Bourbon Classic 2018

Bourbon Classic Announces Kentucky Proud Partnership and 2018 Cocktail & Culinary Challenge Teams

Louisville, KY (February 15, 2018) – With all eyes on Kentucky as the up-and-coming culinary destination, Bourbon Classic is pleased to announce the 2018 Cocktail & Culinary Challenge contestants and a partnership with Kentucky Proud. The Bourbon Classic Cocktail & Culinary Challenge presented by Kentucky Proud takes place Friday, March 2, from 7 – 10 p.m., at a new venue for the event: The Foundry at Glassworks.

The event showcases classic and contemporary Bourbon cocktails paired with a chef’s Bourbon-themed culinary complement. Each chef will use Kentucky Proud products as a main ingredient, focusing on foods raised, grown, or processed in Kentucky. “Kentucky is known around the world for many agricultural products, but perhaps no product draws as much global attention as Kentucky bourbon,” said Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “Kentucky liquefies between 15 to 20 million bushels of corn each year. In that spirit, Kentucky Proud is honored to be the presenting sponsor for this year’s Bourbon Classic.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the contestants and hear them discuss their creations, chat with distillers and representatives about what makes the brands unique, and enjoy a tasting portion of each cocktail and small plate. A select panel of media personalities and industry experts will evaluate the cocktails and small plates individually and as pairings and select winners for each category.

2018 Cocktail & Culinary Challenge participants:

Barton 1792 Distillery

  • Greg Galganski and Oliver Miller, Proof on Main Chef Mike Wajda, Proof on Main

Blade & Bow

  • Nic Christiansen, Butchertown Grocery
  • Chef Bobby Benjamin, Butchertown Grocery

Blanton’s Bourbon

  • Shelby Pipes, Volare Italian Ristorante Chef Josh Moore, Volare Italian Ristorante

Buffalo Trace

  • Norma Beekman, Lockbox Chef Jonathan Searle, Lockbox

Four Roses

  • Hunter Green, Bistro 1860
  • Chef Michael Crouch, Bistro 1860

George Remus Bourbon

  • Austin Garrison, Bouquet Restaurant
  • Chef Stephen Williams, Bouquet Restaurant

Heaven Hill

  • Brianna Hlava, Butchertown Social
  • Chef Loreal Gavin, Food Network Star Contestant – Season 10


  • Morgan Polson, Down One Bourbon Bar Chef Ryan Smith, Harvest

Woodford Reserve

  • Isaac Fox, La Chasse
  • Chef Andrew Welenken, La Chasse

Tickets for the March 1 – 3 Bourbon Classic events are available at Tickets to the February 28 event, Top Shelf, are sold out.

The Bourbon Classic was co-founded by Tony Butler of FSA Management Group, an event planning company based in Louisville, and Justin Thompson and Seth Thompson, of The Bourbon Review.