When the Breeders’ Cup championships return to Churchill Downs Nov. 2-3, they will feature some of the top horses ... and chefs.
This year, Churchill Downs announced, eight guest chefs will cook in certain luxury areas of the track. Depending on where they — or you, if so, lucky you — are sitting, a racing fan might be dining on a gourmet spread from Hugh Acheson, the “Top Chef” judge who owns 5&10 and The National in Athens, Georgia, as well as Empire State South, Spiller Park Coffee, and Achie’s in Atlanta. Acheson, a James Beard Award winner, will cook for the Turf Club on Friday and in the Jockey Club Suites on Saturday.
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Or Kentucky’s own Ouita Michel, (will she be on this season’s “Top Chef,” set in Kentucky? We will have to wait and see.) Michel, who owns Holly Hill Inn, Honeywood, and at least five other restaurants in the Lexington area, will cook for those in the Jockey Club Suites on Friday.
Louisville chef Anthony Lamas, executive chef and owner of Seviche, known for its artful fusion of Spanish, Latin and Puerto Rican culinary styles. Lamas will be in the Trophy Lounge on both Friday and Saturday.
“Breeders’ Cup is dedicated to providing a first-class entertainment event, and food and beverage is a significant part of that experience,” said Craig Fravel, president and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup, said in the announcement. “With the world’s most celebrated chefs sharing their talents, the culinary options at this year’s World Championships are sure to excite even the most discerning epicurean guests.”
Other guest chefs, according to the Breeders’ Cup release, will include:
▪ Iron Chef Marc Forgione: A chef and author, Marc Forgione is the owner of Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York and American Cut in New York, Atlantic City and Atlanta, and is the co-owner and partner of Khe-Yo in New York. He won season 3 of Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef” at just 31 years old, making him the youngest winner in the show’s history. Forgione will serve the Turf Club on Saturday.
▪ Co-host of Food Network’s “Chopped” Amanda Freitag: Now an author too, Amanda Freitag has become known as “The Chef Next Door.” Freitag’s fare will be served to guests of the Stakes Room on Friday and the Finish Line Suites on Saturday.
▪ Iron Chef Jose Garces: James Beard Award winner Garces’ storied career boasts numerous restaurant openings, culinary partnerships and countless television appearances. He was crowned with the Iron Chef title in 2009. Garces will serve as the guest chef in the Finish Line Suites on Friday and the Stakes Room on Saturday.
▪ Angie Mar: Executive chef and owner of the lauded Beatrice Inn in New York City, Mar is an industry authority on aged meats, winning raves from Food & Wine and The New York Times, among many others. She will prepare several of her signature dishes in Churchill Downs’ most luxurious venue, The Mansion, on Friday.
▪ Masaharu Morimoto: With more than 17 restaurants around the world including two that recently opened in Waikiki, Morimoto is widely recognized for his masterful fusion of Asian, American and European culinary techniques, as well as his numerous victories and appearances on worldwide editions of “Iron Chef.” Morimoto will serve his cuisine in The Mansion, on Saturday.
So will this be the foodiest Breeders’ Cup ever? Kinda sounds like it.
Two-day Mansion access (think sofas, not folding chairs, and a private elevator just for starters) looks to be about $4,750 per person.
The Jockey Club Suites, where Michel and Acheson will be, are $995 per person for a two-day package. But suites seat 24 people, so you can’t buy just one or even two. You’ll need at least $24,000. Unless you can get some friends to go in on a suite with you.