The Hot Brown at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky

If you are a frequent reader of Pratesi Living, you know that I will bring home a recipe from our travels and make it in my own kitchen. This trip was no exception. Besides, no one can ever have too many Hot Browns (well, maybe…).

The recipe that the Brown Hotel provides varies slightly from Chef Géroli’s creation. He adds two extra slices of bacon in the process. His Texas Toast is also more like a brioche pullman, so it is sweeter and heavier (the Texas Toast I generally think of is a white bread). His Mornay Sauce was also a bit different.

This looks pretty close to the original one at The Brown Hotel.

To be as authentic as possible, I roasted a whole turkey last night. I did use half and half in place of the heavy cream (I need to watch that ever so expanding girlish figure of mine). I also used brioche bread in place of the Texas Toast.

The Hot Browns I made were excellent based on the recipe and looked just like the dish we had in Louisville. I did not have any luck finding the Hot Brown dish so I substituted a 19 ounce au gratin dish, but once you start to eat it, you won’t care what it’s served in.

I prepared these for the hubs and my stepson and there weren’t but a few words or sounds uttered while they worked their way through the dish, like an OMG! or Mmmm here and there. I take that as a positive sign.

Do you think Chef Géroli will tell me what’s in the secret sauce if I ask him?

As close as mine was to the version I had at The Brown Hotel, they are definitely keeping the recipe for their secret sauce to themselves up there in Louisville. Chef Géroli’s Mornay Sauce was different in flavor and in color from the one I made. I knew it would be because the ingredients I used were all white and their sauce was a bit orange. My best guess is that there is some cheddar cheese in their version and perhaps some paprika or Worcestershire Sauce.

Their Mornay Suace was also thinner. I am sure they need to keep the sauce thinner since they make sooo many of these at the hotel. Otherwise, it would seize up and get too thick to pour. I am now on a mission to go back to Louisville to see exactly what they are doing in that kitchen to make those things so darn delectable.

If you can’t make a trip to Louisville, this recipe is certainly as close as you can get to the real Hot Brown. One bite and you will be addicted!

Thank you so much to The Brown Hotel, Chef Géroli, and their gracious staff for allowing us to spend some time with them in the kitchen. They were incredibly hospitable (as you would expect they would be in the state of Kentucky).

I highly recommend a trip to Louisville, The Brown Hotel, and ordering a Hot Brown while in town. We had so much fun and cannot wait to share the rest of our adventures with you. The Derby is just ten days away, so grab a hat and start planning your party.

I think I will have one for lunch…maybe dinner…or maybe both!


Disclosure – Thank you to the Brown Hotel for providing dinner and our room during our stay.

The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe


2 oz. Whole Butter (I used unsalted)
2 oz. All Purpose Flour
1 Qt. Heavy Cream (I used half and half)
1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish (I used more cheese than suggested for garnish)
Salt & Pepper to Taste (I used freshly ground white pepper)
14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast (I roasted a whole turkey for the turkey breast meat)
2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed) (I used Brioche, sliced)
4 slices of Crispy Bacon (Chef Geroli doubles this amount)
2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
Paprika, for garnish
Chopped Parsley, for garnish


In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of The Brown Hotel
Louisville, Kentucky


Page: 1 2 3

End of Article.

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.