Churchill Downs Incorporated to Kickoff Kentucky Derby Weekend with New 'Taste of Derby' Presented by Yum! Brands on April 29

  • Culinary Extravaganza Will Feature 10 Premier Chefs from Around the Country
  • Event will also Raise Funds for Dare to Care Food Bank & World Food Programme


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010) - An evening of exquisite cuisine and entertainment has been added to the roster of Kentucky Derby Week festivities as Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") (NASDAQ: CHDN) today announced plans to host Taste of DerbyTM presented by Yum! Brands, an event that will showcase nationally known chefs and restaurants from popular horse racing destinations around the country. A portion of proceeds raised through Taste of Derby will benefit the Dare to Care Food Bank and the United Nations World Food Programme in support of YUM's ongoing partnership with these two hunger relief organizations.

The inaugural Taste of Derby will be held Thursday, April 29 - two days before the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and on the eve of the Kentucky Oaks - beginning at 7 p.m. EDT at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, which is located near the heart of downtown Louisville.

The event will feature 10 premier chefs from around the country - each representing a major racetrack and its respective culinary region - serving their signature dishes. The event will also feature live entertainment and a live charitable auction. All proceeds from the auction will benefit Taste of Derby's partner charities.

Already confirmed for Taste of Derby are James Beard Award-winner Michelle Bernstein of Miami's modern bistro Michy's (Calder Casino & Race Course); Stephen Lewandowski of Manhattan's landmark restaurant Tribeca Grill (Belmont Park); Tory McPhail of New Orleans' famous Commander's Palace (Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots); Ouita Michel of Midway, Ky.'s historic Holly Hill Inn (Keeneland); Nancy Silverton of Los Angeles' La Brea Bakery and Pizzeria Mozza; and alumni from Bravo's hit television program Top Chef. More premier chefs will be announced at a later date.

Additionally, Churchill Downs will select two Louisville chefs to represent its world-famous racetrack and the city of Louisville. Area chefs are invited to submit a menu that best represents the personality and flavors of Louisville and Kentucky. Entries should be sent to no later than Friday, Feb. 12. The menus will be judged by a panel of local food critics and industry experts. Three finalists will be announced Feb. 16 with the winners crowned on March 1. The winners also will be featured in Taste of Derby promotional materials and their recipes will be published on the Derby party-planning website

Tickets to Taste of Derby will go on sale on Churchill Downs' new online box office on Friday, Feb. 5. General admission is $250 (cocktail chic attire) and will offer patrons tastings and wine pairings from each premier chef station as well as the opportunity to dine alongside famous horse racing personalities and celebrities. The VIP ticket package for $350 also includes admission to a special VIP reception at 6 p.m. and a commemorative gift bag. Additionally, a limited number of reserved tables of eight (8) will be sold for $4,000.

"We're thrilled to introduce Taste of Derby, which we believe will be the perfect kickoff to Kentucky Derby weekend," said Bob Evans, Churchill Downs Incorporated president and chief executive officer. "For more than a century, the Kentucky Derby has brought together great horses and great people from all over the country. Great food - a long-time staple of the Derby experience - brings people together, too, and some of the nation's culinary capitals also happen to be racing cities with tracks that hold Derby prep races and Triple Crown events. It's only fitting that Taste of Derby showcase the first-class cuisine that can be found in America's top racing markets while positively impacting hunger relief efforts in the communities where those tracks are located."

Louisville-based Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE:YUM), the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants, has been the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby since 2006, and is also the presenting sponsor of the inaugural Taste of Derby.

"We are proud to partner with Churchill Downs on Taste of Derby to help raise awareness and funds for our two key partners, Dare to Care Food Bank and the United Nations World Food Programme," said Jonathan Blum, senior vice president of Yum! Brands Inc. "As the world's largest restaurant company, we believe it is our privilege and responsibility to help those less fortunate who don't have enough to eat by moving them from hunger to hope."

For more than 15 years, Yum! has donated nearly $50 million of prepared food annually to homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the U.S. Additionally, Yum! has been the primary sponsor of Dare to Care Food Bank for nine years, donating $9 million. In 2007, Yum! created World Hunger Relief, the world's largest private-sector, hunger-relief effort that raises awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations World Food Programme, raising nearly $60 million for WFP and other hunger relief organizations since the program's inception. The efforts have provided approximately 250 million nutrition-fortified meals, mostly to women in children, in remote corners of the world. The Company's 1.4 million employees, franchisees and their families have volunteered 15 million hours to aid hunger relief agencies around the globe. In late January at the World Economic Forum, YUM was recognized by the United Nations World Food Programme as its "Corporate Partner of the Year," underscoring the impact the company is having on world hunger relief.

Other Taste of Derby corporate partners include Woodford Reserve (Silver Sponsor), Galt House Hotel & Suites, Gateway Press, Sullivan University and The Cubero Group.

Churchill Downs has also teamed with celebrated restaurateur Wayne Kostroski for the inaugural Taste of Derby. Kostroski, who will receive the James Beard Foundation's 2010 Humanitarian of the Year award, founded Taste of the NFL, the popular fundraising benefit held annually on the eve of the Super Bowl. Taste of the NFL, which also raises funds to fight world hunger, was established in 1992.

"I have been fortunate enough to have worked in one of the most exciting and generous industries, the hospitality services industry," Kostroski said. "Because of the long-time relationship working with some of the most talented chefs in America through Taste of the NFL, it is particularly special to have the opportunity to partner them with one of America's most prestigious events, the Kentucky Derby, to fight hunger. We are all honored to be part of the launch of America's next big event in the fight against hunger, Taste of Derby."

For additional information about Dare to Care Food Bank and World Food Programme, visit DareTo and, respectively.