Bourbon And Bowties: A Feast, Fashion And Philanthropy Tied Into One

Staff Writer
The Voice-Tribune 

It’s the perfect blend of elegance and Southern Hospitality, all for the purpose of an incredibly important local cause. On June 13, Corbett’s: An American Place will offer up its restaurant to an estimated 600 guests dressed in Derby attire for the fourth annual Bourbon and Bowties, a popular fundraising feast benefitting Kosair Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Nineteen of the finest chefs, most from the Louisville area, will ascend on the renowned restaurant to prepare delectable dishes – some infused with bourbon. Heading the effort is Chef Dean Corbett, who’s been involved with the event since its inception, along with a committee, including Jerry Zegart and Lenny Gant, both of whom helped establish the event.

“Our family is one of the original families who started the event,” said Gant, whose child Charles W. Gant passed away from viral encephalitis in 2009 and was honored posthumously at the inaugural Bourbon and Bowties. “I wanted to call it Bourbon and Bowties and do it in memory of or in honor of a child.”

Now in its fourth year, Bourbon and Bowties, presented by Northwestern Mutual, will honor 13-year-old Owen McMasters, living with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An exclusive Bird Dog Bay bow tie, tie and scarf were designed in honor of Owen and will be available for purchase at the event. The fashionable accessories, which feature a colorful crab and anchor pattern chosen by Owen, will also be sold in advance at The Fashion Post on Lime Kiln Lane, Cartwheels on Chenoweth Square and cale & cole in Norton Commons.

Owen’s family will help select a section of Kosair Children’s Hospital in which a portion of proceeds from the ties and event will benefit. Kosair Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Hospital Foundation will furthermore benefit from Bourbon and Bowties’ special silent and live auctions, featuring such exclusive items as a full Four Roses Bourbon barrel. New this year for the silent auction, guests can utilize the Bid Pal app to bid and check on desired prizes.

Along with the excitement of top-notch merchandise up for auction, Bourbon and Bowties will include musical entertainment, a photo booth, raffles, including one for a brand new BMW vehicle, plus scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres, delectable dessert and diverse food stations with decadent fare prepared by Corbett’s team of 19 culinary artists.

“The chefs are all thrilled because 90 percent of the chefs probably have young kids,” Corbett said. “I want them to have some sort of involvement with kids. I really want them to feel the cause. It’s 100 percent for the children and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.”

Along with fantastic food, each year prior to the event, a competition is held to determine the featured drinks of the fundraiser. A panel of expert judges selected this year’s winner, Tommy Simms of Corbett’s restaurant who concocted “Tommy Appleseed,” a bourbon apple cider made with Small Batch Four Roses. While bourbon is a centerpiece of the event, it’s not the only type of libation served – beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will also be provided.

Since beginning four years ago, Bourbon and Bowties has grown tremendously. From the first event which included eight chefs and sold out to a group of 200 attendees in a matter of 45 minutes to the 600-plus anticipated guest list, the fundraiser promises to provide an unforgettable evening with some of Louisville’s most-recognized faces. To date, Bourbon and Bowties has netted more than $500,000 for Kosair Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“(Dean’s) passion is what drives this event and the passion of everyone else who’s involved,” said Zegart, first vice president with UBS Financial Services. “And the Children’s Hospital Foundation, we’ve been working together so cohesively. We’re blessed to be surrounded by so many people who are so passionate.”

“This event is really a unique opportunity for the community to get behind Kosair Children’s Hospital,” said Lynnie Meyer, executive director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The chefs, restaurants and sponsors supporting Bourbon and Bowties are dedicated to our mission of helping children, plus it’s a great way to sample some of the best of what Louisville’s food scene has to offer.”

Bourbon and Bowties will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, June 13, at Corbett’s: An American Place, 5050 Norton Healthcare Boulevard. Derby attire is suggested. Tickets are $125 or $300 for the chef’s experience, which includes admission plus a specialty tie, bow tie or scarf and a commemorative bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. For more information on Bourbon and Bowties, visit www.kosairchildrens.com/bourbonbowties or call 502.629.KIDS (5437).

Participating Bourbon and Bowties Chefs

Jason Brumm
Kathy Cary of Lilly’s
Dean Corbett of Corbett’s: An American place and Equus & Jack’s Lounge
Agostino Gabriele of Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant
Jim Gerhardt of Limestone Restaurant
Geoffrey Heyde of Village Anchor Pub & Roost
Josh Hillyard
Jeff Jarfi of Jarfi’s Catering
Edward Lee of MilkWood
Peng Looi of Asiatique and August Moon
Dallas McGarity of Marketplace Restaurant
Josh Moore of Volare
John Plymale of Porcini
Patrick Roney of The Oakroom
Anoosh Shariat
Daniel Stage of Louisville Country Club
Levon Wallace of Proof on Main
Shawn Ward of Jack Fry’s
Chef Fernando Martinez of Guaca-Mole and Mussel & Burger Bar and the original co-founder of both Havana Rumba and  Mojito Tapas Restaurant

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051. 

Courtesy Photos

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