Bryon White Wins Top Prize for Original Bourbon Cuisine at 26th Annual Evan Williams Bourbon Cooking

August 22, 2011


LOUISVILLE, (Ky.) – The 26th annual Evan Williams Bourbon Cooking Contest kicked off the culinary competitions at the Kentucky State Fair on Friday, August 19th, showcasing many of the most creative Bourbon dishes in the Commonwealth. Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., producers of Evan Williams Bourbon, awarded the coveted Blue Ribbon top prize to Byron White of Louisville, Kentucky — for the second year in a row- for his Evan Williams Mini Steak and Bacon Tacos. White, who is the first entrant to win the contest two years in a row, also captured the Blue Ribbon last year for his Evan Williams Fruit Chutney Beef Spring Rolls.

A distinguished panel of local judges selected the entrée from over 40 entries this year. Red (second place) and White (third place) ribbons were awarded to Christy York Cox of Louisville, Kentucky for her Pistachio-crusted Chicken with Bourbon Mustard Sauce and Charles Halberdier of Louisville, Kentucky for his Barbecue Salmon with Sweet and Sour Sauce, respectively.

Judges for the contest included Ron Mikulak, Assistant Food Editor at The Courier-Journal; Ed Nolan, Executive Chef, Mitchell’s Fish Market; Jason Brauner, Owner, Bourbon’s Bistro; John Varanese, Executive Chef and Owner, Varanese; Barry Bernson, Fox 41 TV News; and Heaven Hill Master Distiller Craig Beam.

During the judging, contestants and spectators were treated to a cooking with Bourbon demonstration by Chef Albert Schmid, Chair, Beverage Management, Hotel-Restaurant Management and Hospitality Management Departments at Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies. Chef Schmid, who is author of the recently published The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook, performed the demonstration using Evan Williams Bourbon, America’s second-largest selling Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Also on hand to assist Chef Schmid and keep the crowd on its toes was host Shane Collins of New Country Q103.1 FM.

Heaven Hill Distilleries, the Bardstown, Ky.-based maker of distilled spirits, produces Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – named for the Commonwealth’s first distiller who set up his distillery on the banks of the Ohio River in 1783. “The unique heritage of America’s Native Spirit, coupled with the Commonwealth’s flagship exposition, presents a grand stage for some of the finest amateur chefs,” said Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. “In this 26th year of the Evan Williams Cooking Contest we are inspired by their creativity and enthusiasm.”

The recipes were rated on originality, ease of preparation, appearance, name and the contribution of Evan Williams Bourbon to the taste and aroma of the dish. In addition to receiving a coveted Kentucky State Fair prize ribbon and a cash prize, each of the winning entries will be considered for publication in the next “Cooking with Bourbon” recipe booklet, published periodically by Heaven Hill Distilleries.

Founded in 1934, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. ( is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams Bourbon; Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; HPNOTIQ and HPNOTIQ Harmonie Liqueurs; Admiral Nelson’s and Blackheart Rums; The Christian Brothers Brandies; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Lunazul Tequila and Rittenhouse Rye Whisky.

Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”

26th Annual Evan Williams Bourbon Cooking Contest Winning Recipe
August 19, 2011

Evan Williams Mini Steak and Bacon Tacos
Byron White, Louisville, KY

2 cups cooking oil
20 wonton wrappers
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, sliced thinly
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Evan Williams Bourbon
2 tbsp golden brown sugar
8 oz center cut bacon
1 lb skillet steak
4 oz Camembert cheese cut into 1/3 inch slices
1 cup baby arugula

Heat cooking oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Place wonton wrapper into oil and use two wooden spoons to push lightly down into oil. Allow to cook slightly before removing the spoons to obtain taco shape.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 8 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add balsamic vinegar, Evan Williams Bourbon, and brown sugar. Stir and then reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes. Cool.

Cook bacon in heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain all but 2 teaspoons of drippings. Increase heat and add steak. Cook for two to three minutes per side. Slice steak into ½ inch thick slices. Tear bacon into bite size pieces.

Fill taco shells with steak, cheese, bacon, bourbon onions and arugula. Enjoy with a shot of Evan Williams Bourbon.

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly