It’s a good thing Derby Day is still about 2 1/2 months away. That will give David Danielson, executive chef for Levy Restaurants at Churchill Downs, some time to decompress from cooking at the Sochi Olympics and get geared back up for a really big sporting event.
Since the beginning of the 22nd Winter Games a week and a half ago, Danielson has been in Sochi cooking for the OMEGA House, the official timekeepers at the games. It is his second gig for the watchmakers, having been the cook for the first OMEGA House in Beijing in 2008.
Of course he brought along with him a supply of Kentucky-sourced ingredients, like sorghum and — do we need to say? — Bourbon.
The Olympics cooking job requires long hours and working with a Russian kitchen staff, which does not give him a lot of downtime to keep up with the sporting events around him, but he is making the effort. He’s also been able to check out some Russian grocery stores.
Once Danielson returns home at the end of the month he will dive right into Derby planning. Danielson’s extensive background in catering large public and sporting events, and his plans for the food for this year’s Derby, is the subject of a profile in the Spring 2014 issue of F&D.