Derby Burger Challenge

Burger Ingredients
1 Lb 80/20 ground beef
½ Lb thick cut center cut Bacon
2 Slices smoked cheddar
1 Kaiser Roll
2 cups warm water
1 oz Bourbon (you can make it two, just sample remaining 1 oz for quality assurance purposes.)
2 ½ cups sugar
1 Bunch Mint separated
“Handful” Torn Basil
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup Mayonnaise/aioli
¼ cup mixed greens
Salt and pepper to taste


Add water, bourbon, and sugar to a small pot over low heat creating a simple syrup. Roll ¾ of the bunch of mint into a tight ball, bruising the leaves and releasing the mint oils. Add to syrup and allow to steep. Cook simple syrup until it coats the back of a spoon and allow to cool slightly.

Separate out bacon slices and pat dry. Dredge each strip in simple syrup mix, coating thoroughly, and cook bacon as normal. During cooking process, baste each strip with more syrup until a nice crust forms. Just before service add a final coat of syrup.

Take remaining mint leaves and chiffonade into very thin ribbons and add about a table spoon to ground beef.  Separate out ground beef into two patties and season liberally with salt and pepper. After letting the patties rest for 20min, cook on an open fire / charcoal grill until medium rare. When patties are turned add the slice cheese and allow to melt.

While burger are grilling, finely chop 2 large basil leaves and mix into mayonnaise along with lemon juice (add juice slowly to your taste)

Toast Kaiser roll and slather on mayonnaise to the bottom half of the roll. Top this with remaining basil and mixed greens on the bottom. Add patties and top with bacon and more mayo to top half. If you are feeling fancy spear the top of the roll with a mint sprig.


Burger Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced into ½” cubes
1/2 cup fresh mango, diced into ½” cubes
1/2 avocado, diced into ½” cubes
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced into ½” pieces
1/8 cup red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon jalapeño minced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt to taste

1 lb. ground chuck or ground lean beef
2 Tbs. grated yellow onion
1 tsp. grated garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 slices Harvartti cheese
4 pieces of butter lettuce
4 Brioche Hambuger buns


Mix all diced and minced ingredients for in a large bowl, add lime juice, add salt to taste mix well. Set aside to allow the juices
combine together.
In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, grated onion, grated garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Lightly mix to
combine, form into four patties, thinner in the centers for even cooking. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot.
Add patties; cook 8 to 10 minutes (turning occasionally) or until instantread
thermometer inserted registers 160°F. Place the
cheese on each patty the last 1 to 2 minutes of cook time and toast the buns in a skillet or grill top for the last minute.
Line the bottom bun with the lettuce and top with burger; spoon about 1/4 cup of the pineapple mango pico on top of the burger.
Close Sandwich. Enjoy

Burger Ingredients
2 Pounds Angus Ground Chuck 80 / 20 Blend
2 TBSP Kosher Salt
2 TBSP Cracked Black Pepper
1 Cup Kona Coffee
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 lb. Sliced Provolone Cheese
4 Pretzel Buns
5 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Bourbon Pickled Red Onions
2 Cups Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Natural Local Honey
1 Red Onion Thinly Sliced
2 TBSP Kosher Salt
1 TBSP Black Peppercorns
4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme


1. In a large mixing bowl gently work one tablespoon of Kosher salt and one tablespoon of cracked black pepper into each
pound of Angus ground chuck.
2. In a separate mixing bowl combine one cup of Kona coffee with one cup of cocoa powder.
3. Separate the ground chuck into equal parts and pat evenly. Place each patty in the coffee and cocoa blend, making sure to
cover all of the surface.
4. Once the patties are coated place them on a grill or in a cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes per
5. Place a slice of provolone cheese on top of the burger patties immediately after cooking.
6. Mix five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with one tablespoon of kosher salt and brush over top of the pretzel buns.
7. On the grill or in the oven, toast the buns for no more than 90 seconds.
8.Transfer the burger patty to a pretzel bun and top with the desired number of Bourbon Pickled Red Onions.
*Bourbon Pickled Red Onions
1. In a large stock pot bring to a oft boil; Woodford Reserve Bourbon, apple cider vinegar and natural honey.
2. Add four sprigs of fresh thyme to each mason jar along with one tablespoon of kosher salt and one tablespoon of black
3. Using a mandolin, slice one red onion on the second to the thinnest setting.
4. Once the liquid has reached a soft boil pour it over the onions the mason jars making sure to cover all of the other
5. Seal the mason jars and allow them to reach room temperature before refrigerating them for two days prior to serving.

Burger Ingredients
1 pound of Kroger Private Selection Ground Chuck or Ground Sirloin
1 package Kroger Dry Onion Soup Mix
1 teaspoon A1 Sauce
1 teaspoon Kentucky Bourbon
1 teaspoon Louisville Pure Tap Water
Dash Pepper

Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Form into patties and grill.
Enjoy with your favorite garnishes Dijon
mustard, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, cheese, banana
peppers, sliced red peppers, sliced green peppers, etc…

From February 13th to March 5th, the public was able to submit Derby Burger Recipes. 8 preliminary finalists will be chosen from all submissions and then posted on the Festival’s Facebook page with instructions on how to vote for your favorite Derby Burger recipe.

Voting will begin on March 10th and conclude on March 16th. Those votes will help narrow it down to the final four Derby Burger contestants who will then move on to the cook-off.  The finalists will then be required to provide four (4) samples of their burgers for live tasting by the judges on WDRB in the Morning. The winning burger will be selected by the judges.

Louisville area Kroger stores will feature the winning recipe. The winning burger can also be sampled at Beerfest on Wednesday, May 3.

The winner will receive:
-4 tickets to a concert at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville
-4 VIP tickets to Thunder Over Louisville
-2 tickets to BeerFest at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville
-$100 gift certificate to Kroger
-Featured inside Louisville Kroger stores, including the recipe ingredients and recipe card
-Featured samples inside Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville at the Kentucky Derby Festival BeerFest, May 3, 2017.
-A grilling prize pack from the Kentucky Beef Council



From March 13 to April 15, all purchasers of fresh ground beef at any of the Kentuckiana Kroger stores (excluding Lexington locations) will receive a coupon at checkout (on the bottom of the receipt).  The message includes an entry code to register online for a chance to win VIP tickets to a Waterfront Jam Concert at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville or BeerFest Presented by American Founders Bank.



March 30
April 15 - April 23