Cocktail and Culinary Challenge

Friday, February 21, 2025

Kentucky International Convention Center
7:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Master bartenders will be matched with an acclaimed chef and Bourbon Classic sponsor distillery. Each team will compete for the title of “best cocktail” and "best small plate."

Attendees will have the opportunity to sample 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.

We will also offer People’s Choice awards. Bourbon Classic attendees will vote on their favorite cocktail and small plate through our event app.

event details subject to change

2024 Participating Teams

Angel’s Envy Distillery
Bartender Abbey Simpson, Angel’s Envy
Chef Connie Hartsock, POCO Pop Ups

Bardstown Bourbon Co
Bartender Jaz’min Weaver, Bardstown Bourbon Co
Chef Lawrence Weeks, North of Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Distillery
Bartender Rachelle Rapier, Amsden Bourbon Bar
Chef Michael Wedge, Vallozzi’s Versailles

Bulleit Bourbon
Bartender Norma Smith, Granddam at The Manchester
Chef Paula Endara, Granddam at The Manchester

Buzzard’s Roost Whiskey
Bartender Greg Galganski, Proof on Main
Chef Cody Stone, Proof on Main

Castle & Key Distillery
Bartender Jordan Tycer, Castle & Key Distillery
Chef Matt Bolus, Gertie's Whiskey Bar

Four Roses Bourbon
Bartender Jayma Neese, Bob’s Steak and Chophouse
Chef Alex Parker, Bob’s Steak and Chophouse

George Dickel
Bartender Emily Ryan, Volare Ristorante
Chef Josh Moore, Volare Ristorante

Green River Distilling Co.
Bartender Tom Wilburn, Watch Hill Proper
Chef Michael Crouch, Watch Hill Proper

Heaven's Door
Bartender Kelsee Bryant, Decade Restaurant
Chef Andy Myers, Decade Restaurant
Chef Matt Johnson, Decade Restaurant

Heaven Hill Brands
Bartender Celeste Downey, MeeshMeesh Mediterranean
Chef Noam Bilitzer, MeeshMeesh Mediterranean

James B. Beam Distilling Co.
Bartender Haley Hogan, The Kitchen Table
Chef Glenn Dougan, The Kitchen Table

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co.
Bartender Miranda Densford, Barn8 in Hermitage Farm
Chef Seth Kinder, Barn8 in Hermitage Farm

Limestone Branch Distillery
Bartender Em Sego, Hop Atomica
Chef Dallas McGarity, The Fat Lamb

Log Still Distillery
Bartender Barbie Mudd, Monk's Road Boiler House
Chef David Danielson, Monk's Road Boiler House

Michter’s Distillery, LLC
Bartender Justin Keating, Bluegrass Hospitality Group
Chef Matt Combs, Bluegrass Hospitality Group

Rabbit Hole Distillery
Bartender Hannah Arbaugh, Rabbit Hole Distillery
Chef Ming Pu, Brooklyn and the Butcher

Additional Teams to be Announced!

Thank You to our 2024 Judges

Robert Bleifer, Chef

Paul Clarke, Editor in Chief, Imbibe

Sam Fore, Chef and Owner, Tuk Tuk Snack Shop

event details subject to change


Amber Lounge – A VIP Experience

6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

VIP ticket holders will enjoy exclusive access to the Amber Lounge, which features special bourbon tastings, additional food options and comfortable seating. 

NEW FEATURE FOR 2025! VIP ticket holders will now receive early access to the Amber Lounge 30 minutes before doors open to the main event.

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