Competing thoroughbreds and elaborate fashion define the Kentucky Derby. Rich culinary traditions are also significant to Derby.
At the heart of this gastronomic spectacle lies a dessert that has become synonymous with the event: Kern's Derby-Pie®.
The Birth of a Culinary Icon
Handcrafted for over 60 years, Kern’s Derby-Pie® chocolate nut pie is a true – and truly delicious – Kentucky tradition. It perfectly captures the flavors and spirit of Kentucky cuisine. Its origins are intertwined with the state's culture and history. It is a staple at Derby Day celebrations across the Bluegrass State and beyond.
A Legacy Born in Prospect
The birth of Kern's Derby-Pie® traces back to the late 1950s. Specifically, in the small suburb east of Louisville called Prospect, Kentucky.
The story begins with the Melrose Inn, a charming country restaurant known for its Southern hospitality and delectable desserts. It was here that the Kern family, George Kern, and his parents, Walter and Leaudra Kern, concocted what would soon become a beloved homemade dish.
The Secret Recipe
The original Kern's Derby-Pie® recipe remains a well-guarded family secret to this day. However, its core ingredients are no mystery. A rich filling of chocolate chips and sliced walnuts is in the homemade flaky pie crust.
The result is a harmonious blend of sweet and nutty flavors. There are also hints of warmth and depth. Overall, it is an indulgent treat that captures the essence of Kentucky's culinary heritage.
The Rise to National Prominence
The pie's popularity quickly spread throughout the region. Locals and tourists alike flocked to the Melrose Inn to savor a slice of this mouthwatering creation.
Kern's Derby-Pie® eventually earned its place as a cherished dessert. Over time, it gained associations with the Kentucky Derby season. As the annual horse race gained nationwide recognition, so did this delectable pie.
A Sweet Tradition
As the official pie of the Kentucky Derby Festival, Kern's Derby-Pie® appears at various Derby-related events and parties. It was an instant hit among racegoers eager to indulge in this dessert while enjoying the race. It also celebrated the Southern culture that the Derby represents. The chocolate nut pie became an essential part of Derby Day traditions, along with mint juleps and fancy hats.
A National Delight
Over the decades, the popularity of Kern's Derby-Pie® has transcended Kentucky's borders. In fact, it has become a year-round delight that graces dinner tables, family gatherings, and celebrations across the United States.
Enjoy A Slice of Kentucky History®
Kern's Derby-Pie® is more than just a dessert; it's a family tradition rooted in the heart of Kentucky.
A slice of Kern's Derby-Pie® is a slice of Kentucky history. Friends and family share this treat at the racetrack and at home, wherever home is.
We invite everyone to partake in the rich tapestry of the Bluegrass State's history and culture. You can order online or at a restaurant or retail store for a taste of Kentucky history.