by Tiffany Porter
Students from the Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) Culinary Arts Program worked with Levy Restaurants at the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
Levy Restaurants is a restaurant company based in Chicago that provides vending and food services to major entertainment and sports venues. Levy currently holds a food service contract at Churchill Downs, and they sent a request for help with the Kentucky Derby and Oaks Day. MCTC was one of only two Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) programs there to help.
MCTC students had to provide a resume and go through an interview process before being hired for the event. This experience gave them real-world practice by working 60 hours in only four days, and some days the hours ranged from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. During that time, students assisted in several kitchens at Churchill Downs, including those in the Terf Club and Millionaires Row. They prepared over a 1,000 pounds of green beans, 140 pounds of brussel sprouts, 500 pounds of pot roast, short ribs and much more.
While they were paid for their work as young professionals, they were more excited about potential opportunities that arose from this event. Culinary Program professor Chef Patrick Zemba said, “This was a great opportunity and experience. Our students were given three to four months of experience in a week, and we have established a relationship with an opportunity to help at Breeders Cup and Derby in 2019.”
Following the tradition, all kitchen staff have the chance to watch the Derby from the roof of Churchill Downs. So after all of their hard work, MCTC students witnessed Justify win the 2018 Kentucky Derby, and made memories they won’t soon forget.
To learn more about our Culinary Arts program, click here.