Get a Taste of the Kentucky Derby’s Star-Studded Gala

04/25/2014 at 01:58 PM ET

Kentucy Derby Recipes
Courtesy Barnstable Brown Derby

Hold on to your wide-brim hats: It’s time to start planning this year’s Kentucky Derby watch party.

The big question: What to serve? Southern fare goes hand-in-hand with Derby weekend  — and this year, we’re turning to one of Louisville’s ritziest events for dining inspiration.

The Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala, which brings together superstars like Miranda Lambert, Tom Brady and the Kings of Leon for a night of music, fun, and food, is famous for serving up local favorites on the night before the big race. Some years, performers have even taken the stage with their dinner plates still in hand!

That fits with the relaxed vibe of the bash: Dishes like corn pudding and beef tenderloin with Henry Bain sauce — a spicy-sweet sauce that’s a Louisville tradition — are all served buffet-style.

And would it really be the Derby without cocktails? This year, surprise guests by offering something besides mint juleps. The gala’s Reserve Bourbon Old Fashioned, a drink invented in Louisville, is elegant and oh-so-easy to make.

Chris Barnstable-Brown, who grew up in house where the gala is held, shares the secret to creating a few Kentucky favorites in your home kitchen.

Reserve Bourbon Old Fashioned

2 oz. bourbon
1 crushed sugar cube
3 dashes bitters
1 maraschino cherry

Combine ingredients in a glass with ice, stir and serve.

Henry Bain Sauce 

1/3 cup mango or peach chutney, best available
4 tbsp. steak sauce
4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp. chili sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sriracha sauce, to taste

In a pot over medium heat, stir in the ingredients. Heat until slightly thickened, then allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

—Emma Tyler

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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