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Tasting tradition at Keeneland Track Kitchen

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Posted at 12:10 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 12:21:01-04

LEIXNGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A day at Keeneland probably starts closer to the afternoon when the races are going, but for some people the day starts earlier at the Keeneland Track Kitchen.

Known as one of Lexington's best kept dining secrets, the Track Kitchen hides itself well on Keeneland's property.

But once you find it, you're hooked in by the sights, smells, and sounds of a race track tradition.

"We want them to feel the culture. We want them to feel at home. We want that tradition that is the essence of Keeneland and when they come into the track kitchen, its almost like stepping back in time a little bit because that's what it is," said Marc Therrien, Keeneland Hospitality Executive Chef.

What's normally a team of six cooks will double for the fall meet.

"These guys will see 300-400 people for breakfast and people for breakfast want to eat fast," said Therrien.

"When you come in here you step into nostalgia. You get a lot of regulars that come in. They get their normal their regular every day. They sit in their spot every day." said Stuart Brown, Keeneland VP of Equine Safety.

"There's so many folks here that come, both community folks who come in to visit or patrons on the grounds but also all the folks that work here. The groomers, the trainers, the assistant trainers, the exercise riders that all work here."

And that's how Allan Vise became a track kitchen mainstay.

Allan has grown up on the racetrack with a steady diet of track kitchen cooking because of his grandfather working at Keeneland.

"I've been here on the racetrack since I was nine years old. It's the best. The food's great and the people are just out of sight on taking care of you," said Allan.

"We don't want to share the place but we'll end up doing it whether we want to or not."

So now the Track Kitchen may be a little less of a secret. But when you have good food, great people, and even better respect for Keeneland racing--you can't stay hidden forever.