Food & Drink

Jean Farris chef, winemaker in running for James Beard awards

Jean Farris Bistro's executive chef, Justin Thompson, is in the running for a James Beard award.

Go to Jamesbeard.org and click on "awards." After registering, you can vote in 19 categories, including best restaurant, rising-star chef of the year, outstanding chef, and best chef: Southeast.

You also can vote for Jean Farris winemaker Ben O'Daniel as the outstanding wine and spirits professional. Jean Farris Winery & Bistro is at 6825 Old Richmond Road. Call (859) 263-9463 or go to Jeanfarris.com.

Business niche: sweets

Sondra Strunk has turned her candy- and jelly-making skills into a small Kentucky Proud business. She makes port wine candy, apricot wine candy, chocolate wine candy, port wine jelly, blackberry wine jelly and chardonnay lavender jelly.

She will have samples at Modern Mercantile, 3101 Clays Mill Road, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Louisville bourbon tasting

Bourbon Women, an organization focused on promoting Kentucky's signature spirit, will host a tasting event to kick off the holiday season. It will be at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Springhurst Liquor Barn, 4301 Towne Center Drive, Louisville. Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris, and Equus and Jack's Lounge mixologist, Joy Perrine, will be guest speakers. Go to Bourbonwomen.org.

Tea at Whitehall House

Whitehall House and Gardens in Louisville will hold its annual Victorian Christmas Tea at 3 p.m. Dec. 10. The historic mansion, at 3110 Lexington Road, will be decorated for the holiday season and the formal tea will feature sweets and savory tea sandwiches.

Tickets are $35, $20 for children 12 and younger. Call (502) 897-2944 or email whitehall@historichomes.org.

Design dinner on a dime

Buildamenu.com is an online menu-planning service that makes weekly meal plans based on grocery store sales. It also gives a running total of your expected costs. Just pick the store you want to shop, choose your meals and print the shopping list and recipes.

The economics of tastings

Do you wonder why wine shops are so eager to have you taste their wines before you buy? According to a recent study of wine retailers commissioned by Napa Technology, developer of the WineStation Intelligent Preservation and Dispensing System, most people buy wine in the $10-$20 price range. But when given the opportunity to try before they buy, customers will usually spend 5 to 15 percent more than they would on average if they hadn't sampled the wine first.

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