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Churchill Downs Racetrack and Levy Restaurants are delighted to name David Danielson as the new Executive Chef of the historic home of the Kentucky Derby. Danielson joined the culinary team at the racetrack in 2011 as Executive Sous Chef and has welcomed guests from the suites to the grandstand with fresh spins on classic low country favorites created with farm-fresh local ingredients. Danielson replaces Chef JoJo Doyle, who had served as Executive Chef at Churchill Downs since 2009.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have David take the helm of our dining experience,” said Ryan Jordan, general manager of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “He has a passion for Southern hospitality and an incredible level of culinary expertise, and our patrons will quickly appreciate his skill during our upcoming September meet and its pair of ‘Downs After Dark’ night racing programs on Sept. 7 and 28. With Chef David leading our team, we know that Churchill Downs’ guests from throughout North America and around the world will continue to enjoy a truly world-class experience with every bite.”
Danielson’s culinary style celebrates authentic southern flavors, while taking a progressive and inventive approach inspired by global cuisines, restaurant trends and farm-fresh ingredients. He enjoys surprising guests with menus inspired by the rich history of Churchill Downs and infused with the unexpected to entice the next generation of racing fans.
Classically trained, Danielson studied at the Dumas Pere school of French cooking and later continued at the renowned hotel school Ecole Hotelier Tain l’ Hermitage in France, honing his culinary skills at several Michelin-starred restaurants.
Upon returning to the U.S., Danielson worked as the executive chef at New York’s United Nations Plaza Hotel and at such Chicago favorites as the Ritz Carlton and Charlie Trotter’s. He also served as personal chef to the British Consulate General. Chef has also lent his culinary expertise to a variety of major events, including PGA Championships, the US Open Tennis Tournament and the GRAMMY Awards.
From Churchill Downs