Lynn Rupley-Smith Wins Blue Ribbon at 34th Annual Evan Williams Bourbon Cooking Contest

— August 19, 2019

LOUISVILLE, KY – The 34th annual Evan Williams Bourbon Cooking Contest kicked off the culinary competitions at the Kentucky State Fair on Friday, August 16, showcasing some of the most creative Bourbon dishes in the Commonwealth. Heaven Hill Distillery, producers of Evan Williams Bourbon, awarded the coveted Blue Ribbon top prize to Lynn Rupley-Smith of Louisville, Ky., for her Plant Butter Bourbon Potato Casserole.

A distinguished panel of local judges selected the entrée from 50 entries this year. Red (second place) and White (third place) ribbons were awarded to Lisa Echsner of Louisville, Ky. for her Evan’s Sweet Potato Tipsy Bisque-y and Kelli Lewis of Louisville, Ky. for her Kentucky Highlander Beef Bourbon Pie, respectively.

Judges for the contest included Steve Coomes, food and spirits writer, speaker and book author; Sarah Fritschner, Coordinator, Louisville Farm to Table and local food consultant writer; Sara Havens, Freelance Spirits Writer, blogger, and book author; Fred Minnick, Wall Street Journal-bestselling author; Maggie Kimberl, Content Editor and contributor for several Whiskey publications; and Jodie Filiatreau, Artisanal Distiller for the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.

During the judging, contestants and spectators were treated to a cooking with Bourbon demonstration by Chef Jeff Dailey, Executive Chef at Harvest Restaurant in NuLu. Chef Dailey performed the demonstration using Evan Williams Bourbon, America’s second-largest selling Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Also, on hand to assist was Harvest’s Lead Line Cook, Daniel Ortiz, and keeping the crowd on its toes were hosts Jesse and MJ from 106.9 PLAY.

Heaven Hill Distillery, 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 Lauren Cherry, Assistant Communications Manager for Heaven Hill Distillery. “In this 34th 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.

34th Annual Evan Williams Bourbon Cooking Contest Winning Recipe
August 16, 2019

Plant Butter Bourbon Potato Casserole
Lynn Rupley-Smith, Louisville, KY 


  • 6 large sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • ½ cup plant butter
  • ¾ cup Evan Williams Bourbon Whiskey


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • ¼ cup plant butter


Cook, peel, and mash sweet potatoes. Add brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix together and spoon into a 9 inch round casserole dish. For topping, cut butter into flour and brown sugar and sprinkle on top of mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.



Emily Gahafer

Communications Coordinator

(502) 813-2375

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