Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2013) – Turfway Park has hired veteran restaurateur Richard DePew to manage its food and beverage operations, which include Turfway Concessionaire, the racetrack's restaurant and concessions division, and Park Avenue Catering, its on- and off-site catering service. DePew officially begins his new role Oct. 28.
A 25-year veteran of operations and food and beverage management, DePew comes to Turfway from Lone Star Steakhouse in Anderson, Ind., where he was the store's general manager. For five years earlier in his career he served as Lone Star's training general manager. He also has held the position of general manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, Denny's, and Cracker Barrel locations as well as other food and beverage management positions at properties in Arizona and California.
In addition to his management experience, DePew has been an executive chef at hotel properties in Ohio. He is also trained in garde manger, the detailed art of preparation and presentation particularly of cold foods, a skill important both to the racetrack's restaurant offerings and to its catering services.
"We're excited to welcome Rick to our team," said Turfway's general manager, Chip Bach. "He has a history of developing his staff to become management-caliber leaders and is well versed in project management, strategic planning, safety management, and budgeting. We look forward to offering our patrons a fresh perspective on food and beverage service."
"There are at least 200 restaurants in Florence, and a lot of them are concentrated along the section of I-75 where Turfway is located," said DePew. "Our goal is to rise above that crowd as a standalone restaurant, not just as where you eat during the races. At the same time, live racing adds a fascinating dimension that no other restaurant in the area can offer.
"Our menus will feature only fresh ingredients cooked fresh, including hand-cut Delmonico and rib-eye steaks," DePew continued. "They will reflect not only Kentucky but also the influence of my grandmother, who emigrated from Sicily to the United States when my mother was 10 years old; my grandmother is the one who first taught me how to cook. We also have the advantage here of tapping into the Kentucky Proud program.
"When someone eats something we've prepared and leans back in the chair and says, 'That was awesome,' that's where the satisfaction comes from," DePew said.
Turfway has two kitchens, one on the first floor that services the Homestretch restaurant and a second on the fifth floor that services the Top of the Park and the Racing Club.
Live racing returns to Turfway on Dec. 1 with the holiday meet and continues uninterrupted from January through March with the winter/spring meet. During December live racing runs Thursday through Sunday, with a new post time of 6:15 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday and the traditional 1:10 p.m. ET post time on Saturday and Sunday. Changes to the schedule for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day are posted at www.turfway.com.