Great spirits. Delicious food.
All for a good cause.

Class and country collide in one incredible weekend when you can experience the diverse and wonderful spirits produced by Tennessee distillers. With two unique events, you can pick the one that aligns best with your taste or opt for an opulent full weekend getaway experience. Either way, you’re in for a treat.

Immerse yourself in the vibrancy of downtown Nashville, the spectrum of spirits produced by more than two dozen distilleries – including that mysteriously wonderful Tennessee whiskey – and delicious food. Proceeds will benefit Tennessee Distillers Guild and L5 Foundation for the support of veterans battling cancer.

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Tennessee
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events
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Friday, December 13

THE GEORGE JONES
Nashville, TN
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM CST

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Summon the spirit of “The Possum” with Tennessee spirits and whiskey tastings and divine food from esteemed chefs at the Tennessee Spirits Gala at the The George Jones. Interact with renowned chefs who will prepare your dinner tableside and visit with master distillers from across the state. Enjoy live music, including a set from John Rich of Big and Rich. Don your finest holiday attire and experience an evening that celebrates the best of Tennessee.

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Saturday, December 14

OMNI NASHVILLE HOTEL
Nashville, TN
1:00 PM – 11:00 PM CST

Celebrate the splendor of the season at Tennessee Whiskey Christmas at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Pull on your Nashville-casual boots and jeans, then stop in to sharpen your spirits knowledge in four fun seminars. Then head over to the main event where nearly 30 Tennessee distillers will share multiple flavors.

Pace yourself – the combinations are endless! Visit your favorite Tennessee distillers and try some new ones, too. Enjoy a delectable dinner, then wrap up your holiday shopping by sending bottles and other treats to family and friends right from our on-site store.

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Distilleries


DISTILLERS

Alex Castle
Alex CastleOld Dominick Making Spirits isn’t as much a job as it is a calling, and Alex Castle found hers early on. As a ... Read full bio

Making Spirits isn’t as much a job as it is a
calling, and Alex Castle found hers early on.
As a Kentucky native, there’s a passion for
good bourbon that runs deep. As chemical
engineer, there’s a love of the process that
takes something simple and makes it sublime.
Her talent, passion, and creativity are why she
was supervising Wild Turkey’s 24-hour-a-day
operation at only 24 years old, and why we’re
proud to have her continue the Old Dominick
legacy. For her many accomplishments and
tireless pursuit of excellence, Alex Castle,
was appointed as the state of Tennessee’s
first female Head Distiller. She now holds
the title Master Distiller.

Paired with:

Heath Clark
Heath ClarkH Clark Distillery Heath grew up on a small farm near Winchester, Tennessee, and earned a B.A. in History and J.D. ... Read full bio

Heath grew up on a small farm near Winchester, Tennessee, and earned a B.A. in History and J.D. from the University of Tennessee. In addition to distilling craft Tennessee spirits, Heath is a practicing attorney that provides healthcare regulatory and transactional advice to his clients in primarily the hospital operations and utilization management industry sectors.  Heath began his legal career at the law firm of Bass Berry & Sims in Nashville, Tennessee, spent several years in-house at Iasis Healthcare and in early 2010, Heath started Clark Business and Health Law.  Heath was a member of the 2015-16 Leadership Franklin Class, he serves on the boards of Williamson Inc., The Tennessee Distillers Guild, Hospital Hospitality House, and Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Heath lives in that middle ground between Franklin and Thompson’s Station with his wife Becky, their two children, Maddie and Tucker, a two year old German Shepherd named Jagger. And he raises cattle with his brothers on their family farm near Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Growing up, Heath was the kid always sneaking off with the power tools to build something in the barn.  The desire to create something tangible and have an outlet for creativity led to a passion for craft distilling, and Heath began pursuing that passion in 2008. Following the successful legislative efforts in 2009 and some regrouping, Heath began renovating the old town granary in Thompson’s Station in 2012, and in August 2014, H Clark Distillery became the first legal distillery in Williamson County since the imposition of Prohibition in 1910. By trusting in tradition, H Clark Distillery has developed and produces Tennessee Dry Gin, Tennessee Black & Tan Whiskey, and Tennessee Bourbon. 

