Racing & Wagering

Fork, Cork & Style Festival to Celebrate Signature Foods, Celebrity Chefs & Fine Wine

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/19/2010 #

Chef Emeril Lagasse to Headline Inaugural Festival Celebrating Marquee Foods, Premiere Wines and Upscale Tailgating Style Ideas on Saturday, Oct. 2

Churchill Downs Entertainment Group (CDE) will introduce Fork, Cork & Style a celebration of unique cuisine, fine wine and stylish living, on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT at Arlington Park Racetrack in Arlington Heights, Ill. The first-of-its-kind festival will feature signature foods from around the country, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, a premier wine tasting with 250 elite brands, and innovative ways to dress up tailgating parties.

Renowned chef Emeril Lagasse will headline Fork, Cork & Style, preparing mouth-watering food live amidst a fun, high-energy atmosphere. Lagasse has hosted over 1,500 shows on the Food Network and is presently a correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America. In addition to Lagasse's cooking demonstrations, several finalists from Bravo's Top Chef television series and featured local chefs will also participate in cooking demonstrations on the feature stage throughout the day. Among the celebrity chefs also scheduled to appear are: 

  • Brian Malarkey - California Restaurant Association's "Chef of the Year," and owner of San Diego's new Searsucker restaurant, recent guest on TLC's Mega Bites and finalist from popular Bravo television show Top Chef Miami;
  • Eli Kirshtein - Finalist on Emmy Award-nominated show Top Chef Vegas and owner of a new restaurant opening soon in New York City; and
  • Casey Thompson - This Top Chef Miami contestant, known for her talent for pairing the perfect wine with every dish, serves as a culinary ambassador for the San Francisco Bay Area.

CDE launched its Fork, Cork & Style franchise earlier this year and will host the branded event in the series on Sept. 12 at Churchill Downs, Arlington Park's sister racetrack in Louisville, Ky.

"This is another innovative concept we think appeals to our target market of highly engaged entertainment seekers," CDE President Steve Sexton said. "Fork, Cork & Style is a winning combination, a blend of marquee foods from various markets combined with key local offerings and offered at one location. The festival will celebrate America's best foods, the world's finest wines, and give festival goers ways to enhance their next tailgating experience."

Notable restaurants participating include several eateries that have ranked high on the Travel Channel's official list of the "101 Best Places to Chow Down":

  • Chicago area's Albano's Pizzeria, No. 8 on the list for its football-sized pizza puff ;
  • Buffalo's Anchor Bar, No. 17 on the list and home of the original Buffalo Chicken Wings; and
  • West Virginia's Hillbilly Hot Dogs, No. 15 on the list and is best known for the 15-inch Home Wrecker hot dog topped with a pile of tasty condiments.
  • St. Louis's Ted Drewes, No. 37 on the list is frozen custard family tradition.

Additional restaurants featured include Memphis hot spot Central BBQ, rated the "No. 1 BBQ Joint in Tennessee," which will prepare delicious ribs and pulled pork and South Philadelphia's Tony Luke's, home of the ultimate cheesesteak, which was featured on Travel Channel's Man v. Food and Chicago's own world famous Billy Goat Tavern and Grill.

There will also be a grand wine tasting filled with high-end vintners presented by Binny's Beverage Depot including more than 250 wines from premier wine regions like Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Washington State, Rioja, Sonoma Valley, Champagne, and many more.

Chicago's Fork, Cork & Style will also feature the sounds of the east coast dance band Boogie Knights complete with Disco cover songs and funky 70's attire with others TBA.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, Aug.19 at 5:00 p.m. Advance ticket prices (available through Sept. 25) are $25 for general admission and $60 for general admission and wine tasting. After Oct. 2, prices are $35 for general admission and $70 for admission and wine tasting. Special promotions to be announced soon will be available at any Chicagoland Binny's Beverage Depot by clicking on their website A limited number of $200 VIP tickets will also be available which include an exclusive meet and greet with chef Emeril Lagasse and the other celebrity chefs, reserved seating at the cooking demo stage, first-class access to the wine tasting and VIP parking. Tickets are available online at

About Churchill Downs Entertainment Group
Churchill Downs Entertainment Group ("CDE") is a wholly owned subsidiary of Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI") located in Louisville, Ky., that was formed to conceive, develop, produce and manage large-scale entertainment events at CDI and non-CDI properties. CDE debuted the HullabaLOU Music Festival July 23 - 25, 2010, at Churchill Downs Racetrack, which included more than 65 artists performing over three-days on five stages including headliners: Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews Band.

About Arlington Park
Arlington Park - the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. - will run a 91-day meet in 2010 from Thursday, April 29 through Sunday, Sept. 26. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities - Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Waukegan, Shooters Bar & Grill at Don Carter Lanes featuring Trackside Rockford, Fat Sam's Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino's featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, Tad's Sports Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins and Sundance Saloon featuring Trackside OTB in Waukegan. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at