Kentucky Derby Party with ColorByK + Draper James!

May 3, 2018

My dear friend Kristin Chambless of ColorbyK, and I love dreaming up party ideas to help the modern, everyday hostess entertain in style a little easier…(yes, we are entertaining soul mates, so to speak!). So much so, that our whole #ENTERTAINbyKxSBS series was born from this mutual goal and our passion for throwing parties together. So, as you can imagine, I had a major moment when Kristin told me our little Derby party was going to be thrown with none other than Draper James (ahem, Reese Witherspoon’s fabulous Southern brand!).  We are both huge fans of Reese, and the essence of Draper James was a perfect pairing for the easy, breezy Derby party we had in mind!

Well, All… (or should I say, “Y’all!), the time is finally here! The countdown to the 144th Annual Kentucky Derby is on, and the The Draper James x Crate & Barrel Collection is LIVE – Kristin and I were thrilled to be some of the first hostesses to debut the new collection. I have to say, Derby aside, this fun blue and white melamine collection already has what I know will be my go-to summer staples.  They are fun, fresh, easy to clean and perfect for poolside BBQ’s and casual beach gatherings.  I can’t wait to use these pieces again for Memorial Day and July 4th!

Last week, Kristin and I had the best time crafting this fun, fresh Derby party as our next installment of #ENTERTAINbyKxSBS!  For this party, we wanted to keep things simple so we could enjoy a Julep or two and still catch the races! We kept it classic with little nods to the races and age-old Kentucky traditions (think classic Benedictine and Pimento cheese sandwiches, a few roses tucked here and there, and plenty of fresh mint!), without being expected.  Kristin created a gorgeous fresh arrangement in my antique silver punch bowl (to accent the julep cups!) with white hydrangea and a few white “run for the roses.”  We added a few silver Draper James julep cups with big, fresh bouquets of mint for added color and texture, and a little added play on the julep aspect of the event (TIP: herbs and other edibles are always interesting alternatives to flowers!).  Aside from the sweet touches they added to the table, the smell was AMAZING!

For the menu, I put a few twists on Southern classics with fun presentation, sticking to ‘tried and true’ recipes and simple, nostalgic flavors. I baked off some amazing little Callie’s Charleston ham cocktail biscuits that were the perfect time saver without sacrificing quality.  I’m serious, ladies – no culinary school training could make mine taste like these!! The flavor, plus the amount of time you save is a game-changer.  I’ll be doing a post on freezer staples and these babies are on the top of my list! You just let them thaw, wrap in foil and bake – 30 min later you are in Southern comfort heaven…I’m still dreaming of these pillows of goodness, and they are the perfect size for cocktail party hors d’oeuvres too. You can pick them up at most freezer sections in higher-end grocery stores or order them online and keep in your freezer. Do yourself a favor and grab some of the cheese crisps too…and a gym membership!
Adding a few fresh salads, and garnishing a pretty store-bought (it’s ok!) lemon tart, added color to the table and lightened up the heavier comfort food for the perfect early May celebration!  Be sure to check out a few of my other Derby recipes below on the Draper James blog this week!
Bourbon Spiced Pecans
Deviled Eggs with Pimento Cheese and Chive
Watermelon, Tomato & Feta Salad with Basil and Mint
Callie’s Charleston Cocktail Ham Biscuits with Assorted Mustards and Chutneys
Spring Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
3-Layer Pimento Cheese Triangles
Lemon Tart with Fresh Berries
Read more about our inspiration for the set-up + tips for doing the Kentucky Derby with Draper James on ‘Love, Reese.’


Kristin and Laura’s Derby Dresses + Silver Julep Cups | Draper James

Servingware | Crate & Barrel X Draper James Collection

Kristin Chambless of COLOR by K | @KristinChambless

Laura Boyd of Strawberry Banke on Food Styling | @strawberrybankestudio

Julie Livingston Photography | @julielivingstonphotography 

Biscuits c/o Callie’s Charleston Biscuits  

Bourbon c/o Woodford Reserve


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