To celebrate at home, the Kentucky Department of Tourism shares easy to follow recipes using pantry staples from some of the state’s leading chefs.
The Kentucky Derby has been a cornerstone of spring for the past 146 years, and though it has been postponed until September 5, 2020, Kentucky is on the mind.
From Kentucky’s farm-to-table movement to Bourbon Country®, the state’s rich culinary traditions are known around the world. Foodie travelers can now experience the best of the Bluegrass State at home, as some of Kentucky’s leading chefs reveal beloved recipes during this time of social distancing.
Get inspired by three new miniseries, as part of the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s recently released episodic content, including Rooted in Flavor, hosted by celebrity chef Graham Elliot; On the Rocks, featuring The Bardstown Bourbon Company’s elite bartenders; and Stoked with Adam Glick, which pairs regional cuisine with outdoor adventure.
From extra-creamy cheese grits and spoon bread, to bourbon ball truffles and classic cocktails like the mint julep, re-create some of the state’s most time-honored recipes!
Side Dishes and Entrees
Y’all Hospitality’s Breakfast Casserole
Cooking for the whole family can be difficult, but Chef Mitch Aren of Y’all Hospitality, the owner of Northern Kentucky restaurants Bouquet, Fire, Butler’s Pantry and The Kitchen, recommends this easy casserole to start the day off on a high note.
Perfect for emptying out the fridge, this recipe can be made in the morning or prepared ahead of time and enjoyed by all.
Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant’s Spoon Bread
Spoon Bread is a delicious, custard-like cornbread, best served straight from the pan by the spoonful with butter. Made with just milk, cornmeal, butter, baking soda and salt, this time-honored tradition is a favorite at the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant, and is the perfect complement to any homemade meal.
Local Feed’s Famous Mac ‘n Cheese
Chef Justin Thompson’s mac ‘n cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Made with plenty of heavy cream, American cheese and Gouda, and served as a side dish or the main entrée, this recipe will nourish the soul and satisfy the taste buds until guests can return to Local Feed’s Georgetown location.
Holly Hill Inn’s Extra-Creamy Cheese Grits
Chef Ouita Michel, recognized by the James Beard Foundation and a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, brings an unapologetic richness to her cooking.
As if Kentucky-made, stone-ground white grits weren’t good enough, Chef Michel adds milk (or heavy cream), white cheddar, and a whisper of cayenne pepper to this dangerously delicious side dish.
Blue Raven’s Bourbon Ball Truffles
Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon, and this sweet treat combines the smoky flavors of America’s official spirit with the richness of homemade chocolate truffles. These morsels are an irresistible dessert that perfectly capture the feeling of the Bluegrass State, from the complexity of the Kentucky Bourbon to the pleasure of the rich chocolate.
Woodford Reserve’s Mint Julep
The mint julep symbolizes spring in the South, with almost 120,000 served during the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs alone.
This recipe from Woodford Reserve and Churchill Downs is perfect for re-creating the atmosphere of the legendary race at home with just three ingredients. To step it up a notch, The Bardstown Bourbon Company whips up a Mint Julep Milkshake with creamy vanilla ice cream and refreshing mint – perfect for spring!
The Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Kentucky Sour
The whiskey sour is one of the simplest cocktails to make at home, but the tangy, citrus combination is perfect for a day of grilling in the backyard with family.
To make the experience feel fancy, the mixologists at The Bardstown Bourbon Company also offer a recipe for a Bittersweet Bourbon Sour with Averna Amaro, egg white and Angostura Bitters. This light, flavorful cocktail is best served up in a coupe glass, perfect for an elevated experience at home.