Throw a Derby Party Damaris' Way

If you don't celebrate the Derby, then it's just the first Saturday in May. Get back in the saddle with Kentucky native Damaris Phillips' Derby day menu for a race-day viewing party worth betting on.

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©2014,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2014,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2014,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

©2014,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Bring the Racetrack Home

The Kentucky Derby is two minutes of horse racing that Louisville turns into the biggest party of the year, complete with frosty drinks, decadent food and a pageant of hats. Louisville native Damaris Phillips knows how to ring in the Derby and, with a little help from her friend Zach, creates a party spread inspired by the Bluegrass State's event of the year.

And They're Off! To The Nitty Gritty

Damaris loves any opportunity to put on a hat, and, for her, it all starts with picking a proper Derby hat. She shops for a vintage hat at The Nitty Gritty so no one else wil be wearing the same one at the races.

Hats Off to Derby Day

Once Damaris picks out the perfect hat, it's time to get cooking. 

Mint Julep Party Pitcher

Pull into the lead with a refreshing, iconically Southern cocktail that's always found in the hands of Derby fans: the mint julep. Damaris infuses homemade simple syrup with mint before stirring it together with an equal amount of bourbon in a big-batch pitcher. Pour it into glasses packed with crushed ice for the most-refreshing race-day swig.

Damaris infuses her homemade simple syrup with mint to get

Get the Recipe: Mint Julep Party Pitcher

Hot Browns with Pimento Cheese Mornay

Damaris does up this Kentucky-famous Churchill Downs favorite by smothering bone-in turkey and sourdough bread in Mornay cheese sauce — but not just any Mornay cheese sauce. She dresses hers up with chopped roasted red peppers and bacon, and it leaves the oven bubbling in individual-sized cast-iron dishes. 

Get the Recipe: Hot Browns with Pimento Cheese Mornay

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Every nail-biting horserace ends with a photo finish. For the last turn of your Derby party, polish it all off with a famous horserace pie that's spiked with bourbon, lightly sweetened with sorghum syrup and elevated with melty dark chocolate chips.

Damaris infuses her homemade simple syrup with mint to get

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Garland of Roses

Inspired by the Derby's Garland of Roses tradition, Damaris decorates with a ruby-red flower arrangement. 

A Day at the Races

The actual horserace takes only about two minutes, but following Damaris' lead on Derby day is worthy of a full day of celebration.