Taste Of Derby

Kick off your Kentucky Derby weekend at the annual Taste of Derby Culinary Experience



Thursday, May 2, 2024

Savor an evening of exquisite cuisine and exceptional wines. Sample regional specialties with wine pairings, created by nationally renowned chefs along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, as you enjoy live music entertainment. Join us as we start the Kentucky Derby celebration with flavor!

Taste of Derby raises funds and awareness for hunger relief organizations. To date, over $800,000 has been contributed to hunger relief organizations Dare to Care Food Bank is our featured charitable partner. Dare to Care Food Bank leads the thirteen counties surrounding the Louisville community in feeding the hungry and conquering the cycle of need. Dare to Care fulfills that mission through innovative programs and by partnering with over 300 local agencies to distribute food to those who need it most. Dare to Care is the leader in addressing the evolving hunger needs in the Louisville community, with their unique blend of Kid’s Cafes, variety of pantries and healthy cooking education.

Through Taste of Derby, Churchill Downs has also contributed over $150,000 in scholarship funds to future chefs in Sullivan’s College of Hospitality Studies. Each year, scholarship funding is divided between four chefs-in-training.
Churchill Downs is proud to bring Taste of Derby to our guests introducing Kentucky Derby fans to the great racing communities across the country and the regional flavors that make them as unique as Churchill’s hometown.

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2023 CHEFS

Explore the chefs from the 2023 Taste of Derby Culinary Experience.



Representing Gun Runner at Fair Grounds Race Course
Parish Restaurant
Monroe, LA


Cory Bahr Chef & Proprietor of Parish Restaurant, Standard Coffee Co., Heritage Catering & Bahr Food Truck in Monroe, Louisiana, where he was born and raised. Cory inherited a passion for the great outdoors and cooking—spending weekends at the family hunting camp, running fishing lines, and hunting whatever was in season. Parish, an homage to what is most important to Cory—community, culture, and culinary heritage—presents an inventive take on classic Southern dishes utilizing live fire cooking that makes use of all the flavors, technique and heritage of his beloved Delta region. He offers honest dishes with a strong sense of place, for which he has earned national recognition. Cory has been recognized for his culinary talents both regionally and nationally. He was a Food Network Star Finalist, he also Beat Bobby Flay. Food & Wine named him 'People's Best New Chef' in America and “People’s Best New Chef” Gulf Coast. He was named to the Taste of the South's 'Taste 50”, Cory is a Food Network’s Chopped! Champion. Cory was also named to the list of Louisiana Cookin’ “Chef to Watch”


Representing the Jerome at Aqueduct

LaRina Pastifico e Vino

Brooklyn, NY


Chef Silvia was born and raised in Northern Italy. She grew up cooking with her grandmother and always admired her ability to bring people together through her cooking. Silvia’s grandmother became sick and passed away when she was 10, which was when she decided she wanted to cook for people in a way to make them happy and bring everyone together. Cooking makes her feel so close to her grandmother in a way she wouldn’t otherwise.

Chef Silvia graduated from 'E.Maggia' Stresa culinary school, and found her way in the kitchen of the Maestro of Italian cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi where she worked for Giancarlo Perbellini. In 2012, Silvia jumped at the opportunity to move to New York for the opening of Giovanni Rana Pastificio e Cucina. Two years later, she received an offer to become Executive Chef at Aita in Brooklyn, where she directed the restaurant using fresh local produce to create traditional and modern Italian dishes.

In 2016, Chef Silvia competed in Season 14 of Bravo's Top Chef. At the same time, she had decided to open a new restaurant along with a few partners. She opened Larina Pastificio e Vino in Fort Greene Brooklyn, as Chef and Co-Owner upon her return from filming. For this new venture, she used the inspiration of her childhood in Northern and Southern Italy as well as her current travels in her dishes. In 2022, she create her own sauce Arrabbiata and Yellow cherry tomatoes with Our Pantry.


Representing Breeder's Futurity at Keeneland


Oxford, MS


2019 Southern Living’s Southerner of the Year and 2019 James Beard Foundation Best Chef South, Vishwesh Bhatt has been a part of Chef John Currence’s City Grocery Restaurant Group since 1997. Vishwesh started as a prep cook at City Grocery and worked his way up to Executive Chef at Snackbar, which opened in 2009. At Snackbar, using his years of culinary experience and exposure to worldwide cultures, he has developed a menu that intertwines both Southern and subcontinental foodways. He and his wife live in Oxford, MS with their cat Bitbit and Bob the dog. In January 2022, Vishwesh was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs. His first book I Am From Here was released by W W Norton & Co in August 2022.

Things to know

Event Information FAQ’s

Find some commonly asked questions we receive from our guests prior to attending the Kentucky Derby.

Watch and Follow

Watch & Follow everything Kentucky Derby on NBC and the Peacock app.

What to Wear

Get the latest fashion trends and tips to prepare for Derby Week.

Your Expert Guide to Louisville

Make the most of your visit to Churchill Downs home of the Kentucky Derby by exploring Louisville Kentucky.

Churchill Downs Virtual Venue

View various sections to familiarize yourself with historic Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Official Kentucky Derby Collection

Shop the latest Kentucky Derby fashions, collectibles and more!

Derby Week Events

Make it an unforgettable experience by joining in the festivities that surround the lead up to the Kentucky Derby.

Visiting Information

Find everything you need to perfect your Derby Experience from expert guides to the best of what Louisville has to offer.

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