LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March, 28, 2018) – Churchill Downs Racetrack today announced the official menu of the 144th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve. Curated annually to showcase a fresh and modern approach to traditional Southern dishes, this year’s menu celebrates Woodford Reserve’s new presenting sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby, one of the world’s most exciting events in sports, food, drink and entertainment that has always been synonymous with Kentucky bourbon.
Churchill Downs’ Executive Chef David Danielson drew inspiration for the 2018 menu from Woodford Reserve’s flavor wheel, which includes the wood, spice, grain, sweet aromatics and fruit and floral notes present in each sip of its Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. These flavors, paired with modern twists on iconic Southern staples, bring Kentucky’s rich cuisine and bourbon tradition to life. The dishes include roasted sweet potato salad with charred pecans and maple-bourbon reduction; cornbread with bourbon honey butter; chef carved roasted turkey breast with bourbon peach glaze; and bourbon caramel crème brûlée.
“Each year, we offer an incomparable culinary experience that highlights the Southern specialties that Derby-goers crave, but with a fresh approach they won’t expect,” said Chef Danielson. “In every bite, we give our guests from around the world a glimpse into our authentic Southern cuisine, where food and bourbon are passions as steeped in history and tradition as the Kentucky Derby.”
While more than 160,000 people attend the Derby each year, the official menu will be served to 22,000 guests in premium dining areas at each the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 4. The menu requires 5,640 pounds of turkey, 4,075 pounds of braised pork, 8,200 pounds of pasta, 7,600 pounds of potatoes, 3,800 pounds of carrots and 3,600 oysters.
The Official 144 Kentucky Derby Menu
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Charred pecans and maple-bourbon reduction
Roasted beets, Capriole goat cheese and tarragon
Peach and Tomato Caprese Salad
Country ham-green apple mignonette, fennel, celery and caviar
Cracklins’ with Pimento Cheese
Bourbon honey butter
Bourbon butter and fine herbs
Buttermilk and Chive Smashed Potatoes
Mushroom Braised Pork Medallions
Louismill grits and pickled asparagus
Chef Carved Roasted Turkey Breast
Bourbon peach glaze
Lamb Bolognaise Ziti Pasta
Ricotta and mint
Apple Cranberry Crisp
Vanilla bean ice cream
Bourbon Caramel Crème Brûlée
About Chef David Danielson
Chef Danielson has been Churchill Downs’ Executive Chef since 2013. Classically trained, Danielson studied at the Dumas Pere school of French cooking and later continued at the renowned hotel school Ecole Hotelier Tain l’ Hermitage in France, honing his culinary skills at several Michelin-starred restaurants.Upon returning to the United States, Chef Danielson worked as the executive chef at New York’s United Nations Plaza Hotel and at Chicago favorites the Ritz Carlton and Charlie Trotter’s. He also served as personal chef to the British Consulate General. Chef Danielson has also lent his culinary expertise to a variety of major events, including the Olympics, PGA Championships, the US Open Tennis Tournament and the GRAMMY Awards.
About the Kentucky Derby
The $2 million Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 ¼-mile race for three-year-olds is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown series. Known as the “The Run for the Roses,” “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and “America’s Race,” the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horserace in the nation, with more than 158,000 attendees in 2017.
About Woodford Reserve
Woodford Reserve, the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby,” is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky. A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery represents craftsmanship with a balance of historic heritage and modern practices. Woodford Reserve is a product of the Brown-Forman Corporation, a premier producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Korbel, Tequila Herradura, Old Forester, Sonoma-Cutrer and Chambord. Please enjoy your bourbon responsibly. To learn more about Woodford Reserve, visit us www.woodfordreserve.com or check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodfordreserve.