You Could Be the Official Menu Taste Tester for the Kentucky Derby

Courtesy Churchill Downs

Calling all foodies. 

Ever wish you could be paid to eat? Well, now is the chance, as Churchill Downs Racetrack just revealed they are hiring the Kentucky Derby’s first-ever official menu taste tester. 

What does that entail exactly? In the role, you will be flown to Louisville in March and then head into the kitchen with Churchill Downs’ Executive Chef David Danielson. There he will prepare a sampling of Southern favorites for you to taste revealing some secrets of his cooking. Together you will select the dishes (pimento cheese, roasted and pickled asparagus salad, and grit risotto are all possibilities) to be served over the festive weekend. The Kentucky Derby is the most attended horse race in the nation, with approximately 160,000 attendees. That’s a lot of people to serve!


Courtesy Churchill Downs

As a thank you for all your hard work, you will get dining vouchers to discover Louisville’s top restaurants. Of course, tickets to the 146th Kentucky Derby on May 2 are included, so that you can see the chosen menu in action. 

So, how do you apply? From now until February 12, you can submit your favorite original Kentucky Derby party recipe along with an optional picture of the final dish. Chef Danielson will then choose the winner based on the originality of the recipe, the ease of preparation, and the festivity of the dish. But, you have to act fast, as only the first 100 submissions will be considered. 


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“The Kentucky Derby is more than just the greatest two minutes in sports – it’s a celebration of authentic Kentucky flavors, ingredients, and traditions, both at Churchill Downs and across the country as viewers celebrate at home,” said Chef Danielson in a statement. “I’m excited to bring in the culinary expertise of a passionate foodie to add a special twist to this year’s menu and our culinary traditions.”

You must be 21 or older and a resident of the 48 contiguous U.S. to apply.