1. Food

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Derby Celebration
Traditional Kentucky recipes and Derby links

More in this Article
Featured Recipes
Links to More

Related Resources
Derby Entertaining
Kentucky Cuisine
Cooking with Bourbon

Chef Nick Sundberg, Beaumont Inn Kentucky More than just a horse race, the Kentucky Derby, traditionally held the first Saturday in May, has been the opening event for Kentucky's Spring season for well over a hundred years. During the ten days preceding the Derby, there are Balloon races, steamboat races down the Ohio River, picnics, and parades; all wonderful reasons for parties and gatherings.

Thanks to Executive Chef Nick Sundberg of the Beaumont Inn of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, who shares some of his own traditional Derby recipes.

Kentucky Cuisine

Like most regional cuisines, Kentucky's cooking has had many influences. Native Americans, there when the first settlers arrived, introduced corn and many of their uses for it with cornmeal, grits, hominy. Settlers from the British Isles brought farming principles and techniques for preserving ham and distilling whiskey. African Americans played an important part in the development, serving as cooks in the South. Their use of seasonings, a variety of greens, and okra, all have direct links to Africa.

The varied regions of Kentucky have contributed their own unique foods and dishes to the state's culinary evolution. Louisville's influences come from its grand hotels, mix of ethnic backgrounds, and foods associated with the Kentucky Derby. Central Kentucky has contributed its farm-style cooking, while Appalachia gave rise to the simple "country dishes", due to subsistence farming and isolation. The Western part of the state is noted for its unique style of barbecue, which often features mutton.

Many of the fine regional dishes were refined in Kentucky inns. Some of the early inns are still in operation today. Bardstown's Old Talbott Tavern, Berea's Boone Tavern, and Harrodsburg's Beaumont Inn are a few examples. Restaurant dining, especially in Louisville and Lexington, has developed over the years to rival that of any other metropolitan area.

Many Kentuckians have contributed to the culinary arts. Duncan Hines was one of the first to compile a dining guide that became widely accepted, and is probably most remembered for lending his name to the one of the earliest cake mixes. Dean Fearing, from Ashland, wrote the cookbook Mansion on Turtle Creek, and is widely regarded as the Chef responsible for starting many of the Southwestern food trends in America. Other authors like Camille Glenn, Cissy Gregg, and Marion Flexner have produced wonderful classic cookbooks, helping preserve the heritage of Kentucky cuisine.

Reference: "Overview of Kentucky Cuisine" - Beaumont Inn, Harrodsburg, Kentucky.


Kentucky Mint Julep
Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Henry Bain Sauce
Cheese Garlic Grits
Marinated Grilled Asparagus
Thoroughbred Pie

More Recipes from Chef Nick

Kentucky Hot Brown
Beaumont Inn Corn Pudding
Smoked Sausage Mushrooms
Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Kentucky Cuisine
More on the history and traditional dishes of Kentucky, from the classic Louisville dishes to Appalachian sustenance food.


Plan a Kentucky Derby Party
Great ideas and recipes from Donna Pilato.

Horse Racing
Cindy's site has all the current news on horseracing.

Triple Crown Treats
Foods and recipes covering all Triple Crown celebrations.

Featured recipes courtesy of Nick Sundberg, Executive Chef, Beaumont Inn
Reprinted with Permission

Photo of Chef Nick courtesy Chef Nick Sundberg

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.