Tickets are on sale now for the May 20 Taste of the Bluegrass, the fundraiser for God’s Pantry Food Bank. The annual event offers Lexington foodies a chance to sample some of the best food and drinks around and party at Keeneland’s Keene Barn and Entertainment Center, 4201 Versailles Road. Early-bird tickets, available until May 1, are $75 each. Beginning May 1, tickets are $85. You get to sample from more than 60 providers, including craft beer makers and wineries, and local restaurants and food makers. Ticketholders get to vote on their favorites in several categories. For more information, go to Godspantry.org.
▪ La Petite Delicat’s Sylviana Herrin is collaborating with Amaranthus Paper & Flora to offer special gifts for Mother’s Day, which is May 8. Meredith Eastburn, the owner, will have a pop-up market at La Petite Delicat, 445 South Ashland, selling her flower paper bouquets from 1 to 6 p.m. May 6. La Petite Delicat is also offering a Mother’s Day gift box in flower patterns. You get six assorted macarons for $15. Order online at lapetitedelicat.com by 5 p.m. May 2 for shipping.
▪ Azur, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, will kick off the Kentucky Derby with Bourbon & Bets, a four-course dinner paired with four whiskeys from the Jim Beam portfolio and betting tips for Churchill Downs from handicapper Ellis Starr. The dinner, 7 p.m. May 4, will feature soft-shell crab, wild boar-stuffed bell pepper, stuffed wagyu brisket and chocolate Guinness cake paired with Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek, Knob Creek Smoked Maple, and Booker’s. Tickets are $65 each; call 859-296-1007 to reserve a spot.
▪ Chef Jonathan Lundy and TJ Cox have formed Jonathan’s Events and are now booking special dinners around the Bluegrass. The first will be a dinner at the Carrick House Atrium, 312 North Limestone, 6:30 p.m. May 4, featuring a preview of special Kenefick Ranch wines by Caitlin Kenefick Innes and Chris Kenefick, in town for the Wine Auction & Derby Gala on May 5 at Donamire Farm to benefit the Lexington Cancer Foundation. Tickets for the dinner are $100; buy online at Jonathansevents.com, where you can preview the menu. Tickets for the Wine Auction and Derby Gala are sold out, so this might be your best chance to get in on the fun.
Lundy plans to offer more events soon, including a Morels & Pinots dinner at 6:30 p.m. May 12 at the Grounds Keeper’s Cottage at Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, 120 Sycamore Road. Tickets are $100 and can be bought online.
▪ Wallace Station Deli, 3854 Old Frankfort Pike, is creating a hot Kentucky Proud buffet breakfast to celebrate horses and mothers on Derby Day, May 7, and Mother’s Day, May 8. “Wallace Station is a handy stop for those who are headed to Keeneland or Churchill Downs to watch the races on Saturday, and for families who want a kid-friendly place to celebrate moms on Sunday,” owner Ouita Michel said.
Chef Ethan Bowling will serve a buffet on the Wallace Station lawn 9 a.m. to noon. The menu includes vegetarian strata made with Clark Family Farm eggs with house-made salsa; Country Rock maple baked ham; grilled Woodford County asparagus; fresh fruit and yogurt; Weisenberger cheese grits; hash-brown casserole; Bluegrass Aquaponics lettuces with sorghum vinaigrette; Midway Bakery miniscones, muffins and biscuits; and orange juice, milk, ice tea and coffee. Live music on the back porch with the Pawpaw Pickers Saturday and Sunday during buffet hours. Cost is $18.99 adults, $10 ages 6-10, free for ages 5 and younger. For more information, call 859-846-5161.
▪ Bayou Bluegrass Catering is offering a Mother’s Day Brunch at Copper Roux, 861 South Broadway, with a range of seating times from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $34 for adults, $29.50 for seniors, $16.50 for children 8 to 4, and free for children 3 and under. Call 859-523-7915 to make a reservation. Buffet includes a breakfast station, salad station, entree and side station, carving station, and dessert station. And every mother gets a free mimosa.
▪ Getting in the Derby mood? The fourth annual Lexington Rose Julep contest is 6 to 8 p.m. April 27 at the Grand Reserve, 935 East Manchester Street. Mixologists from Lexington restaurants and bars will create their own take on the Derby’s classic cocktail, the mint julep,using Four Roses Bourbon. At 6 p.m., the bartenders will serve samples of their creations to attendees, who can then vote for People’s Choice. It’s $5 at the door, benefitting the Lexington Art League. Four Roses master distiller Brent Elliott will be there.
▪ Tickets are savailable for Derby Eve Lexington, a benefit gala, 8 p.m. May 6 at the five-story James Pepper Distillery Warehouse, 1170 Manchester Street. Cincinnati sports commentator and Reds announcer Jeff Piecoro will be the host. Tickets are $100 and include open bars, gourmet food, signature drinks, valet parking, 1980s and ’90s dance band The Spazmatics, DJ Tank, a red carpet entrance, and a huge dance floor. VIP tickets, including G.H. Mumm champagne bar, expanded bars and food, are $350, or $2,500 for a reserved table for eight. Tickets are available online at DerbyEveLex.com.
▪ Keeneland’s spring meet will end Friday with a free Concert on the Hill to benefit the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center. Live music from Sundy Best and Emerson Drive at 6 p.m., after the racing ends. There will be tailgating and food trucks.
▪ Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, will have Polynesian cuisine for International Night on April 27. From 5:30 to 9 p.m., you can get kalua pork, salt-rubbed slow-roasted Stone Cross Farm pork with pineapple ginger salsa, macaroni salad and sesame kale; seared mahi mahi; huli huli, chicken or tofu with broccoli, carrots and yellow and red peppers in a spicy sauce with pineapple, tomato, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic topped with cucumber, scallion and crushed peanuts; loco moco, quarter pound seared local beef patty served on rice with a fried egg, smoked cheddar, roasted red pepper ketchup and mushroom gravy; or coconut black beans, simmered with sweet potato, spinach and onion in a coconut milk sauce with lime, ginger, chilies and spices served over rice with pineapple-ginger salsa. Next week: Kentucky night.
▪ Grimes Mill Winery, 6707 Grimes Mill Road, is having a free early Derby event, 1 to 5 p.m. April 30, with barbecue and music from 3 to 5 p.m. by Roger Bauer. On May 5, for Cinco de “Vino,” sangria is $5 a glass all afternoon. Call 859-543-9691 for info.