Williams Sonoma partners with Churchill Downs for the perfect Derby party at home
By Tonya Abeln
Photography courtesy of Williams Sonoma
Published in partnership with Churchill Downs Magazine
When it comes to celebrating the Kentucky Derby, food and fashion can be as appealing as wagering and winning. Even as a crowd of over 150,000 people from all over the world flock to the hallowed grounds of Churchill Downs Racetrack on the first Saturday in May, millions tune in from home in anticipation to see who will claim the garland of roses.
Entertaining for the Kentucky Derby at home comes with a few traditional expectations. Often, guests are asked to arrive in Derby finery including headwear of choice. Then, of course there is the mint julep, the signature drink of the Derby. Fare, however, is typically open to more interpretation and can include everything from dainty tea sandwiches to buckets of fried chicken.
This year, the Kentucky Derby has joined forces with a leading specialty retailer of high-quality products for the kitchen and home to take all of the guesswork out of throwing a Kentucky Derby party at home. Along with Kentucky Derby presenting sponsor Woodford Reserve, the historic Churchill Downs Racetrack partnered with Williams Sonoma to inspire Derby hospitality with curated products designed to help horse racing fans entertain with ultimate impact. With unique recipes, cocktail mixes and themed accessories, Kentucky Derby party hosts can transform their home into a day at the races.
In addition to carefully-selected Williams Sonoma merchandise, elegant serving pieces and bar accessories, the retailer will feature a co-branded line of cocktail mixes with Woodford Reserve. Together, Churchill Downs, Woodford Reserve and Williams Sonoma are bringing to life the authentic charm of a Derby soiree with entertaining tips that will elevate at-home celebrations and viewing parties.
To take the pressure off the host and inspire foodies across the country, Williams Sonoma has offered an authentic and flavorful “Kentucky Derby At-Home” menu, crafted by brand ambassador and celebrity chef, Kelsey Barnard Clark, author of “Southern Grit.”
The menu pays homage to the culinary traditions of the Kentucky Derby and features recipes that are easy to make, each paired with wine selections from Jackson Family Wines. Partygoers will enjoy bite-size selections from okra hot fries to smoked wings and barbecue sauce finished with decadent pecan pie. No Kentucky Derby party is complete without the iconic mint julep, but culinary connoisseurs can serve up other classic cocktails with ease thanks to Woodford Reserve and Williams Sonoma’s selection of co-branded cocktail mixes.
Williams Sonoma teamed up with Chef Clark to further bring a taste of the Kentucky Derby into homes by hosting two Derby-themed events. The first took place on April 14 at the Williams Sonoma Columbus Circle store in New York, while the virtual Kentucky Derby Cooking Event welcomed fans from across the country to learn tips and tricks for hosting the ultimate Kentucky Derby day celebration. Proceeds from both events benefited No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America.
The Williams Sonoma partnership is sure to get fans excited to throw a spectacular Derby party at home, but it also offers a way to experience the most exciting two minutes in sports in person. To round out the partnership, Williams Sonoma launched a nationwide sweepstakes to send one lucky winner on a trip for two to the 149th Kentucky Derby in 2023. Fans can enter for a chance to win a bucket- list weekend getaway, complete with airfare, hotel accommodations and two tickets to the Kentucky Derby, as well as a private, VIP experience at Woodford Reserve Distillery. Official rules and details are available at williams-sonoma.com/kentuckyderbytrip.
The Williams Sonoma Kentucky Derby At-Home Menu
Crafted by Kelsey Barnard Clark
Twinkle Light Succotash
Santa Barbara County
Okra Hot Fries
La Crema Sauvignon
Blanc, Sonoma County
Green Eggs and Ham Deviled Egg
La Crema Chardonnay,
Supper Club Smoked Wings
with White BBQ Sauce
Mama Jo’s Pecan Pie
La Crema Pinot
For more “Kentucky Derby At-Home”