We were delighted to partner with Bulleit Bourbon and our local distributor, Wirtz Beverage Group, to raise funds for Toys for Tots during the holidays. Founder Tom Bulleit was on hand to sign bottles and greet special guests at kick-off cocktail parties held in our Marion and O’Fallon locations. We developed special recipes, each using Bulleit as an ingredient, and a percentage of proceeds from those menu items, augmented with a significant amount from Bulleit, was donated to Southern Illinois Toys for Tots. The items, particularly the Bulleit Wings, were so popular that a few might be making a repeat appearance. Stay tuned!
Receiving the Barbecue Heroine award myself and presenting it to Bonnie Gomez the following year are two highlights of my barbecue life.
The Barbecue Heroine award was established in 2001 by Carolyn Wells after watching Kathy Murphy of Ranch Hands BBQ work tirelessly at a National Barbecue Association convention. The award honors a woman who contributes significantly to the National Barbecue Association and the world of barbecue. Each year the current Heroine nominates the next year’s recipient. This year, Linda Orrison of The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint and the convention chair, presented the award to her daughter, Brooke Orrison Lewis, whose support and work was instrumental in producing the convention.
Well done, Brooke. Welcome to the club!