Bourbon, Dinner & Barn8, Oh My!

Hayloft where most dinners will be held. Photo courtesy of Barn8.

Hermitage Farm welcomes guest chefs for monthly Sunday Supper Series

 

By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos provided by Barn8

 

Hermitage Farm founders Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown toast Louisville’s vast array of talented chefs with a new monthly Supper Series at Barn8 Farm Restaurant & Bourbon Bar. The Supper Series’ inaugural day will be on Jan. 17 with cuisine from Barn8’s Executive Chef Alison Settle and bourbon pairings from Hermitage Farm Executive Bourbon Steward Adam Walpole. Each month a different chef from the Commonwealth will take the stage to show off their culinary masterpieces.

Executive Chef Alison Settle. Photo courtesy of Barn8.

Some of the upcoming chefs and dates include:

• Feb. 21 – Jonathan Searle of Proof on Main

• March – Sara Bradley of Paducah’s freight house restaurant and Top Chef runner-up

• April – Samantha Fore of Lexington’s Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites

• The rest of 2021 includes – Stephen Williams of Covington’s Bouquet Restaurant and Dickie Brennan of New Orleans’ Palace Cafe and more.

Photo courtesy of Magnus Lindqvist.

Each night will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres. From there, a four-course dinner with beverage pairings will follow. The dinner on Jan. 17 will include bourbon pairings from Barn8’s exclusive single-barrel selections. The bourbon you can expect to see includes Weller Private Select, Maker’s Mark Private Select, Old Forester Private Select, Woodford Reserve Private Select and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Private Select. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase additional beverages. Most of the Supper Series events will be held in Barn8’s beautiful hayloft to set the ambiance of the evening.

Photo by Andrea Hutchinson.

“We at Barn8 are overjoyed to begin our dinner series! We’ve been fortunate enough to have several talented regional chefs agree to join us in the coming months, and we can hardly wait to see what new flavors and experiences they will bring to our staff and guests,” said Barn8 Executive Chef Alison Settle. “On a personal note, our Bourbon Steward, Adam Walpole, and I are thankful for the opportunity to select several single barrels from Kentucky’s finest distilleries, and our first dinner is an expression of that excitement. Pairing these selections with their courses has been a dream, as barrels of this caliber bring inspiration so readily.”

Tickets for the event are limited. For Jan. 17, only 25 tickets will be available. Each ticket is $150 per person, which includes the hors d’oeuvres, drink pairings, four-course meal and gratuity. Reservations must be made in advance and can be made by phone at 502.398.9289, by email at cconlin@hermitagefarm.com or online at hermitagefarm.com/product/bourbon-night. A credit card is required to secure the reservation, and cancellations must be made at least 72 hours in advance to receive a full refund. All Supper Series events are being held under extreme safety precautions and are subject to change if necessary. These exclusive nights will bring in some of the most well-known chefs in Kentucky and it’s an event you’re not going to want to miss, so purchase your tickets now!

Barn8 Hayloft
10500 W US Highway 42
Goshen, KY 40026
hermitagefarm.com/product/bourbon-night
502.398.9289 ext. 103
cconlin@hermitagefarm.com

 

In 2021, we’re most looking forward to…

Happy New Year! As we embark on a new year and put 2020 behind us, The Voice-Tribune team would like to share what we’re most looking forward to in 2021 to reconnect with you, our readers, and celebrate new beginnings. What are you most looking forward to?

“What I’m looking forward to most in 2021 is continuing to highlight our local businesses in our community and the surrounding area within the beautiful pages of The Voice. Also being able to spend time with family and friends is definitely a priority as well!” – Janice Carter Levitch Humphrey, Publisher

“An era of new leadership! I’m looking forward to returning to a more “normal,” peaceful world where small businesses can thrive, loved ones can gather and it’s safe to travel the world again. And Italian lessons! I was gifted them for Christmas and can’t wait to start.” – Liz Bingham, Editor in Chief

“I recently bought an online course to learn how to read the Akashic Records, so I’m excited to become more in tune with my intuition and spiritual guides. I look forward to developing my connection to the metaphysical and discovering communities with whom I can discuss my journey.” – Sarah Levitch, Staff Writer

“I’m excited to be finishing up my junior year at the University of Maryland and begin my final year! I’m hoping to study abroad in Australia in the fall and if I’m able to do that I can’t wait for all the adventures, studies and new places I’ll get to explore. I’m excited to start preparing to begin the next chapter of my life!” – Elizabeth Scinta, Editorial Assistant

“This year I’m looking forward to making as much art as my two hands can manage and whatever adventures dog walks lead to…usually Heine Brothers’ lattes and little libraries!” – Pascalle Ballard, Art Director

“One of my 2021 goals is to learn more sign language; I’m looking forward to being able to communicate better with deaf and hard of hearing folks. Starting at the end of the month, I’ll also be selling handmade earrings and those profits will be donated to trans folks of color to help pay for hormones, surgeries, housing and food. 2020 made me realize how lucky I am that I rarely face transphobia and have a stable access to hormones, and I’m so grateful to be in the position where I can help others with that expense.” – Lane Levitch, Advertising Designer