Paired with:

Greg Eidam
Greg EidamSugarlands Distilling Company Sugarlands Distilling Company’s Head Distiller, Greg Eidam, took an unusual path into the ... Read full bio

Sugarlands Distilling Company’s Head Distiller, Greg Eidam, took an unusual path into the craft-spirits world. Greg graduated from tSugarlands Distilling Company’s Head Distiller, Greg Eidam, took an unusual path into the craft-spirits world. Greg graduated from the University of Tennessee and spent 20 years as a civil engineer. He dabbled in home brewing for most of those 20 years, but really became interested in the science behind home brewing when he discovered an old soccer buddy was a world-renowned master brewer. In 2012, Eidam’s best friend called him up and said, “what do you think about opening a distillery.” He took no time to say, “I’m in!” And he has never looked back. Greg is a true student of the distilling industry and has taken hours of educational courses and continues to expand his knowledge by attending seminars and classes. Greg enjoys spending his free time hiking and backpacking in the mountains of East Tennessee with his best friend, Australian Mountain dog, Frodo.

he University of Tennessee and spent 20 years as a civil engineer. He dabbled in home brewing for most of those 20 years, but really became interested in the science behind home brewing when he discovered an old soccer buddy was a world-renowned master brewer. In 2012, Eidam’s best friend called him up and said, “what do you think about opening a distillery.” He took no time to say, “I’m in!” And he has never looked back. Greg is a true student of the distilling industry and has taken hours of educational courses and continues to expand his knowledge by attending seminars and classes. Greg enjoys spending his free time hiking and backpacking in the mountains of East Tennessee with his best friend, Australian Mountain dog, Frodo.

Paired with:

Chefs

Michael Sullivan
Michael SullivanAmerican Butcher Known to friends as “Sully” or “the Reverend,” Michael is a graduate of Culinary Institute ... Read full bio

Known to friends as “Sully” or “the Reverend,” Michael is a graduate of Culinary Institute of America. He has vast experience in the meat game, having spent time at various chef and butcher positions early in his career before landing at Blackberry Farm, where he worked as Butcher and Charcutier for ten years. There, he could indulge his deep-rooted love of all things cutting and cured.  While at Blackberry Farm, Sullivan began working at Cochon 555 and spent 5 years on the road with the tour; working with chefs, butchers and farmers across the country.

Now, he has embarked on an adventure of creating a company called American Butcher, focusing on producing meats, sausages and charcuterie products. Outside of American Butcher, Michael spends time supporting specialty food events, such as L5 Foundation (caring for the recovery of cancer patients), the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour and various food and wine events.  He considers his wife of 24 years, and their two amazing children, as the most supportive force in his career.

Paired with: Old Forge Distillery

Andrew Whitney
Andrew WhitneyM Street Entertainment Group Andrew Whitney was born in Dallas, but spent most of his life in Middle Tennessee. He began his ... Read full bio

Andrew Whitney was born in Dallas, but spent most of his life in Middle Tennessee. He began his career as a dishwasher at age 15, and worked his way around various areas of the kitchen. While he never had that ‘moment’ were he knew he wanted to be a chef, Whitney fell in love with cooking at a young age and did everything possible to find success in the industry. Whitney believes his passion for success and hard work comes from his father, who worked his way from a construction worker framing houses to becoming the Vice President of the largest home building company in Middle Tennessee.

Whitney went on to accomplish his career goals by receiving his Chef’s training at the Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta. He was the executive chef for a Nashville food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant, Riff’s Fine Street Food, before joining the M Street Family. He is now the executive chef of Virago, the award-winning Asian fusion restaurant. His newest menu contributions are heavily influenced by the season, created with respect for regional traditions as well as Asian culture.

