How To Cook This Year’s Official Kentucky Derby Menu at Home: Recipes AND Cooking Demo!
With attendance at the 148th Kentucky Derby returning to full capacity for the first time in three years, Churchill Downs Executive Chef Kenneth Hardiman and his team plan to cook delicious dishes for more than 45,000 guests to enjoy during both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby events.
Chef Kenneth has transformed more than half a dozen independent restaurants, from the Midwest to the West coast, into award-winning establishments. He now brings his cooking expertise and talents to Louisville, Kentucky.
To bring the race day experience to those watching at home, Chef Kenneth joined me from his kitchen at Churchill Downs to show how home cooks can prepare dishes from the official menu of the 148th Kentucky Derby in their own kitchens. In addition to demonstrating his Vidalia Onion and Bourbon Tarte Tatin with Goat Cheese Crumble recipe for us during our chat, he also gave us a sneak peek of his other Kentucky Derby menu dishes including:
- Vidalia Onion and Short Rib Soup
- Green Tomato and Vidalia Onion Crumble
- Vidalia Onion, Broadbent Bacon and Mushroom Bread Pudding
Chef Hardin was also gracious in sharing the full recipes for each of the menu items with us to pass along to you! Perfect for hosting your Derby watch party at home! Take a look below.
VIDALIA ONION & BOURBON TARTE TATIN WITH GOAT CHEESE
Yield: 6 Servings
3 TBSP Unsalted Butter
2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
2 lbs. Vidalia Onions, Halved Crosswise, 2-Inch-Thick Slices
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
¼ cup Woodford Reserve Bourbon (Your Favorite Bourbon)
1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry (Pepperidge Farms) Thawed
As Needed Cracked Black Pepper
2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme, Divided
4 oz. Montchevre, Crumbled Goat Cheese
As Needed Local Honey
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Melt the unsalted butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (Cast Iron or Non-Stick Pan) over
medium-low heat; swirl to coat bottom. Evenly distribute the sugar over the melted
3. Place 12 to 14 onion halves in the butter mixture in the skillet, cut sides down, with
sides touching. Cut remaining onion halves into quarters, place, cut sides down, and
place these cuts in the gaps between onions in skillet.
4. Cover and cook onions for 8-10 minutes, season the top of the onions with kosher salt
and 1 Tbsp. Water halfway through. Add bourbon and 1 TBSP of chopped Fresh Thyme
and evenly distribute over the onion mixture; cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until
onions are caramelized. Remove from heat.
5. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured surface; cut into a 12-inch
round. Place pastry round over onions in skillet.
6. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, and immediately invert
onto a serving plate. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Cut into six pie slices and Garnish the
top with Goat Cheese Crumbles and remaining chopped thyme. Drizzle Local Honey on
top and serve.
VIDALIA ONION AND SHORT RIB SOUP
Yield: 12 each-10oz. Servings
5 ea Vidalia Onions, Julienne
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
¼ Cup Sherry Vinegar
½ Cup Red Wine
½ Cup Roasted Garlic, Chopped
2 TBSP Soy Sauce
¼ Cup Fresh Thyme, Rosemary Chopped no stems
1 Quart Demi-Glace
1 Gallon Chicken Stock
1 TBSP. Kosher Salt
½ TBSP. Black Pepper
2 ½ lbs. Small Diced Cooked Beef Short Rib
1. Place oil in a small stockpot or Dutch oven on medium heat and add Vidalia
2. Season onions evenly with sugar and gently cook onions to release the liquid and
continue cooking until caramelized and brown.
3. Deglaze the pan with wine, vinegar, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
4. Add roasted garlic, thyme, and rosemary mixture.
5. Let cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add demi-glace and simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. Add chicken stock and cook for 30 minutes on medium-high heat.
8. Season with salt and pepper and add diced cooked short rib.
9. Garnish with croutons and shredded Swiss cheese, and enjoy
VIDALIA ONION, BROADBENT BACON & MUSHROOM BREAD PUDDING
Yield: 8 Servings
2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
1 lb. Broadbent Bacon, Cut into medium dice
½ Cup Sherry Wine
1 ½ lbs. Vidalia Onions, Julienned
1 ½ lbs. Shiitake Mushrooms
2 TBSP. Garlic Chopped
¼ Cup Fresh Basil, Chiffonade
2 TBSP Fresh Thyme Leaves, Chopped no stems
¼ Cup Fresh Parsley Chopped
As Needed Kosher Salt
As Needed Cracked Black Pepper
6 each Large Eggs
3 Cups Heavy Cream (40%)
1 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano, Grated
8 Cups Croissants, Cut into Large Dice,
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter and
2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the
bacon, leave the bacon fat in the pan, and set aside.
3. In the same pan over medium-high heat, add the Vidalia Onions, chopped garlic, and
shiitake mushrooms and cook until caramelized.
4. Pour the sherry wine in the sauté pan to deglaze, scraping up all the brown bits as you
5. Stir in basil, parsley, and thyme. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked bacon—
season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, heavy cream, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2
teaspoon pepper. Add the large diced croissants and toss to coat. Let the mixture stand
for 15 minutes.
7. Stir in the Vidalia Onion mushroom mixture into the custard base and transfer the
pudding to the prepared baking dish. Cover with one layer of plastic wrap and then a
layer of foil and bake for 40 minutes,
8. Remove pudding from the oven, remove the plastic wrap and foil cover, place back in
the oven, and cook for 15 minutes or until the pudding is browned and the center has
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Churchill Downs Interim Executive Chef Kenneth Hardiman has transformed more than half a dozen independent restaurants, from the Midwest to the West coast, into award-winning establishments. Most recently, he opened the brand-new Fiserv Forum arena for the Milwaukee Bucks and has won several awards and competitions. Originally from Kansas City, Chef Kenneth has an identical twin brother and enjoys drawing, reading, going to church, and spending time with his wife, Lindsay, and son, Clayton.
About Vidalia Onions: Harvested annually in April, Vidalia onions are a seasonal treat only available in the spring and summer months. Vidalia onions represent about 40 percent of the sweet onion market in the United States and can only be grown in the combination of weather, water and soil uniquely found within 20 South Georgia counties. The 2022 season harvest will yield approximately 10,000 acres of onions to be sold nationwide. The Vidalia Onion Act of 1986 was passed in the Georgia state legislature to trademark the name “Vidalia onions” and define the growing region. The trademark is now managed by the Vidalia Onion Committee. More information is available at www.vidaliaonion.org.