A Delectable Derby: The Official Menu for 149th Run for the Roses

Pop Culture
Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby day are an annual celebration in Louisville, where high fashion and culinary excellence are a huge part of the experience. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Churchill Downs unveiled the official menu of the 149th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, signaling the start of spring and the much-awaited countdown to one of the most storied sports traditions. For the second year in a row, Chef and Culinary Expert Kenneth Hardiman curated the official racetrack menu, which will feature an array of delectable dishes, serving guests visiting Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 5, and the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6.

Mashed sweet potatoes (Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

In addition to being “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports®,” the Kentucky Derby is also an iconic cultural and culinary event rooted in southern tradition. While the races are undoubtedly the main attraction, the food and beverages served at the Kentucky Derby are equally as exciting. This year’s menu promises to elevate classic Kentucky dishes with a fresh twist, featuring locally sourced dairy and produce items that capture the essence of Louisville’s unique flavors.

“Leading the culinary team at the Kentucky Derby is one of the highest honors a chef can have, and I’m excited for the opportunity to add to the Kentucky Derby’s rich culinary legacy again this year,” said Chef Kenneth Hardiman, who will helm the culinary operation for track hospitality partner Levy. “Moments like the Kentucky Derby challenge and motivate us chefs to be at our best, to focus on all of the details, from the seasonal ingredients we source all the way down to the garnishes, in order to create amazing food and beverage experiences for our guests who enjoy the event in different ways.”

Coinciding with the array of traditional menu items, Churchill Downs will also be pouring classic Kentucky beverages and serving up signature Kentucky Derby cocktails for all attendees to enjoy at the track.

For more information, including recipes and images for the official menu, please visit www.kentuckyderby.com/officialderbymenu. To learn additional details about this year’s race, please visit www.kentuckyderby.com.

The Official Kentucky Derby 149 Food Menu

Kentucky Bibb Greens

Seasonal berry, toasted almond, poppy seed, raspberry vinaigrette

Heirloom Grain Salad

Sundried cherry and apricot, carrot, pepita, citrus vinaigrette

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Woodford Reserve Bourbon® brown butter, herb, candied spiced pecan

Cheesy Creamed Corn

Crispy jalapeno, Kenny’s Cheddar Cheese, pimento

Glazed Spring Vegetables

Spring squash, carrot, parsnip, pomegranate seed

Seared Chicken Breast

Local honey glaze, scallion, benne seed, citrus

Roasted Sliced Pork Loin Medallions

Sweet Onion, green peppercorn demi-glace

Kentucky Derby 149 Beverage Menu

Old Forester Mint Julep

Old Forester, simple syrup, fresh mint, crushed ice

Finlandia® Oaks Lily®

Finlandia, sweet and sour, Triple Sec, cranberry juice, blackberries, lemon wedge, crushed ice

Woodford Reserve Spire

Woodford Reserve, lemonade, cranberry juice, lemon twist, ice

Herradura Horseshoe Margarita

Herradura Silver, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, lime wheel, ice

2020 Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County

2021 Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay Mendocino County

Kentucky Derby Dining By The Numbers:

  • More than 200,000 expected dining guests in attendance
  • 24,000 meals are expected to be served on Oaks and Derby Days in premium areas
  • 5,000 lbs. of pork will be used
  • 2,800 gallons of dairy will be used
  • 400 lbs. of local cheeses will be used
  • More than 1,000 culinary and support staff will be on-site

Kentucky Derby Beverages By The Numbers:

  • 145,000 Mint Juleps are expected to be poured
  • 1,500 lbs. of mint for Mint Juleps will be used
  • 500 crates of blackberries will be used
  • 24,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Bourbon Cocktail are expected to be used
  • 20,000 bottles of Woodford Reserve are expected to be used


Chef Hardiman has once again joined Churchill Downs as the Chef and Culinary Expert for the 149th Kentucky Derby following his inaugural year as Chef for last year’s Derby. A culinary leader at Levy, the hospitality partner of Churchill Downs, with more than a decade of experience, Hardiman has created award-winning food and beverage experiences at many of the most well-known venues, including Fiserv Forum, home of the Milwaukee Bucks. In addition to having won several prestigious culinary awards, Hardiman is passionate about helping the lives of others.

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