“I’m most looking forward to getting vaccinated, getting to see more of my family and traveling again (hopefully)!” – Kathryn Harrington, Staff Photographer

“One of my biggest goals is to produce a photobook of creative photography.  I have been incubating some big ideas and want to set them in motion!” – Andrea Hutchinson, Staff Photographer

“I am looking forward to all the wonderful arts and entertainment venues opening as well as the arts festivals.” – Marsha Blacker, Account Executive

“The thing I am looking most forward to is seeing people smile again and spending more time with the people I love.” – Julie Koenig, Account Executive

“Like everyone else, I would like a swift return to normal from the pandemic. Would love to see us reach herd immunity by the end of February and an end to mask requirements by the end of March. I would love to see restrictions lifted from restaurants and businesses as soon as possible. Bring on the cocktails, conga lines and concerts!” – Karen Pierce, Account Executive

“I am looking forward to continued health for my family and friends. I am so excited to be able to watch my kids play sports again. I am hopeful that we can return to more normalcy. I also look forward to better times for my clients in the restaurant, retail and other service industries.” – Lauren Sharp Anderson, Account Executive

“I miss the energy of working in a shared workspace and look forward to having a calendar full of luncheons and business meetings in our city’s beautiful downtown.” – Laura Snyder, COO

 

The Art of Love

Justin Alexander Signature dress; Beje Swarovski crystal earrings; Swarovski crystal necklace; Swarovski crystal bracelet, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Feather fascinator, $22, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique.

Photographer: Andrea Hutchinson
Stylist: Liz Bingham
Styling Assistant: Elizabeth Scinta
Hair Alexis Apanewicz of NOVA Salon
Makeup: Becca Schell
Flowers: Nanz & Kraft Florists
Models: Aaron Hunter and daughter Brooklyn Monet and Margarita Karizskaja with HEYMAN TALENT AGENCY
Location: The Speed Art Museum

Lucian Matis jumpsuit, $1,295, available at Glasscock Women’s Boutique. Ted Baker heels, $88, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Silk edge veil; Swarovski crystal hairpiece, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Loeffler Randall feather purse, $16; Pearl necklace, $10; Julie Voss pearl earrings, $38; David Yurman canary sapphire ring, $325; Rhinestone ring, $16, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.

On Flower Girl: Silk and tulle flower girl dress, price upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Shoes from the model’s personal collection.
On Groom: Jack Victor suit, $845; Brooks Brothers shirt, $92; available at Von Maur. Red corduroy bow tie, $18.99, available at Evolve: The Men’s Resale Store. Shoes from the model’s personal collection.
On Bride: John Paul Ataker dress, $687, available at Glasscock Women’s Boutique. Horsehair veil; Silk flower and Swarovski crystal hairpiece, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Blue rhinestone necklace, $32; Blue rhinestone clip-on earrings, $10; Rhinestone ring, $16; David Yurman canary sapphire ring, $325, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.

On Flower Girl: Lace and tulle dress; Swarovski crystal and pearl headband, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Shoes from the model’s personal collection.
On Groom: Vintage tuxedo jacket and pants, price upon request, available at Evolve: The Men’s Resale Store. Ted Baker silk bow tie, $59.50; David Donahue shirt, $145, available at Von Maur. Shoes from the model’s personal collection.
On Bride: Loretta lace wedding dress; Swarovski crystal drop earrings; Silk edge veil; Swarovski crystal hairpiece, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville.

Cinq à Sept blouse, $38; Theia gown, $275; Rhinestone ring, $16, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Gold pearl drop earrings; Swarovski crystal crown; Rhinestone and pearl veil, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Mango kitten heels, $49, available at Belle Monde Boutique.

Silk and tulle mermaid dress; Two-tier veil; Swarovski crystal bracelet, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Vintage Caine-Sloane fur shawl, $168; Vintage fur hat, $32, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. David Yurman canary sapphire ring, $325; Rhinestone ring, $16; Vintage rhinestone earrings, $10, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.

On Bride: Silk and tulle mermaid dress; Two-tier veil; Swarovski crystal bracelet, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Vintage Caine-Sloane fur shawl, $168; Vintage fur hat, $32, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. David Yurman canary sapphire ring, $325; Rhinestone ring, $16; Vintage rhinestone earrings, $10, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.
On Groom: Calvin Klein suit jacket and pants, $495; Brooks Brothers shirt, $92; Ted Baker silk bow tie, $59.50, available at Von Maur.

On Bride: Silk and tulle mermaid dress; Two-tier veil; Swarovski crystal bracelet, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Vintage Caine-Sloane fur shawl, $168; Vintage fur hat, $32, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. David Yurman canary sapphire ring, $325; Rhinestone ring, $16; Vintage rhinestone earrings, $10, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.
On Groom: Calvin Klein suit jacket and pants, $495; Brooks Brothers shirt, $92; Ted Baker silk bow tie, $59.50, available at Von Maur.
On Flower Girl: Sequin and tulle dress; Faux fur shawl, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Shoes from the model’s personal collection.

