Levy Restaurants

Churchill Downs Barbecue Shrimp Served Over Cheddar Grits

Churchill Downs Offers Official Kentucky Derby Recipes

For the 11th straight year, Levy Restaurants and Chef "Jo-Jo" Doyle have planned a feast for the tastes of all 300,000+ fans in attendance for the weekend, from Millionaires' Row to the Infield. 

The 138th Kentucky Derby will provide fans with plenty to savor and sip, serving southern innovations, traditional favorites and the world-famous Kentucky Derby Mint Julep.  Chef Jo-Jo weaves his southern roots into the Derby menu, incorporating Kentucky flair, locally-sourced ingredients and racetrack staples.

For those that can't make it to the race, Chef Jo-Jo shares recipes for the legendary Kentucky Derby Mint Julep and his famous Churchill Downs Barbeque Shrimp & Grits.

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep
Serves 6-8 people

  • 2 cups - sugar
  • 2 cups - water
  • 16 oz - Kentucky bourbon, 2 per mint julep
  • Crushed ice
  • 10 sprigs fresh mint
  • 8 mint julep glasses

Chef Jo-Jo's Notes: Combine water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil to make simple syrup. Boil for 5 minutes.

Cool and place in a covered container with 2 sprigs of fresh mint and refrigerate overnight. To make your mint julep, start by filling each mint julep glass with crushed ice.

Add 1 tablespoon of the mint flavored simple syrup then 2 ounces of Kentucky bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Sip and enjoy!


Churchill Downs Barbecue Shrimp Served Over Cheddar Grits

Churchill Downs Signature Barbecue Shrimp
Serves 10 people

  • 2 pounds - jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on
  • 2 ounces - light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon - garlic
  • 1/4 pound - unsalted butter, cold and quartered
  • 10 ounces - white wine
  • 4 ounces - Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 3 ounces - Worcestershire Sauce Salt
  • 1 green onion, cut on the bias to garnish

Chef Jo-Jo's Notes: Add oil to a large saute pan, on high heat. Add shrimp and cook until very light pink on one side, about 3 minutes.

Add garlic to the pan and stir. Then add white wine and cook until wine has reduced by half.

Stir in hot sauce and Worcestershire. Remove cooked shrimp from pan and arrange on serving dish. Continue to reduce the sauce for about one minute longer.

Remove pan from heat and add the chunks of cold butter. Swirl butter until the sauce develops a velvety texture. Pour sauce over shrimp on plate and garnish with green onion.

Serve with Cheddar Cheese Grits and enjoy!

Cheddar Cheese Grits
Serves 10 people

  • 2 cups - quick cooking grits
  • 4 cups - water
  • 1 teaspoon - salt
  • 1/2 cup - heavy cream
  • 1 cup - cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup - Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 stick - butter

Chef Jo-Jo's Notes: Add grits and water to a 4 quart sauce pan. Bring water to boil and allow grits to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Add salt, cream, cheddar, parmesan and butter and remove from heat. Stir until all of the cheese is melted.


Born and raised in Tallahassee, with many summers spent in New Orleans and Mobile, AL, Chef Jo-Jo is truly a southern chef at heart and has worked with two well respected James Beard Award-winning chefs in Devlin Roussel at Michael's Seafood and Patricia Wilson, Chef Doyle's mentor in culinary school.

The unique flavors of these regions have had a strong influence in his cooking and he continues to use his own family recipes with southern and Creole flavors, including his Country Succotash, Seafood Creole and Country Stewed Beans.

Levy Restaurants, founded in Chicago in 1978, was recently named one of the 10 most innovative companies in sports in the world by Fast Company magazine.  For details, visit www.levyrestaurants.com.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.