It's not every chef who can say they've cooked for royalty, but after this Saturday's Kentucky Derby, Gil Logan will be able to say exactly that because Queen Elizabeth II will be visiting Churchill Downs and choosing from the menu he's put together:
"When it was decided that they'd be visiting the Derby and eating here, the queen's staff Googled me," Logan said. "The royal family prefers to eat organic, natural foods, and they travel with their own food service staff.
"But when they saw that I buy as much as I can from local farmers who are growing and raising food without pesticides or hormones or antibiotics, they were quite happy to eat from our regular menu."
Logan actually planned out this year's menu last June, long before the queen's trip was decided. He chose to do it so far in advance so he could have the time to properly source the ingredients from local organic providers.
So what's on the menu? One dish he'll be serving is his "Kentucky-fied" version of the classic French dish cassoulet: "Instead of just white beans, I use black-eyed peas. I use country ham, which is just as good as, if not better than, European ham like Serrano. And I splash in a little bourbon too." And among the desserts will be sugar cookies colored after the silks that Derby jockeys will be wearing on the day, "so you can bet on your cookie."
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