The History of Kentucky Horse Racing

How the Kentucky Derby Museum offers all the best of horse racing tradition

 

By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos provided by the Kentucky Derby Museum

 

I hope you have the call to post ringing through your head while reading this feature because it was certainly on repeat in mine while I was writing it. Louisvillians are proud of our horse racing tradition, that is, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, but do you know the full history and facts behind it? I thought I did until I visited the Kentucky Derby Museum. I learned so much about both events by walking around the two floors of exhibits and on the walking tour of Churchill Downs. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t learned about any of it in my 21 years of being a Louisvillian.

“The Kentucky Derby is iconic and the international event is important to our state’s history, culture and future. Our mission is to engage, educate and excite everyone about the extraordinary experience that is the Kentucky Derby. We are the storytellers of the Run for the Roses and the ‘preservers’ of its history,” explained Patrick Armstrong, the CEO and President of the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Not only does the Kentucky Derby Museum have two floors of interactive exhibits, but it is also the exclusive tour provider of Churchill Downs. On a tour, you can explore Millionaire’s Row or the Backside, two places a person might not usually go to. After the tour, make sure to check out the Kentucky Derby Museum’s signature movie, “The Greatest Race,” which is showcased in the museum. 

“Our signature movie, ‘The Greatest Race,’ is truly an experience that leaves viewers with a better understanding of why this race is world-renowned,” said Armstrong. “We have an incredible exhibit featured right now called ‘The Right to Ride,’ which showcases the incredible stories of female jockeys. Additionally, our permanent exhibit on African Americans in Thoroughbred Racing educates guests on the important contributions African Americans have had on the sport of racing. Our D. Wayne Lukas exhibit is an impressive display of one of the greatest trainers of all time.”

Here’s another Derby fact you might not know. The Kentucky Derby Museum is an entirely separate nonprofit organization from Churchill Downs. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Kentucky Derby Museum could not host its 34th annual Kentucky Derby Museum Gala, its primary fundraiser. They do anticipate continuing the tradition in 2021. 

You can help support the Kentucky Derby Museum by visiting and sharing your experience. “Come out and see us! Many people don’t realize what a gem they have right in their backyard. The Kentucky Derby Museum is the only way to take a tour of historic Churchill Downs Racetrack,” explained Armstrong. “Plus, there are hidden treasures inside the museum to discover. Everyone is spread out and extra safety measures are in place. Plus, our gift shop and online store at derbymuseumstore.com are the perfect way to support local and find a uniquely Kentucky gift.”

Like everything else, the Kentucky Derby Museum has had to alter how they normally do business. They added extra safety precautions to the tour and exhibits in the museum to ensure they can stay open, as closing for the first three months of the pandemic was extremely difficult for them, explained Armstrong. “We have adapted tours, offer guests a touchscreen stylus to interact with exhibits instead of using their hands and offer curbside pickup for gift shop orders,” said Armstrong.

The Kentucky Derby Museum is great for learning more about the Derby, but it’s also a great place to host events, especially weddings! Embrace Kentucky’s horse racing culture by hosting your rehearsal dinner, reception, ceremony or all three at the Kentucky Derby Museum. “Our venue spaces provide the perfect blend of modern amenities and Kentucky tradition. Indoor and covered outdoor spaces offer versatile layout options that can be tailored to fit your unique style, with a rich array of add-on experiences. This includes a walking tour of Churchill Downs and an appearance by the Official Derby Bugler to make your wedding, rehearsal dinner or special event as memorable for your guests as it is for you,” Armstrong said.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Kentucky Derby Museum has created a new wedding package for those still wanting to have their weddings, just at a smaller capacity. “They’re wanting an intimate number and event, so our events team is creating a package that will feature the ceremony and the reception in the same place. They’ve already done a couple of these. Brides are looking for something where they don’t have to start from scratch and plan again, they can start out planning a smaller wedding,” explained Rachel Collier, the Director of Communications at the Kentucky Derby Museum. 

The events team has helped each wedding party figure out how to best adapt their day to fit the guidelines or reschedule for the following year. Typically, the museum will host close to 340 events, but this year, there will be about 30 weddings. Interested in having your wedding at the Kentucky Derby Museum? Contact Amie Milby, the Director of Sales and Events, at 502.992.5903 or AMilby@DerbyMuseum.org.

Kentucky Derby Museum
704 Central Avenue
Louisville, KY 40208
Derbymuseum.org
502.637.1111

 

All You Need Is Love

Josh Miller & Theo Edmonds tie the knot in St. James Court

 

By Josh Miller
Photos by Denisha McCauley

 

Theo proposed moments before we jumped out of a plane at 10,000 feet to skydive in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in August 2019. The ring he gave me is inscribed on the inside with a line from a James Baldwin poem we love. It says, “More human dwelling place,” which is a reference to the world and life we are creating together. Heading into 2020, we planned to get married at the Frazier History Museum on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2020. Little did we know what the year would hold.

 In March, COVID-19 started to disrupt all facets of our lives and we had to consider what that meant for our wedding. It would have brought together almost 150 people inside, something that was no longer possible. So, we made the tough, but necessary, decision to move the bigger wedding celebration to May 2021 and to hold a very small, outdoor ceremony in November 2020. 

Josh Miller.