Paired with: H. Clark Distillery

Jeremy Waybright
Jeremy WaybrightVoltaggio Brothers Jeremy Waybright serves as the executive chef for Voltaggio Brothers Steak House, an ... Read full bio

Jeremy Waybright serves as the executive chef for Voltaggio Brothers Steak House, an ModernAmerican restaurant by Bryan & Micheal Voltaggio. Waybright, who describes himself as an American chef through-and-through, has traveled within the domestic cooking scene for almost 25 years, before finally landing in Washington, DC. 

He found inspiration in mentors such as Alain Jacqmin at Le Chambord, Chef Donna Chriszt of OZ Bar & Bistro and in D.C. restaurateur Bryan Voltaggio at Range, whose American-influenced styles encouraged him to not be bound by the rules of cooking, and served as a reminder of how incorporative, playful and diverse American cooking can be – a style he embodies still today. Finally, Waybright made his way to the Washington, DC area, working in several roles before serving as the opening executive chef at Boss Shepherd’s where he received high accolades. To Waybright, what defines American cuisine is its blend of outside influences paired with an abundance of domestically available ingredients, which he sources whenever possible. He admits to a special affinity for coastal and southern cooking, especially within the Chesapeake Bay area.

Paired with: Jack Daniels Distillery

Hrant Arakelian
Hrant ArakelianLyra Hrant was born in Lebanon (his father is Armenian and his mother a native of East Tennessee), and ... Read full bio

Hrant was born in Lebanon (his father is Armenian and his mother a native of East Tennessee), and raised in Muscat, Oman. At a young age Hrant was invited to share in the passion his parents held for cooking, and he considers those early childhood memories of being in the kitchen, and at the table with his parents to be the primary driving force for his culinary pursuit. His family departed the Middle East for Nashville around the time of his eighth birthday, and since decided to make it his permanent home. As a young man Hrant was inspired to do a fair amount of travel. His backpacking tour through Europe as well as extended stays back in Oman, accompanied by his father, only further spurred his interest in the world’s cuisines. This diverse exposure, both at home and abroad, set the course for his professional life in the kitchen.

Upon his entry to professional kitchens, Hrant found himself working with restauranteur Randy Rayburn at long-time Hillsboro Village staple Sunset Grill. He honed his skills at Flyte World Dining & Wine, and in 2008, Hrant was offered the Sous Chef position at Zola’s. His time spent working under the local legend Deb Paquette led him to management and sous positions at the Amerigo Company and beyond. Hrant has held Sous and Executive Chef positions at Rumours East, Adeles, Butchertown Hall, The Holland House Bar & Refuge, and most recently as Chef de Cuisine at Deb Paquette’s flagship kitchen, Etch.

After almost two decades of honing his skill, Hrant and his wife Liz (industry veteran and long-standing former Beverage Director of East Nashville’s Lockeland Table) finally set out on their own project. Hrant’s passion for the family tradition and food of his childhood matched by Liz’s curious spirit for wine and libations, and their shared dream of bringing modern middle eastern food to their neighbors has delivered Lyra to East Nashville.

Paired with: Postmodern Spirits

Aaron Swersky
Aaron SwerskyPrivate Chef A native of Knoxville, TN, Aaron has been training and cooking in restaurants since he was in high ... Read full bio

A native of Knoxville, TN, Aaron has been training and cooking in restaurants since he was in high school.

After earning his Bachelors degree in Restaurant and Foodservice management from UT, Aaron completed the ACAP program at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Saint Helena, CA. While in culinary school, Aaron worked as a butcher at Cochon555 and Primal Napa Valley assisting chefs Chris Cosentino and Ryan Farr.

Upon his return to the Southeast, he worked as a poissonier at some of the regions top restaurants, including Blackberry Farm and FIG.  Aaron is best known in Charleston for his time as fishmonger at Abundant Seafood, a top local fish purveyor. Working side by side with Mark Marhefka, Aaron caught, fileted and sold fresh catch to Charleston’s best restaurants.

Prior to opening Herd Provisions, Aaron has been extensively training at Williamsburg Packing Co. in Kingstree, SC, where he’s honed his whole animal butchery technique, overseeing the process from live animal to meat on the plate.

