Churchill Downs Launches Nationwide Contest to Find the Kentucky Derby’s First-Ever “Official Menu Taste Tester”

Jan 28, 2020

LOUISVILLE KY (January 28, 2020) — The race for a Triple Crown-worthy foodie is on! Churchill Downs Racetrack announced today its search for one passionate foodie to receive the honorary title of ‘Official Menu Taste Tester of the 146th Kentucky Derby.’ Now through February 12 the first 100 culinary connoisseurs to share their favorite original Derby party recipe will have the chance to join Churchill Downs’ Executive Chef David Danielson in the iconic racetrack’s kitchen to finalize this year’s Official Menu that will be served to thousands. To enter to win, please visit
The winner of this unique gourmet getaway will be awarded a trip to Louisville with a guest in March 2020 to learn the secrets behind Danielson’s Southern specialties, tasting their way through fresh takes on classic Kentucky fare to help select the final dishes for this year’s official Derby menu. The experience also includes dining vouchers to discover Louisville’s best restaurants and tickets to the 146th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on May 2, 2020 to see the official menu come to life. 
“The Kentucky Derby is more than just the greatest two minutes in sports – it’s a celebration of authentic Kentucky flavors, ingredients and traditions, both at Churchill Downs and across the country as viewers celebrate at home,” said Chef Danielson. “I’m excited to bring in the culinary expertise of a passionate foodie to add a special twist to this year’s menu and our culinary traditions.”
Enthusiastic foodies who are 21 or older and a resident of the 48 contiguous U.S. can enter by completing the online entry form and submitting their favorite original Derby party recipe. Chef Danielson will select the ‘Official Menu Taste Tester’ and winning recipe based on three key “ingredients:” creativity, ease of preparation and consistency with the Derby party theme.   
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Contest submission begins on 1/28/2020 at 12:00:01 a.m. ET and ends on 2/12/2020 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET or when 100 submissions have been received, whichever occurs first.  Open only to legal U.S. residents residing in the 48 contiguous U.S. & D.C. who are 21 years of age or older and who have not been convicted of a felony or any crime of moral turpitude or have been prohibited/excluded from gambling in any state or jurisdiction. Transportation to/from the Kentucky Derby in May is the sole responsibility of the winner. See Official Rules at for additional eligibility restrictions, prize descriptions/restrictions and complete details. Void in AK, HI and where prohibited.  Sponsor:  Churchill Downs Racetrack, LLC. 
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 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament and the GRAMMY Awards. Chef Danielson is also the Owner and Executive Chef of the Old Stone Inn, a beloved horse country eatery in Simpsonville, KY that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
About the Kentucky Derby
The $3 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 Triple Crown series. Also known as, 'The Run for the Roses' and 'The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,' the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horserace in the nation, with approximately 160,000 attendees.
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