Tom Colicchio’s Kentucky Derby recipes for bourbon roasted pork, cherry bourbon BBQ sauce, spicy slaw


As the head judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef”, Tom Colicchio has been sharing his culinary experience and expertise on television since 2006 and now he’s applying it to the Kentucky Derby.

Colicchio, winner of the Bon Appétit American Food and Entertaining Award for “Chef of the Year” in 2002,  explained how to make his bourbon roasted pork, cherry bourbon bbq sauce, spicy slaw, & avocado on the pre-race show.

Kentucky Derby: What Time, Where to Watch, Horses, Post Times

Here is the full recipe for Colicchio’s bourbon roasted pork, cherry bourbon bbq sauce, spicy slaw, & avocado:


Nappa Cabbage, shredded x ½ C

Peanuts, roasted/chopped x 3 T

Ginger, grated x 1 teaspoon

Garlic, grated x 1 teaspoon

Peanut oil x 2 T

Rice vinegar x 2 T

Pickled red onions x 1 T

Lime juice to taste


Method: Combine all ingredients and season with salt, adjust seasoning with lime juice/rice vinegar. Should have a nice tangy balance.


Pork shoulder x 1 each, approx. 7-9#

Bourbon x ½ C

Brown sugar x 1 C

Salt x ¼ C

Pepper x 2 T

Method: Preheat oven 325 degrees, rinse pork with bourbon and rub the sugar, salt and pepper into the flesh all around. Place on a rack lined sheet tray and roast in oven until golden and tender, depending on size of pork it could take between 3-6 hours. A meat thermometer should read 180 degrees F. Remove from oven and allow to rest 30 minutes, then shred with a couple of forks.

BBQ Sauce

Cherries, dried x 12 oz

Cherry juice x 1.5 C

Onion, yellow, small, minced x 1 each

Garlic, chopped x 2 T

Bourbon x ½ C

Jalapeno, minced x 1 each

Ginger, peeled, minced x 2 T

Molasses x 1 T

Brown sugar x 3 T

Apple cider vinegar x ¼ C

Grape seed Oil x 2 T

Salt to taste

Method: In sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, garlic, ginger and jalapenos and season with salt. Sweat until tender and aromatic. Add bourbon and burn off alcohol by slightly reducing. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until cherries are tender. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth then adjust seasoning with salt.

Pickled Red Onions

Onions, red, thinly sliced x 2 each

Apple cider vinegar x 1 C

Habaneros, cut in half x 1 ea

Sugar, granulated x ½ C

Pickling spice x 3 T

Salt x 2 T

Method: Toss onions with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients except habanero and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. After 30 minutes, squeeze the onions in small batches to release any liquid, then place them in a non reactive container, add habanero and strain hot pickling liquid over the top of the onions. Allow to cool at room temperature before putting in fridge.

To assemble:

Warm flour tortillas, place shredded pork in center of tortilla, top with a small amount of warm BBQ sauce and slaw. Finish with picked cilantro, mint and thai basil.

Forte works out, waits for Belmont Stakes clearance

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NEW YORK — Forte, the early Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched on the day of the race, worked out in preparation for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Under regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., Forte worked five-eighths of a mile for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. It was the colt’s second workout since being scratched from the Derby on May 6.

“It seems like he’s maintained his fitness level,” Pletcher said. “It seems like everything is in good order.”

Forte was placed on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list after being scratched from the Derby because of a bruised right front foot. In order to be removed from the list, the colt had to work in front of a state veterinarian and give a blood sample afterward, the results of which take five days.

“There’s protocols in place and we had to adhere to those and we’re happy that everything went smoothly,” Pletcher said. “We felt confident the horse was in good order or we wouldn’t have been out there twice in the last six days, but you still want to make sure everything went smoothly and we’re happy everything did go well.”

Pletcher said Kingsbarns, who finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby, will miss the Belmont. The colt is showing signs of colic, although he is fine, the trainer said.

Another Pletcher-trained horse, Prove Worthy, is under consideration for the Belmont. He also has Tapit Trice, who finished seventh in the Derby, being pointed toward the Belmont.

Judge grants Churchill Downs’ request for summary judgment to dismiss Bob Baffert’s lawsuit

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge has granted Churchill Downs’ motion for summary judgment that dismisses Bob Baffert’s claim the track breached due process by suspending the Hall of Fame trainer for two years.

Churchill Downs Inc. suspended Baffert in June 2021 after his now-deceased colt, Medina Spirit, failed a postrace drug test after crossing the finish line first in the 147th Kentucky Derby. The trainer’s request to lift the discipline was denied in February, keeping him out of the Derby for a second consecutive May.

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings ruled in a 12-page opinion issued Wednesday that Churchill Downs’ suspension of Baffert did not devalue his Kentucky trainer’s license. It cited his purse winnings exceeding $1 million at Keeneland in Lexington and stated that his argument “amounts to a false analogy that distorts caselaw.”

Jennings denied CDI’s motion to stay discovery as moot.

The decision comes less than a week after Baffert-trained colt National Treasure won the Preakness in his first Triple Crown race in two years. His record eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown came hours after another of his horses, Havnameltdown, was euthanized following an injury at Pimlico.

Churchill Downs said in a statement that it was pleased with the court’s favorable ruling as in Baffert’s other cases.

It added, “While he may choose to file baseless appeals, this completes the seemingly endless, arduous and unnecessary litigation proceedings instigated by Mr. Baffert.”

Baffert’s suspension is scheduled to end on June 2, but the track’s release noted its right to extend it “and will communicate our decision” at its conclusion.