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Chef Virginia Willis, an acclaimed food writer, James Beard Award winner and editor at-large for Southern Living, arrived Thursday and paused for a photo with Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. Students assigned to “The Mansion,” an exclusive Churchill Downs venue that attracts the rich and famous, will work alongside Willis.
Chef Virginia Willis, an acclaimed food writer, James Beard Award winner and editor at-large for Southern Living, arrived Thursday and paused for a photo with Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts. Students assigned to “The Mansion,” an exclusive Churchill Downs venue that attracts the rich and famous, will work alongside Willis.
On their first day at Churchill Downs, students unpack chocolate bars as they begin preparing 4,000 bourbon-caramel s’mores.
On their first day at Churchill Downs, students unpack chocolate bars as they begin preparing 4,000 bourbon-caramel s’mores.
Students take photos at the iconic site, where they were hired to serve a weeklong internship by Levy Restaurants, which manages food operations at Churchill Downs. Levy representatives visited campus to conduct interviews with the students.
Students take photos at the iconic site, where they were hired to serve a weeklong internship by Levy Restaurants, which manages food operations at Churchill Downs. Levy representatives visited campus to conduct interviews with the students.
Culinary arts and systems students R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Cy C. Heller, of Milton, work an à la carte lunch in the Turf Room on Oaks Day.
Culinary arts and systems students R. Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Md; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Cy C. Heller, of Milton, work an à la carte lunch in the Turf Room on Oaks Day.

Students in several majors are working hard this week throughout Churchill Downs as the facility – and horseracing fans already onsite – gear up for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. The students are stationed in kitchens and luxury suites to prepare food and help serve guests. While Derby Week encompasses a variety of events at the Downs throughout the week, including the Kentucky Oaks race for fillies on Friday, the main event, scheduled for 6:46 p.m. Saturday, is expected to attract more than 170,000 guests.
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