150th Kentucky Derby Menu celebrates Southern and springtime flavors

150th Kentucky Derby Menu, brisket and bourbon
150th Kentucky Derby Menu, brisket and bourbon / Levy

Few sporting events have the tradition, pageantry, and excitement like the Kentucky Derby. This year marks the 150th time the Run for the Roses will take place at Churchill Downs. For this momentous occasion, the 150th Kentucky Derby Menu brings together Southern food favorites and vibrant springtime flavors.

Every year, hospitality partners from Levy look to make the food and beverage offerings at the Kentucky Derby even more lavish. Whether it is competing with all the fashionable looks from the guests or just trying to make the experience even more memorable, the food is on par with the celebrated chefs from around the Louisville area.

This year, Chef Robert Lopez has taken the reigns of the culinary team. Having worked across many sporting venues and events, the experienced Levy chef wanted to mark the special occasion with a nod to the location as well as celebrate the bounty of fresh, local ingredients.

Chef Lopez shared, “150 will never happen again, so our approach in creating the menu was to elevate the classics and take advantage of the wealth of seasonal ingredients in our community and region. We sourced local ingredients like asparagus, peas, bourbon, and cherries to strike a balance between rich, bold flavors of iconic Southern staples and the freshness of spring. My team and I are incredibly excited for guests to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience in every bite.”

Looking at the menu, the food items pair well with the classic beverages expected at the Kentucky Derby. From the classic mint julep to bourbon forward cocktails, the truly American spirit has that robust character that needs substantial dishes to stand up to the potent potable.

150th Kentucky Derby food Menu
Levy shares the 150th Kentucky Derby Menu / Levy

Check out the 150th Kentucky Derby menu

Spring Pea Pasta Salad

  • Locally grown English peas, pecorino cheese, country ham, green onions

Spring Panzanella Salad

  • Lemons, English cucumber, scallions, sugar snap peas, croutons, asparagus, feta cheese

My Old Kentucky Bibb Salad

  • Bosc pears, toasted walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, red onion, chives, herbed buttermilk dressing

Herbed Gournay Wiesenberger Grits

  • Chicken stock/broth, roasted corn, Boursin cheese, green onion, Kenny’s cheddar cheese

Roasted Cauliflower & Brussel Spouts

  • Garlic cloves, red onion, peppadew peppers

Bourbon Cherry Brisket Burnt Ends

  • Veal demi-glace, cherry juice, cherry preserves, Levy BBQ sauce, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fried onions

‘Nduja Shrimp Pasta

  • Dry white wine, crushed tomatoes, lemon zest

As seen from the food menu, the flavors have a little something for everyone. From light, bright salads to hearty brisket, the choices are thoughtful. On a warm Spring day, the choices are smart, too.

In particular, the Bourbon Cherry Brisket Burnt Ends are a great choice. While cherry wood can be a choice for smoking meat, the cherry preserves are a nice nod to the cherry found in a Manhattan cocktail. Contrasting the slight smokiness from the brisket, the juicy, sweet note will be quite enticing. Hopefully, no one spill sauce on their outfit.

Although many people would love to experience all these food choices in person, the 150th Kentucky Derby menu could inspire an at-home party. Why not use the dishes and ingredients as inspiration. The Bibb Salad or the Spring Pea Salad would be great for a watching party or any springtime meal. They are easy and approachable for any home cook to make.

The 150th Kentucky Derby will be held at Churchill Downs on first Saturday in May, May 4. 2024. For more information on The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports can be found on the Kentucky Derby website.