Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Louisville, KY. – Stacy Hoehle of LaGrange, Ky., is taking home the title of Derby Burger Champion. The recipe for her P.L.T. Burger was selected as this year’s winner after a cook-off this morning between the top four finalists at the Kroger in Middletown. The 12th Annual “Derby Burger Challenge” is sponsored by the Kentucky Beef Council along with Official Seasoning, Dan-O’s Seasoning, and Kroger. Hoehle’s 2024 Derby Burger is stacked with Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef, fried green tomato slices, remoulade and pimento cheese.

Hoehle came ready to win decked out in a dress embellished with hamburgers. Her recipe featured two of her personal foodie favorites – fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese.

“These are things I eat individually all of the time and you can find me snacking on at home every weekend,” Hoehle said. “So, I thought why not put them all in one place?”

This marks the first year Hoehle has competed in the Derby Burger Challenge. Her passion for cooking for friends and family and attending Derby Festival events enticed her to enter the competition and showcase her culinary skills.

“I love to eat and cook just about everything,” she said. “And I enjoy everything about the Derby Festival, so why not add this to the experience.”

Dozens of original recipes were submitted for this year’s culinary competition, and nearly 20,000 burger fans voted online to help pick the top four finalists. At the final cook-off, a panel of judges determined the overall winner based on points accumulated from four factors – Taste, Appearance, Creativity and Ease of Preparation. All burgers were 100 percent Kentucky Cattlemen’s Ground Beef and included Dan-O’s Seasoning in the recipe.

Other finalists included: 2nd place – Grant Ruble of Louisville with the Candy Dan Burger; 3rd place – 2023 Derby Burger Champion Brian Capps of Louisville with the Pesto Provolone Burger; and 4th place – Ira Mowman of Louisville with the Jamaican Jerk Burger.

Hoehle’s winning Derby Burger recipe will be featured at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront during its nine-day run, April 25 through May 3, as well as inside Kroger stores. She also receives a 2024 Official Derby Festival Poster, two VIP tickets to the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport Thunder VIP Rooftop Party, two VIP tickets to Republic Bank BourbonVille, a $100 gift certificate to Kroger, a grilling prize package courtesy of the Kentucky Beef Council, and a year’s supply of Dan-O’s Seasoning.

More information about the Derby Burger Challenge and past winners can be found online at www.kdf.org/beef.