Chef Reed Johnson with Thursday's star attraction. Facebook photo

Cards or Cats? We expect to see a lot of you in the Yum! Center, or at your favorite sports bar, decked out in red or blue for the basketball game of the year tonight. As for the rest of Christmas week, the highlight is the Red Barn Kitchen (see below) event Thursday.

Big Pig. Start things off Thursday at the Whole Hog Throwdown at the Red Barn Kitchen. Before you go, take a listen to Reed Johnson’s plans for the 300-pound pig (on the podcast link below), which was delivered to the Red Barn by a local farmer. For $15, you get as much of the pork as you want, and the drink specials ($6 cocktails, $2 beers, 5-9 p.m.) may have you remembering some of those nights at Joe’s Older Than Dirt.

Pettry’s Rising Star: Not only was Decca chef Annie Pettry recently chosen for Bravo Network’s Top Chef TV show, she was just named one of three chefs on Thrillist’s Best Chefs of 2016, along with SuperChefs’ Darnell Ferguson and Laura Rountree of The Table. And you can hear Annie’s interview with our Steve Coomes on this week’s podcast here:

A Billion in Bourbon: 77 distillery projects with a value of $1 billion have been announced in Kentucky since 2010, according to a C-J story. Here at EDT, we’ve reported on awesome projects at Castle & Key, Jeptha Creed, Rabbit Hole, Peerless and others. However, Kentucky Distilling Association president Eric Gregory says that while we may rightly lay claim to being the bourbon capital, we’re not the only state growing distilleries. In fact, nine other states have more.

Partners Greg Hayden and Brian Minrath at Jtown's 3rd Turn Brewery
Partners Greg Hayden and Brian Minrath at Jtown’s 3rd Turn Brewery

Oldham County Brew: The four partners at 3rd Turn Brewing take their craft seriously, and are expanding into Crestwood by purchasing a 4-acre farm (on which to grow ingredients) and create the first brewery in Oldham County. Co-owner Greg Hayden told Insider Louisville the partners’ focus is to serve their beer in-house, much like the first location in Jeffersontown.

Basa’s Decade: If you’re a fan of Basa, make plans to get in there this week. Check Steve’s story about the end of a 10-year run for Basa, operated by the Ton brothers on Frankfort Avenue.

Tumeric Taste Trend: According to local beverage developer Flavorman, the top trending flavors next year will be turmeric, coconut and “hot and spicy.” Flavorman founder David Dafoe was a guest on the Aug. 19 EDT podcast. A company release said “2017 is shaping up to be all about seeking healthy and clean, oldies but goodies.” Tumeric is known for its health benefits.