Planning one wedding is stressful, but planning two different events and taking pandemic limitations into consideration was another story. Our wedding officiant extraordinaire, Karan Chavis, offered to host the wedding and cupcake reception outdoors in St. James Court with her husband Craig Blakely. We limited attendance, required masks, encouraged people to dress warmly and assigned people to “pods” to maintain physical distancing. We got tested for COVID-19 leading up to the ceremony, and hired someone to help live stream it since we couldn’t invite everyone we wanted to be with us, also recognizing that people at higher risk or with possible COVID-19 symptoms could not attend. As a last surprise, the baker who was supposed to do the cupcakes had to quarantine due to a possible COVID-19 exposure, so, the day before Thanksgiving and three days before the ceremony, we were searching for a new baker.

Theo Edmonds.

So what does one wear to an outdoor wedding amidst a pandemic? I started working with Gunnar Deatherage on my wedding outfit early in the year, creating a set of multiple interchangeable pieces that can be worn together, layered or as separates and not just for the wedding, but work, dates and more. Theo donned a plaid Brooks Brothers suit with navy flourishes. Our dear friend Hannah Drake wore an off-the-shoulder floor-length black sequin gown with a matching black sequin mask. She gifted both Theo and me with wedding presents right before the ceremony to be worn down the aisle. For me,  to be my “something borrowed, something blue,” she gave a topaz ring which “coincides with the throat chakra,” Hannah said. “As he got married, Josh was speaking his truth.” For Theo, she gave him a crown-shaped pendant from All is Fair in Love and Fashion. “I wanted him to have flair, that’s Theo’s nature. His soul is rhinestones and pearls,” Hannah said. 

Guests were invited to wear black, white and fall tones, and of course, masks. One attendee paired a beaded collar with a paisley print mask, another mixed textures with a leather dress and sequin mask. Other guests wore masks in floral fabrics, with leather trim or stripes, and simple masks paired with a fur or fascinator. 

While walking down the aisle, Theo was joined for the ceremony by his cousin Rhonda, and friends Sabrina, Eleisha and Hannah. My brother Chad and his daughter Ada walked down the aisle, as Ada carefully dropped fall leaves along the walkway. My sisters Patsy, Anna and Meg followed them, as I walked to meet Theo at the altar, stopping to check-in on the live streamer as technology was not our best friend that day and the connection had gone down. 

Karan reminded all of us why, during a pandemic, we had come together: for love. Karan said, “That thing which is most powerful, that thing that is unending, love. We see couples who commit to a life together under the ties that love brings. Today, Josh and Theo join in this journey.” 

Theo pulled his vows from his jacket pocket, and talked about our marriage as a privilege, saying, “When you are by my side, I don’t consider the enormous limits of life. I know your heart for it sings loudly like my own.” My vows opened with earlier memories from our almost eight-year relationship. I said, “Mustard corduroys, paint-speckled glasses and your smile and energy that embody Dolly Parton’s words, ‘Never leave a rhinestone unturned.’ Those early moments in our relationship are forever seared into my memory. Hanna Benjamin asking, ‘Do you like him?’ and I replied, ‘Yes, I believe I do.’” 

We exchanged rings and Theo’s was black titanium and inscribed with “Our corner of the sky,” a reference to our engagement, the musical he loves and what our union symbolizes. Mine was antler and titanium. After being pronounced husband and husband, we walked back to Karan and Craig’s backyard, where socially distanced “pods” were set up as small tables with their own bottles of champagne to reduce contact and where people could enjoy cupcakes. Lifting glasses of champagne and sparkling cider, we toasted the guests who made our day so magical.

It was more meaningful than we can put into words that we were joined amidst a pandemic by a small group of family and friends who we love, on a day that is such a milestone in our lives. Friends and family who tuned in for the live stream sent emails, photos of them watching from home and texts of joy. While it was not what we had initially planned, it was everything we could have dreamed of.

Vendors
Ceremony Venue: St. James Court
Reception Venue: Home of Karan Chavis & Craig Blakely
Josh Attire: Custom Gunnar Deatherage with Jessica Simpson shoes for ceremony, paired with fur trimmed cape from personal collection for reception
Theo Attire: Brooks Brothers
Josh and Theo Masks: Vistaprint
Hair: Meg Miller
Makeup: Josh Miller
Cupcakes: Plehn’s Bakery
Photographer: Denisha McCauley Photography
Officiant: Karan Chavis
Rings: From the Vault
Live stream: Kyle Irvin

Josh Miller.

Brianna Wright and Josh Miller.

 

Cassia Herron.

 

Chad Miller and Ada Miller walk down the aisle.

 

Chris Radtke.

 

Eleisha Kiefer.

 

 

Hanna and Bobby Benjamin.

 

Hanna Benjamin, Josh Miller and Kate Hendon.

 

Hannah Drake and Josh Miller.

 

Josh Miller, Karan Chavis and Theo Edmonds.

 

Meg Miller and Theo Edmonds after the ceremony.

 

Pam Cooper.

 

Patsy, Anna, and Meg walk down the aisle followed by Josh Miller.

 

Rhonda Whelan and Theo Edmonds.

