The much-anticipated Bourbon Festival announced its line-up this week. The boozey weekend event kicks off with some pre-festival dinners on Thursday, March 23 with the Legends of Bourbon series pairing Master Distillers with local restaurants.
FYI: Guests of Jim Beam, Jefferson’s Bourbon, and Wild Turkey dinners will receive a signed bottle of bourbon to take home. Tickets for dinners run $130, all inclusive, and should be purchased in advance.
The festival itself will run through the weekend at the Sugar Mill and the Marriott Convention Center with Grand Tastings, lectures, music, and small bites from 20 local restaurants.
Here’s the list of four-course pairing dinners to be held on Thursday before the festival:
- Fred Booker Noe III of Jim Beam lights up The Foundation Room at the House of Blues. Charbroiled oyster toast with Sazerac butter and choupique; rabbit fritters with pimiento cheddar grits; fried pork belly with bourbon roasted apples; and wagyu brisket debris with a praline bacon waffle and pepper jelly butter are on the menu.
- Eddie Russell of Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve will be at the Bourbon House. The feast includes Gulf oysters on the half shell; oyster BLTs; Gulf tuna with foie gras, creme fraiche, and “explosive caviar aioli”; confit quail salad with bourbon-blackberry vinaigrette; lamb osso buco; and a flourless chocolate cake with bourbon-chocolate ganache, praline mousse, and Avery Island sea salt.
- Trey Zoeller of Jefferson’s Bourbon will be at Salon by Sucre. The four-course dinner will feature flat iron steak “Oscar”esque with white asparagus and pomme puree. The dessert may be the star though. It’s described as “Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! chocolate mousse, milk chocolate gelato, chocolate soil, cake croutons.”
- Bulleit shoots into Morton’s The Steakhouse with a pairing menu including tuna crudo with lemon oil, Champagne vinegar, and basil gelee; butter-poached halibut with green papaya and peanut slaw; smoked duck with sour cherry mostarda; NY strip with foie gras and lobster demi-glace; and creme brûlée.
- Sazerac steps into Cochon. Menu highlights will build on Chef Bill's charcuterie, including pork smoked over E.H Taylor barrel staves.
- Heaven Hill lands at Kenton’s. The four-course bourbon-pairing dinner will feature crispy grits with country ham and bourbon aioli; smoked trout with butter lettuce, potato, and lemon; barbecue ribs with house smoked pork sausage; and a chocolate mint tart with salted caramel and bourbon caramel ice cream.