Page 79 - The Hunt - Spring 2019
P. 79

 Life of the Party
Tailgating’s rich tradition at the races would be nowhere without its food—or its hosts.
By Eileen Smith Dallabrida
 For seven years, Jennifer Kouwenberg Bordelon has been competing for top honors at the Willowdale Steeplechase tailgating
contest—and there’s a reason she’s won six times. Bordelon starts planning months in advance, shifting into high gear once the theme of the competition is announced. For last year’s “Willowdale Gone Wild,” “I went with my instincts,” she says. “I went with wildlife instead of wild people.”
Bordelon, a nurse practitioner, works in an emergency room. Her husband, Johnathan, is an avid hunter, and his collection of deer, elk and bear hides provided a base for her tablescape, along with feathers, antlers and a pheasant preserved by a taxidermist. Friends with pickup trucks helped to haul in three tables and a large antique sideboard from
the Bordelon’s home in Mechanicsburg, Pa., a manse that was pressed into service as a hospital during the Civil War.
An accomplished hostess, Bordelon finds silver chafing dishes and other serving pieces at estate sales. “I left it tarnished
for the tailgate, to blend with the animal skins,” she says. | STEEPLECHASE LOOKBOOK 2019 59

   77   78   79   80   81