Shades of Observation

The Mischief Maker shares her secrets for creating sugar flower cake masterpieces

 

By Alex Narramore

 

For a painting project in art school, I remember being utterly transfixed by the innumerable shades found in a blueberry. My teacher, while intrigued, was puzzled. She said it was odd because no one usually cares or thinks about a blueberry. I said, “Just look at all the shades in a blueberry. There are purples, blues, reds, even some turquoise or mint. Infinite!” Maybe I should have known then that I would want to record and recreate such things forever in some form or another. Luckily, I’ve found the perfect medium by painting and sculpting botanicals in sugar.

Alex Narramore.

I’m very inspired by the natural form of a branch or flower, much the same as florists I know. They let the natural form of the plant influence their eventual arrangement, altering them as little as possible. I do this too with my sugar flowers. I like a degree of wildness in my cake designs. I believe in chopping or controlling the natural habits of a flower as little as possible. This translates to gardening, too. Why everyone is obsessed with dwarf and miniature plant varieties is beyond me. I’m sure they are well behaved, don’t spread, their height is manageable and they’re quite predictable. But often, the extra height and wildness make the magic and interest. Sometimes, it’s good to let things be what they are, a little unruly, messy and mischievous, to maintain a beautiful order within the disorder. This adds interest and vitality to life. There is so much variety in flowers and the natural world, so it’s no surprise that flowers and plants are my preferred subject matter for my cake designs.

I put in a garden two seasons ago and it has helped immensely in giving me flowers to study. Even if the flowers die before I get to them, I take images and observe the more unique parts of them, details that can’t be easily found on Google. Going off images and botanical measurements alone, often never seeing these flowers in person, was a challenge as each individual flower part and petal is made and combined to make one sugar flower. Sometimes, I’ll sculpt a sugar flower and then want the real version to grow in the garden. Other times, I will grow something in the garden that simply begs to be made in sugar. The garden and cakes seem to co-exist in this way and I have a garden at each place I work.

My Mother and I create the sugar flowers, while my Dad and husband help with everything from cake deliveries, reaching a sugar flower to heights much too tall for me or coloring foliage. Otherwise, I have no staff and currently no interns. I started The Mischief Maker officially in 2013, but I have been making cakes since at least 2008.

We make our sugar flowers at my Mamaw’s in Eastern Kentucky, where I am from. There is a garden there, too. Mamaw’s is often total chaos, but most importantly, it is a place to think, take a walk and process life. Truthfully, I love to have fun and make a touch of mischief both in work and play. I would probably have to go on a mountain to get away and focus. Otherwise, I bake and design the cakes at my home in downtown Lexington. There I am always looking out the windows at the garden, thinking about what is working and what isn’t, paining myself over structure that is not properly there while simultaneously putting in more bulbs for next Spring, or deciding what interesting dahlias I will grow in the fall. I consistently re-examine past cake designs in the same way I do the garden, except there is no “try again next year” with my cake designs.

Before I started gardening, I only had a basic understanding of the seasons. It was based on the floristry industry and what you order for an event at any given time of the year. However, those flowers are flown in from all over the world, making many impossibilities a possibility, as each country the flowers are arriving from have different growing seasons. The cakes are much like still life paintings, where you can mix together anything you’d like. There is no seasonality. However, an understanding of seasonality is good to know so you can choose to disregard if you’d like and keep the accuracy if not.

Observation in all things is so important. I had another teacher in college ask us to name a visual memory that we had recently. I sat there blankly without an answer as everyone else recalled something that happened with the traffic lights or the light in the sky the previous afternoon. I realized then that I wasn’t paying attention to the small things. I was, at best, looking outward at the world at mid-level, eye level, rarely stopping. Do you really ever look at the ground, or the colors in a leaf, or the tops of the tree lines? Are you paying attention to what is in front of you, or is your total visual experience the quick blur as you get in and out of the car? There is so much to see.

I sculpt, paint and copy botanically accurate specimens from life and reference images in sugar. Sometimes, I deviate and reference paintings. I rely on my memory of how flowers move in the garden, how they feel in your hand. We sculpt and paint both by measurements and by eye. I think that’s what sets apart our wedding cakes and sugar flowers, observation.

A plant or flower simply has to strike us before we collage it into a design then replicate it. While I choose to sculpt and match colors in sugar, it doesn’t mean that I couldn’t do so in another more permanent medium. I get messages about what brand of edible colors to use or what colors to mix to achieve a certain shade. There is no simple answer. I can grab numerous edible pigments from dozens of brands and still get the same result. I work on paper towels as a “palette” to mix all of my edible colors before I start to paint a sugar flower. I get messages about people wanting them or saying we should save them. I’m unsure about saving paper towels myself, but they do slightly resemble colorful little abstracts.

The sugar flowers are not fantasy. If we choose to go in a direction of fantasy and paint a flower like a painting, it is a conscious choice that still shows an underlying knowledge of the structure or type of flower that is being sculpted or painted. When I went to school for art, I thought that the elements of art and design would translate easily into cake and sugar work. There are sometimes more variables in making the cakes than in most mediums. You have the added factor of weather, humidity and rain because the flowers absorb moisture in the air like a sponge. The base cake structure must be delicious and will be eaten. This makes me the happiest of all. I love it best when the cakes are tasted and enjoyed.

