interactive events. Infused with exceptional tastings, workshops and unrivaled sips, the multiple events are created for a Bourbon connoisseur and enthusiast.

View all Kentucky Distilleries.
View all Louisville Distilleries.

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