Paired with: Cascade Hollow Distilling Company

Joe Denomme
Joe DenommeOle Red Whether Ole Red is at the top of your bucket list or you just wandered in itchin’ for a little ... Read full bio

Whether Ole Red is at the top of your bucket list or you just wandered in itchin’ for a little fun in the heart of Nashville, we’re glad you made it.

Ole Red gets its name from Blake Shelton’s breakout hit, “Ol’ Red”, and being here is a lot like hanging out with the guy himself: laid-back and genuine, up for anything, a bit irreverent (but always fun)—and set to great music. No matter how you do Ole Red, you can expect an edge-of-your seat good time!

Pro tip: You never know who might take the stage at Ole Red—so BE READY. From hot up-and-comers to surprise celebrity guests, you’re at the only spot on the strip with talent that’s hand-picked by the people who KNOW great music: Opry Entertainment. We’re not afraid to brag about our class-A stage, screen, and sound system either; it’s the best setup on Broadway, hands down, and there’s not a bad seat in the house.

So settle in with a BS-approved cocktail, order a plate of Redneck Nachos or Southern Tater Tot Poutine, enjoy our famous Champagne of Fried Chicken or any other of our made-from-scratch menu items and special desserts—and let us here in Music City show off a little for you. Take a stroll around, talk to a stranger, and take as many questionable selfies as you want (blame it on the drinks later). And don’t leave until you’ve checked out the awesome view from The Lookout, our L.A.-meets-Lower Broad rooftop bar.

We appreciate you coming by. You have the fun. We’ll do the dishes.

Paired with: Sugarlands Distillery

Qui Tran
Qui TranNudo House Qui Tran and his family left war-torn Vietnam in 1978. They immigrated to St. Louis in 1980, ... Read full bio

Qui Tran and his family left war-torn Vietnam in 1978. They immigrated to St. Louis in 1980, and five years later, Qui's mother, Lee, opened the first Vietnamese restaurant in St. Louis, Mai Lee. Qui grew up in the family business and has worked his way around the kitchen and front of the house since he was 13 years old. 

Now the face of the wildly successful Mai Lee, Qui also unveiled a new dining concept of his own - Nudo House - in 2017, with the second location set to open Fall 2019. Nudo celebrates the joys of Pan-Asian cuisine while incorporating local ingredients and collaborations. 

Tran is a relentless champion for the local dining scene (and St. Louis as a whole). "I'm incredibly proud of this city for what it has become and how it continues to grow. I am honored to be in the company of the restaurateurs and chefs in St. Louis. I love the fact that, over the last ten years or so, our community has truly embraced local and independent spots. There is so much amazing food to be had here, and we are lucky that more unbelievable places keep opening up every month."

Paired with: Corsair Distillery

David Harker
David HarkerOmni Nashville Hotel  As the Executive Chef of the Omni Nashville Hotel, Chef David Harker oversees all culinary ... Read full bio

 As the Executive Chef of the Omni Nashville Hotel, Chef David Harker oversees all culinary operations for the hotel. This includes creative and managerial direction for banquet and pastry operations, in-room dining, and the hotel’s signature dining venues: Kitchen Notes, Barlines, Bongo Java, and the rooftop pool. Harker’s mission is to create an authentic expression of Nashville’s vibrant culture through culinary interpretations. 

With over 26 years of culinary and hospitality experience, David Harker was the Executive Chef at the 4 star, 4 diamond Omni Interlocken Resort in Denver, Colorado. There he was responsible for all culinary and back-of-house operations for the resort including The Meritage Restaurant, The Tap Room, all banquets and catering operations. Prior to his tenure with Omni Hotels and Resorts, Chef Harker was the Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage for Miller Global and their transition team for Nickelodeon Family Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida. There he worked directly under Anthony Melchiorri, TV personality and host of “Hotel Impossible.” Chef Harker oversaw, all new concept development, daily food and beverage operations of the resort, staff hiring and training and the health and wellness program. Prior to this, he was a task force Chef for Starwood Hotels and Resorts (opening team and Executive Sous Chef, The Westin in Westminster, Colorado, Four Points by Sheraton in Denver, The Westin in Charlotte, North Carolina, task force Chef at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco, The W at Chicago City Center, Executive Chef at The Westin in Dallas Park Central) Other notable experiences include: Chef and Co-Owner of Babaloo Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado; Executive Chef at Marc’s Steak and Oyster Bar and Valentines Italian Restaurant, two of the most successful restaurants in North Denver. 

