There's a lot I could say about art regarding The Kentucky Derby, just by association of my family's Kentucky heritage and my very prolific artistic Aunt but the Derby, specifically, is Louisville's sophisticated Mardi Gras — meaning lots of eccentric stuff happens — even with all the upper crust fancy hats to be seen on Derby Day. No matter how you celebrate Derby Day, here's a few things that you could use:
1) A Rose themed centerpiece — better yet, one made of chocolate cake.
2) Bottle art — Woodford Reserve
3) Mint Juleps
4) Burgoo — a type of stew (gumbo can be compared but without the seafood). I didn't even know what this was but here's the recipe for Chess Pie, the other essential — to eat as reward after eating the burgoo:
— featured in the Kentucky Derby Museum and from the Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook (can’t get more official than that!)
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup flour
pinch of salt
2 tbs. Kentucky bourbon
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped chocolate chips
1 9 inch pie shell, partially baked
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour, salt and bourbon. Add chocolate chips, and nuts. Stir well. Pour into partially baked pie shell and bake for 30 minutes or until center is set. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Here is another recipe with a great picture.
And more on the origins of the pie.
Some recipes use walnuts, but I prefer pecans.