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Marcus Samuelsson, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons Will Serve the VIP Suites at This Year’s Preakness

The celebrity chefs will make everything from wagyu and scallops to fried chicken during this weekend's race.

Marcus Samuelsson is one of the chefs preparing food for the VIP suites at the Preakness race this weekend Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Horse races happen in mere minutes, but VIP guests at this year’s Preakness Stakes will have days to enjoy the event’s delicious food.

The race, taking place this Saturday, May 21, has invited some big-name chefs to cook for the weekend festivities, and they’re really bringing their A-game. The Top Chef judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons will be joined by Marcus Samuelsson of New York’s Red Rooster, Eater reported. All three chefs will be serving made-to-order meals as well as buffet items, and the menu is more than worth the trip to Baltimore.

On Friday, Colicchio will be whipping up pastrami duck breast with a cherry salad and buffet-style short ribs. For the main event the next day, he’s sticking to meat-focused offerings: a wagyu beef with spicy onion and pepper salad and buffet-style porchetta.

Samuelsson is going in a more Southern direction on Friday, with hot-honey fried chicken, shrimp and grits, mac and cheese and greens up for the eating. On Saturday, he’ll turn his attention to berbere-cured salmon with corn puree, shaved fennel and honey-mustard vinaigrette, along with a farro risotto with steamed seafood, carrots and peas for the buffet.

And Simmons is making a play for pasta: On Friday, she’ll offer an orecchiette with Swiss chard, lemon and chicken sausage at the buffet, while scallops with peas, asparagus, mint gremolata and polenta will be featured at her action station. The following day, buffet-goers will be able to indulge in cheesy chicken and mushroom pasta pie with broccoli rabe, while guests looking for a custom meal can grab lettuce cups filled with tea-marinated duck breast and Asian herb salad.

The celeb chefs will only be cooking for a select group of diners, with their made-to-order meals being served at the VIP Finish Line Suites and the buffets being offered at the Turfside Terrace and Homestretch Suites. The luxury suites need to be booked by phone, while the Turfside Terrace tickets start at $324 on Friday and go up to $756 on Saturday.


Of course, no good meal is complete without a great cocktail to accompany it. While the Kentucky Derby has mint juleps, the Preakness goes for a black-eyed Susan. The drink’s recipe has changed over the years, but the 2022 Preakness version will combine Bulleit bourbon, Ketel One vodka, and peach schnapps with fresh orange juice and sour mix for a refreshing sipper.

They say the Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports. Well, it seems like the Preakness might be this year’s most exciting two days in food.

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