Harker holds a culinary degree from the Western Culinary Institute and Metropolitan State College of Denver and has been a contributing member of the American Culinary Federation. Chef Harker has been a two-time invite to Omni Hotel’s Master Chefs series — CIA Hyde Park New York and CIA San Antonio. Professional awards include: first place, People’s Choice Award 2011 and Most Creative Award 2013 in The Taste of Elegance Beer Festival in Colorado; first place, People’s Choice Award “Spirit of the West” at the 2003 Taste of Elegance Pork Competition in Colorado; and 2002 Silver Medal Winner and 2000 Bronze Medal Winner at the Governor’s Symposium. 

Specialties include concept creations, kitchen consulting and design, team building, task force assistance, menu design and development and ice carving. 

Paired with:

Jody DiSabantonio
Jody DiSabantonioSysco Nashville As the Chef for Sysco Nashville, Chef Jody DiSabantonio helps customers perfect their menus and ... Read full bio

As the Chef for Sysco Nashville, Chef Jody DiSabantonio helps customers perfect their menus and grow their businesses.  Chef Jody’s passion for delectable cuisine began in his formative years after spending countless hours in the kitchen with his baker grandfather and home-cook Italian grandmother.  Working in various restaurants in Rochester, NY as a teenager, Chef Jody decided to pursue cooking as a career.  Upon graduation from the esteemed Culinary Institute of America, the invigorated chef worked in St John, USVI, Rochester, NY, Nashville, TN, and Rosemary Beach, FL.  The experience of working at top restaurants and honing his skills as he learned new cuisines, Chef Jody found his niche in blending his Italian background, with his Caribbean experience, and the freshness of the Gulf Coast offerings. 

Chef Jody has worked at Sysco for 10 years as both a sales rep and most recently as the OpCo Chef.  Additionally, he is actively involved with Pro Start as a volunteer mentor for young culinarians.  He currently resides in Franklin, TN along with his wife and their 2 beautiful children. 

Paired with:

Cristian Mosquera
Cristian MosqueraKitchen Notes Cristian Mosquera is the Chef De Cuisine at Kitchen Notes, the three-meal-a-day restaurant inside ... Read full bio

Cristian Mosquera is the Chef De Cuisine at Kitchen Notes, the three-meal-a-day restaurant inside the Omni Hotel in Nashville, TN. Since taking over as Chef de Cuisine, he has made the menu his own by introducing a modern and often spiced up new take on Southern comfort cuisine.

At Kitchen Notes, Cristian is responsible for preparing daily menu items, presentations, creating and implementing seasonal and special event menus, as well as overseeing the large staff and helping assist in large hotel-wide events. Prior to joining Kitchen Notes, Cristian was the Ocean Side Chef at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.

In that position, Cristian’s responsibilities ranged from overseeing all the kitchen operations and food production to working together with the executive sous chef and others to develop menus for holidays and special events as the Sprouting Project dinners, Chefs Kitchen and Chef Tables for VIP guests.

Cristian has won over 7 awards for his culinary excellence and has attended numerous chef’s events throughout the country to showcase his abilities. He graduated from Le Cordon Blu in Miami, FL with an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts.

Paired with:

Special Entertainment By


John Rich

American country music singer-songwriter. From 1992 to 1998, he was a member of the country music band Lonestar, in which he played bass guitar and alternated with Richie McDonald as lead vocalist. After departing from the band in 1998, he embarked on a solo career on BNA Records in the late 1990s, releasing two singles for the label and recording Underneath the Same Moon, which was not released until 2006.