The best part of this job is absolutely seeing something materialize, piece by piece, from your imagination while working. You essentially create a concept and work bit by bit combining colors, shapes and flowers to make this previously nonexistent idea, this daydream, a reality. Sometimes I stare at plain white sugar paste and cake pans, and it seems almost unbelievable that anything is made from them. Yet, how interesting it is that these elements can be combined infinitely to make anything you can imagine.

Each wedding cake I design is custom for the client and then retired, making each one special. Some advice I’d have for couples is to start with practical matters like guest count, budget and the overall mood for the event, and afterward, start observing, seeing and training your eyes. This can be done by looking, possibly at images of flower arrangements, a specific season, colors in a painting, architectural images or anything you desire that interests you. I go over images I receive from clients and pull my own images to send back to see what we are all collectively connecting with until we get to a place where I can pitch an idea. Observing, training your eyes and teaching yourself to pay attention is a good practice, not just for the cake, but also for the wedding and mood of the event as a whole, and possibly even for life in general.

This year has been difficult for weddings as there have been many restrictions and date changes due to COVID-19, but in times of strife, it is fantasy that keeps us going. Dreaming keeps us going. Should you downsize your cake to the look and scale of a cake that feeds 50, 30 or under 10? I say absolutely not if you don’t want to. No matter the number of guests you have, you are making a centerpiece for the event. You are giving them a second to gasp and dream, to focus on and observe the details, to relish in and savor the taste of the cake and to look at the shades in those sugar blueberries.

A Modern Day Love Story

Christina Pecha and George Greenhalgh say “I Do”

 

Photos by Josh Merideth, Bella Grace Studios

 

Thanks to social media, Christina Pecha and George Greenhalgh “met” via direct messaging on Instagram in November 2016. Six months later, after George swept Christina off her feet in a much less modern fashion, they fell in love and were married four years later in an unexpectedly quaint ceremony at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. We recently spoke with Christina to get the inside scoop on their magical, not so big fat Greek wedding. 

When and how did you two meet?

We met how all the great couples of our generation meet: on the internet. We started following each other on Instagram around Thanksgiving 2016 even though we didn’t know each other at the time. I thought George was super cute but noticed he had a girlfriend at the time. Six months later, he came into town from Lexington for the Derby and posted a picture of himself on Instagram. I was unwinding after the long weekend and got on Instagram for the first time in a while. Sure enough, at the top of my feed, was the picture he posted two days before. Thanks, Instagram algorithm. Unknowingly, I liked it. George was also having a relaxing evening in Lexington and noticed that I liked his picture. He had recently earned quite a few awards at work and was feeling courageous. He thought I was creeping on his profile since I liked his picture and thought he would take a chance and message me. He said, “Hey, I’ve never really done this before, but would you let me take you out to dinner?” At the exact moment he sent the message, I was clicking the top left of my phone to go back to another app and immediately opened his direct message or “dm.” Of course, his message was a bit more thought out than the typical dm and I remembered thinking he was cute, so I happily agreed. 

It was the summer before I started dental school, so I was living at home with my parents. I remember it was the first date where I planned my outfit days in advance and he picked me up from my parents’ house to meet me for the first time. He nervously rang the doorbell, my Mom answered, and they chatted as I finished getting ready. She had no idea we had never met! In the era of modern dating, this was not something girls typically did, having the guy meet the parents first and pick me up from my parent’s house. But, I had a strong feeling something about George was different, and as it turns out, I was right. He swept me off my feet during dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse and the rest is history.

When and how did you get engaged?

We were engaged on December 14, 2019, at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. George had been planning the engagement for months and had a big plan for how he wanted to propose. The only thing I told him was that I wanted it to be a surprise. He began planning with my Dad, and without me knowing, they planned a large reunion and dinner in New York City with close family and friends. My Dad normally went to NYC around Christmas every year for a work meeting and my Mom occasionally went with him. Last year, they asked me to go with them and, at the time, I didn’t think anything of it. My Mom and I flew separately from my Dad after my finals and little did I know, George also flew to NYC even though he convinced me he was in Los Angeles for work and to visit a friend. Over the next few days, without me knowing, George and his friend went to dinner with my Dad, Aunt and Uncle. George knew that it was going to be tough to pull off a surprise proposal, so he needed everything planned out. 

In the days leading up to the proposal, he went to Rockefeller Center two to three times to look at daylight versus night time for pictures, as well as the best angles and how crowded it would be. He planned for it to take place at 5:05 p.m. so that we could have both daylight and night time photos. Around 2 p.m. the day of, the original chosen photographer got the flu, so George had to frantically find a replacement and luckily, he did. Right before George proposed, he met his brother and best friend at their hotel to reminisce and go over final plans. Around 4:30 p.m., George left to walk eight blocks to prepare and meet the photographer. However, about two blocks in, it started to rain and he did not have an umbrella. He took shelter in a nearby hotel and asked a nearby couple, “I am on my way to propose to the love of my life and I don’t have an umbrella, can I have yours?” The couple happily gave him theirs, but this delayed his arrival. George arrived near Rockefeller Square behind schedule, but thankfully, I was also running behind. 

