The track is back with the 147th renewal of the Kentucky Derby hitting the ground running on May 1, 2021. Celebrate the return of “The Greatest Two Minutes In Sports” with some of the authentic Kentucky cuisine Churchill Downs Racetrack executive chef David Danielson has been prepping at the Derby for a decade now.
Take some vanilla ice cream and put it in a glass. Mix in some mint as a nod to the classic mint julep. Next, take some maraschino cherries and soak them in bourbon, preferably the official Derby bourbon from Woodford Reserve. Put a dollop of whipped cream on the ice cream with one of the cherries on top and there you go.
Cracklins’ with Pimento Cheese
A simple snack for watching those horses round the corners of the track, get yourself some pork rinds or fry your own and dip em’ into some pimento cheese. For the Pimento cheese, again you can go store-bought or make your own by mixing pimentos, cheese (cream or shredded), and mayo (Duke’s mayo is preferred). Chef Danielson adds chopped pecans and bacon bits to add some extra kick. Mix together at medium speed 8 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup of mayo, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, ¼ onion powder, 1 seeded and minced jalapeno, 1 (4 ounce) drained jar of diced pimentos and some salt and black pepper in a bowl. Alternatively, you can sub out pimentos with roasted poblano peppers.
This Kentucky classic consists of cream cheese, cucumber and green food coloring spread between two bite-sized pieces of white bread. Crackers can easily be subbed in for the bread if you’re looking to make a tasty party spread.
Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich
The southern staple of a pulled pork sandwich is a perfect meal for watching the Derby. Get some bread, roast some pulled pork in a slow-cooker, get your barbecue sauce of choice (everybody’s got their favorite) and serve it with some coleslaw.
This classic cocktail has been the most popular drink at the track for decades, keeping spectators cool and refreshed as their bets go up in smoke. Woodford Reserve Classic is made by extracting out the oils of three fresh mint leaves into the glass, then adding two ounces of their bourbon, a half ounce of simple syrup and crushed ice. Then the drink is stirred and topped with more ice and a fresh mint on top. Then enjoy.