In 2001, he self-released Rescue Me, an album he was inspired to record by a cancer patient named Katie Darnell. By 2003, he joined Big Kenny to form the duo Big & Rich, who released three albums on Warner Bros. Records as well as ten singles, including the Number One "Lost in This Moment". After Big & Rich went on hiatus in 2007, Rich began work on a third solo album, Son of a Preacher Man, which has produced two more chart singles. In 2011, Rich released two extended plays, Rich Rocks and For the Kids, before re-establishing Big & Rich in 2012.

James Carothers

James Carothers is known for his stone-country originals, spot-on impressions of several of country's greatest icons, and a large fan base of fiercely supportive followers who love real country music.

James can be found playing several shows each week at The George Jones, AJ’s Good Time Bar and a few other spots in Nashville, TN when he's not on the road, having played over 1200 public and private events since January 2015.

In 2019, James will be releasing a series of 12 new singles – one every month – under the banner ‘Songs and Stories.’ Previous releases include ‘Still Country, Still King: A Tribute to George Jones’ (September 2018), which debuted at #16 on the iTunes Country Chart, his first full-length original album ‘Relapse’ (May 2017) and an EP ‘Honky Tonk Land’ (June 2014).


sponsorships

$25,000

Presenting
Sponsor

  • Recognition as the single, exclusive Presenting Sponsor for all media and marketing materials for both the Tennessee Spirits Gala and the Tennessee Whiskey Christmas at the Omni
  • Prominent and lead position on all printed materials and social media
  • Company name branded in event title
  • Logo displayed at Tennessee Spirits Gala and Tennessee Whiskey Christmas at the Omni
  • Logo displayed on event website and the L5 Foundation website
  • Negotiable number of tickets for both VIP events
  • Negotiable number of tickets for the Meet and Greet with John Rich

$10,000

Determination Sponsor

  • Prominent position on all printed materials and social media for both events
  • Logo displayed at Tennessee Spirits Gala and Tennessee Whiskey Christmas at the Omni
  • Logo displayed on event website and the L5 Foundation website
  • 8 VIP tickets for the Tennessee Spirits Gala and attend the Meet and Greet with John Rich
  • 10 VIP tickets to the Tennessee Whiskey Christmas At the Omni

$5,000

Hope Sponsor

  • Logo displayed at Tennessee Spirits Gala and Tennessee Whiskey Christmas at the Omni
  • Logo displayed on event website and the L5 Foundation website
  • Recognition on social media platform
  • 8 VIP tickets for the Tennessee Spirits Gala and 4 tickets to attend the Meet and Greet with John Rich
  • 5 VIP tickets to the Tennessee Whiskey Christmas At the Omni

$2,500

Faith Sponsor

  • Logo displayed at Tennessee Spirits Gala and Tennessee Whiskey Christmas at the Omni
  • Logo displayed on event website and the L5 Foundation website
  • Recognition on social media platform
  • 4 VIP tickets for the Tennessee Spirits Gala and 2 tickets to attend the Meet and Greet with John Rich
  • 5 VIP tickets to the Tennessee Whiskey Christmas At the Omni

$1,000

Sponsor

  • 2 VIP tickets for the Tennessee Spirits Gala and 2 tickets to attend the Meet and Greet with John Rich
  • 2 VIP tickets to the Tennessee Whiskey Christmas At the Omni
For more information, please contact

Christy Buchanan
magnoliameeting@gmail.com
865-250-4080

sponsors

Platinum

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Media Sponsors

We proudly support the VA and their mission to fulfill President Lincoln's promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans.
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L5 is focused on the essential and basic needs of cancer patients. Many families are overwhelmed during a family member’s cancer treatments and need help buying food or clothes, cleaning house, or even finding a baby sitter. L5 raises and distributes funds to organizations focused on basic patient care.

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The mission of the Tennessee Distillers Guild is to responsibly promote and advocate for the distilling industry in Tennessee through the collective voice of its members.