George and his entire party consisting of five people were hiding behind a column waiting for my Dad to put me in the right place to “take a picture of me.” George then walked out into the crowded square and, to my surprise, got down on one knee in front of my family and the large crowd around us who were cheering and clapping. It was a magical moment.

Who assisted with planning the big day? 

The short answer is, my Mom. The long answer is, nothing about planning this wedding was easy. For months, there was so much confusion about what we were doing. We knew we wanted to get married this year before COVID-19 even happened, but some other family members wanted us to wait until next year to have more time to plan and after I graduated. When the pandemic hit, we knew there would still be so much uncertainty and we did not know how long the restrictions would last. We did know that this could be the perfect opportunity for us to have the best of both worlds, a small, intimate wedding this year and then a larger celebration next year! Also, George bought a home earlier this year and we got a puppy, Stella, so I just wanted to move in with them and start our life instead of waiting and not knowing when we would be able to get married. 

We decided on a small church ceremony in November over Thanksgiving weekend with a small dinner reception after. Originally, I was not planning on doing many decorations and did not really start planning until about a month before. I was so busy with dental school and was just excited to get married. Since I knew it would just be family and a few close friends, I was not too worried about the details. My Mom was the one who convinced me that I would end up wanting these little details, and I am so glad she did, as they truly made the special day even more magical. She took care of most of the planning and organizing of vendors. There were so many little details that I did not think about or know we even needed that my Mom thought of, like a basket to hold the flower petals for people to throw as we processed out of the church. Despite having all of our vendors selected and it being a small wedding, my Mom was worried about how she would be able to orchestrate everything the day of the wedding. Thankfully, she decided to call Maggie from Weekend Wedding Warrior about two weeks before our big day. Maggie is usually out of town Thanksgiving weekend, but due to COVID-19, she was available.

Also, as a side note, we were still unsure of who we were inviting up until about a week before. Once Governor Beshear made the order a week before our wedding on restaurant restrictions, we thought we were doomed. However, since we had about 22 people invited, we just made the cut for the 25 person limit for wedding receptions. 

What moment from the wedding stands out most in your mind when you look back on it?

All of it. We were able to enjoy every single part of it because it was so small and intimate. We could focus on the sacrament of our marriage taking place in the church and the start of our life together as husband and wife. I may be biased, but I truly thought it was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. There was so much love and warmth in the air. I was so at peace the whole day, and honestly, did not expect to feel that way whenever I thought about getting married growing up. I loved how it felt like we were living in another era, from the vintage 1960 Rolls Royce to the speakeasy feel of the back room of an otherwise empty Volare covered in lush flowers, to being surrounded by only my closest friends and immediate family. I felt like the whole day was a dream. It was cinematic.

What advice would you give to couples who are in the middle of planning their wedding?

Who says you need a big wedding to make a big statement? Make your own rules. Do what you want. It can be easy to get caught up in what everyone else wants for your wedding or what you think you are supposed to have. I truly always thought my wedding would be a big fat Greek wedding with a band, a late-night food truck, fireworks, no less than 300 guests and take place in the summer. At times, I was a little upset that this was not in the cards for me. I kept thinking about other people I knew who were still planning their larger summer weddings and thought I was missing out and not getting what I wanted. But I kept reminding myself of why I was getting married and I am so glad that I did. 

We are so fortunate to still be planning a larger celebration in Cabo next year, but if for some reason it gets canceled due to COVID-19, we will be at peace knowing the best day of our lives already happened on November 28, 2020.

Vendors
Ceremony Venue: Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
Reception Venue: Volare Italian Ristorante
Pre-Ceremony Pictures Venue: Big Spring Country Club
Post-Ceremony Pictures Venue: The Seelbach Hilton Louisville
Wedding Gown: Madi Lane
Earrings: Sara Gabriel
Suit: Custom tuxedo by Tom James
Hair: Z Salon and Spa
Makeup: Beauty Patrol MUA
Flowers and Arrangements: Country Squire Florist
Catering: Volare Italian Ristorante
Cake: Cakes by Coco
Photographer: Josh Merideth, Bella Grace Studios
Officiant: Father Jon Boukis, Greek Orthodox Priest
Transportation: Royal Transportation
Rings: Staples Jewelry

Stoneware & Co. Grand Opening

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

 

Just in time for the holidays, Stoneware & Co. unveiled their new showroom and mercantile space in one of Paristown’s historic restorations. They offer hand-crafted stoneware, Kentucky folk art, Kentucky Proud food products and new additions created by nationally recognized Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens who joined them every Friday in December in the new Stoneware Garden Room for meet and greets, as well as demonstrations on making eye-catching holiday arrangements. 

Private Showing of Glasscock Too

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

 

To celebrate the opening of Glasscock Too and the holiday season, Glasscock owner Mary F. Glasscock and her new associate, Jeff Hunter, hosted a small group of friends for a private shopping event on December 10. 

The Wedding of Janice Carter Levitch & Steven Humphrey

Janice Carter Levitch Humphrey and Steve Humphrey.

Vows in le Jardin de Janice

 

By Sarah Levitch
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

 

Steve and Janice met by chance in the Spring of 2018 when Steve hosted an event at his home benefiting the Waterfront Botanical Gardens. At the time, Janice was writing her column “Out and About” for The Voice and was always on the lookout for interesting things to include. This event caught her attention because the guest of honor was the former Georgia football coach, Vince Dooley, who became an avid gardener after his retirement. Steve noticed Janice that day and asked his friends, “Who is that beautiful woman?”

That summer, Janice asked if The Voice could do a feature on his house and grounds, to which, of course, he agreed. After the photoshoot, Steve gifted her with some of his home-grown honey, and as a thank you, she invited him to dinner. They met again in the fall at the Breeders Cup held at Churchill Downs, where Steve returned the dinner invitation. She accepted, and the romance began. 

Steve teaches Philosophy of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and was scheduled to teach the spring quarter, which meant he would be apart from Janice for the first three months of 2019. Despite the distance, Janice traveled back and forth to Santa Barbara until the quarter was completed in March. While there, they managed to sneak in a trip to Napa Valley, staying at the very romantic Poetry Inn. 

Once they were back in Louisville, Steve asked Janice to design a garden at their home, Lincliffe, the home Steve has lived in for approximately 20 years and named the project “Janice’s Garden.” She wanted it to reflect her office in Lincliffe, which has a French latticework décor known as treillage. The office looks out onto this garden area, and to connect the two spaces, a quatrefoil was designed to anchor the center of the stone walkways. They wanted to surround the quatrefoil with tile to mimic the treillage décor in her office, so they commissioned local artist Stephen Paulovich to hand paint the design in shades of green to complement the green in her office. The finishing touch is the Matignon Corbeille urn from Accents of France, placed in the middle of the quatrefoil. 

Steve surprised Janice and proposed one evening after a lovely dinner for two. Of course, she said yes, and the adventure of wedding planning began. They decided to set the date for November 25, 2020, so the family in town for Thanksgiving could attend. 

Janice then heard about a gal in Lexington, Alex Narramore, known for creating fantastical cakes, wedding cakes in particular. Inspired by the façade of Janice’s office, Narramore designed a cake for the wedding reminiscent of the Le Pavillon Frais at Château de Versailles in France. The cake required a custom made pedestal approximately three feet tall and combined with the cake, the total height was over six feet and covered in treillage sculpted icing. 

The wedding was conducted in the only place that seemed appropriate, “Jardin de Janice.” The same garden that Janice and Steve created together became the garden they said their vows in together, a treasured moment shared with the couple’s closest friends and family.

Vendors
Music: Derby City Dandies
Photography: Andrea Hutchinson
Cake: Alex Narramore
Flowers: Nanz & Kraft Florist
Groom’s Attire: Charles Jourdan Paris
Bride’s Attire: Valentino Couture Italy
Catering: Liz Gastiger
Tent & Rentals: Rental Depot
Wedding Candles: The Home Candle Collection “Botherum” from rockcastlerivertradingco.com by Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens

Rob Samuels, Janice Carter Levitch and George Gatewood.

 

Jon Carloftis and Janice Carter Levitch.

 

Adita Bartolomei, Janice Carter Levitch and Ingrid Hernandez.

 

Lane Levitch, Jon Carloftis and Sarah Levitch.

 

Khandro Butler, Janice Carter Levitch and Marrzulena Butler.

An Enchanting Engagement

Casablanca Bridal dress; Richard Designs silk edge veil; Beaded headband; Diamond drop earrings, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville.

Photographer: Andrea Hutchinson
Stylist: Liz Bingham
Styling Assistants: Madison Ewing and Sarah Levitch
Makeup: Becca Schell
Model: Jasmine Bennett of Heyman Talent
Location: Oxmoor Farm

Casablanca Bridal dress; Richard Designs silk edge veil; Beaded headband; Diamond drop earrings, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville.

Casablanca Bridal dress; Richard Designs silk edge veil; Beaded headband; Diamond drop earrings, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville.

Justin Alexander Signature dress; Beaded edge veil; Pearl hair clip; Rose gold Swarovski crystal bracelet; Beje Swarovski crystal earrings, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Turkey fur shawl, $38; Badgley Mischka pumps, $52, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.

Forest Lilly dress, $30; Badgley Mischka crop jacket, $48; Evening purse, $12, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Pearl hair clip; Pearl drop earrings; Veil, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Shoes from model’s personal collection.

Justin Alexander Signature dress; Richard Designs horsehair veil; Yellow gold Swarovski crystal drop earrings; Yellow gold Swarovski crystal headband; Yellow gold Swarovski crystal bracelet; Swarovski crystal pendant necklace, prices upon request, available at The Bridal Suite of Louisville. Grandella vintage fur coat, $52, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.

Gardens Aglimmer

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

 

In December, for six nights only, the Waterfront Botanical Gardens hosted “Gardens Aglimmer” that featured a sparkling winter wonderland with swans, snowflakes, oversized flowers and icicle arches over the new Beargrass Creek Pathway.