Celebrates Modern American Cuisine with Local Ingredients and Traditional Southern Flavors 

LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 6, 2017 – Churchill Downs Racetrack today announced the official menu of the 143rd Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands. Each year, the official menu is carefully crafted to combine the Derby’s traditional Southern flavors with an inventive and progressive approach to local ingredients that results in an authentically American culinary experience. The official menu will be served to more than 22,000 guests in Churchill Downs’ premium dining areas at the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

The 2017 menu highlights fresh ingredients that have been handpicked by Churchill Downs Executive Chef David Danielson from local Kentucky farmers, dairies and purveyors. They include gem lettuces and strawberries grown on a local Aquaponics farm, Parma-style country ham from free-range hogs that graze on chestnuts and papaws in the nearby Appalachian Mountains, as well as local cheese, honey, vegetables and herbs.

The ingredients needed to feed the 22,000 guests in the premium dining areas on Derby day include 1,592 pounds of baby carrots and 1,950 pounds of beef tenderloin. Pickling, bourbon-infusing and curing bring the menu to life and will add an element of surprise for guests attending the 143rd “Run for the Roses.”

“Local sources are vital to giving our guests with a unique experience that delivers traditional southern flavors that are also fresh and modern,” said Chef Danielson. “In every bite of every dish on our menu, we want to give guests from all over the world an authentic taste of Kentucky through home grown ingredients, local flavors and true passion.”

To meet the demands of the ingredient-driven menus, Churchill Downs Racetrack will once again enlist the support of over 4,000 staffers, including students from the Pennsylvania Technical College to help prepare for more than 170,000 guests. 

The Official 143 Kentucky Derby Menu

Chef’s Appetizer

Roasted and pickled asparagus salad

Charred onion-bacon pimento cheese

Poached shrimp tomato aspicBasil syrup

Strawberry Caprese salad

Sweet basil dressing

Spinach Salad

Sweet potato, blue cheese, pecan, herb buttermilk dressing

Pole beans and shrimp salad

 Heirloom tomato, lemon, parsley

Chef’s Sides

Oven roasted baby carrots

Local honey and rosemary 

New potatoes

Bacon and garden chives 

Chef’s Entrees 

Chilled beef tenderloin

Kenny’s farm blue cheese, arugula 

Woodland Country ham

Melon, burrata, pear thyme vinaigrette 

New York strip loin

Bourbon barrel smoked, pepper crusted 

Chef's Desserts

Bourbon Sea Salt and Chocolate Caramel Tart

About Chef David Danielson

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 U.S., Danielson worked as the executive chef at New York’s United Nations Plaza Hotel and at such Chicago favorites as the Ritz Carlton and Charlie Trotter’s. He also served as personal chef to the British Consulate General. Chef 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 1/4-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 challenging Triple Crown series. Also 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 160,000 attendees in 2016.


About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs Racetrack, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race the Kentucky Derby continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 6, 2017. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times and is scheduled to host again in 2018. www.churchilldowns.com.