Churchill Downs is serving a lavish Kentucky Derby feast for premium guests

Contrary to popular belief, the Kentucky Derby is much more than mint juleps, outrageous hats and betting on thoroughbred racehorses (though it certainly is those things, too). True fans of the “most exciting two minutes in sports” know that one of the best parts of the event is the delicious fare.

Ahead of the 144th Derby on May 5, Churchill Downs’ executive chef David Danielson divulged to Fox News the modern twists he’s made on the traditional Southern menu, which will be served to some 22,000 merrymakers in the premium dining area.

derby hats

“The Derby is an all-day party and no celebration is complete without the right food and drink.”

 (Reuters)

“Here in Louisville, our passion for food goes hand-in-hand with our love of bourbon, and we are thrilled to give the world an intimate look at our authentic cuisine, with dishes like cornbread with bourbon honey butter, chef-carved roasted turkey breast with bourbon peach glaze, and bourbon caramel crème brûlée,” Danielson said of the feast.

derby food

Over 22,000 people will dine on the official fare of the event.

 (Kentucky Derby)

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Though the “Run for the Roses” is an all-day party, the catering is serious business. Chefs will prepare up to 14,000 locally made bourbon balls, 7,600 pounds of potatoes, 5,640 pounds of turkey, and 4,075 pounds of braised pork through the day-long event, a Derby representative told Fox News.

derby food

Chefs will cook up 14,000 locally made bourbon balls, 7,600 pounds of potatoes, 5,640 pounds of turkey, and 4,075 pounds of braised pork through the daylong event.

 (Kentucky Derby)

If that’s not tempting enough to spur one to book a plane to Louisville, additional menu highlights include peach and tomato caprese salad, buttermilk and chive smashed potatoes, mushroom braised pork medallions and apple cranberry crisp. 

derby food

The menu aims to cater to “Southern tastes and specialties for which Derby-goers travel near and far.”

 (Kentucky Derby)

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“We carefully curate the Derby menu each year to raise the bar on offering an incomparable culinary experience, catering to the Southern tastes and specialties for which Derby-goers travel near and far,” Danielson said of the offerings, which he has curated since 2013.

derby food

The celebration wouldn’t be complete with bourbon.

 (Kentucky Derby)

This year, local ingredients from longtime vendors like Dohn and Dohn Gardens will be specially honored.

“The Derby is an all-day party and no celebration is complete without the right food and drink,” Danielson added.

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Whether you’re lucky enough to view the Derby in the Bluegrass State or from the comfort of your own home, be sure to salute the first leg of the American Triple Crown with a deserving bite to eat. 

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

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