With The Cheltenham Festival (13-16 March 2018) under starters orders, Cheltenham Racecourse and Jockey Club Catering are set to cater for 250,000 people over the four-day event.
The Festival, which generates an estimated £100m for the local economy, sees an additional 24 marquees erected, including the longest triple deck structure in Europe. The racecourse, plus its 15 restaurants, 34 temporary kitchens, 72 mobile catering units and 240 private boxes will become centre stage of the British sporting calendar for the week.
Guests in the award-winning Princess Royal Grandstand, which includes the Royal Box, will savor and experience exclusive hospitality areas, as well as mingle with celebrity guests and the racing elite.
Launching for 2018, is an exclusive new sporting hospitality experience, Theatre@ The Festival, a Pan Asian Theatre restaurant, with a menu delivering a fusion of flavours from across Asia. Specially created by Tom Parry, Jockey Club Catering executive head chef at Cheltenham Racecourse, the package includes dishes such as Peking duck pancake roll; California sushi roll; Hot filo prawns; black pepper fillet of beef; Lobster; Six shades of chocolate; Pineapple ‘ice cream sandwich’; Pandan crème brulee.
Led by culinary icon Albert Roux OBE and supported by son, Michel Roux Jr., and granddaughter, Emily Roux, for the fourth year the family will be bringing the sell-out legendary Chez Roux luxury hospitality experience to the Cheltenham Festival. Bespoke menus have been designed by Albert, to reflect on the seasonality and provenance of Cheltenham’s local larder.
A focus on local ingredients will see show-stopping menus created across the hospitality and public areas. Examples of local produce include; 100% of the cheese used is produced within 50 miles of Cheltenham; 100% of all salmon is cured or smoked within 50 miles (Severn and Wye) and is 100% responsibly sourced Scottish salmon.
The culinary team has been busy creating a range of food concepts, from fine-dining hospitality all the way to a new PLUSE deli range, to launch at this year’s Festival which will include a new signature sandwich of smoked salmon with lemon, cracked pepper and rocket on an extra thick bread. The sandwich team are planning to make over 7,000 sandwiches onsite during the Cheltenham Festival which will be available in retail outlets.
In addition to this, The Festival will see the following (estimated) served:
40,000 hospitality meals
8,000 gallons of tea and coffee
5 tonnes of local cheese
9 tonnes of British potatoes
5 tonnes of responsibly sourced Scottish salmon
Jockey Club Catering is recognised for its service and understands that its people are at the heart of The Festival experience. The event is supported each day by a large catering team including 350 chefs and 350 managers. Reflecting the spirit of the local community 300 students are selected from 11 local colleges to gain valuable experience at the world’s most famous jump race.
In an effort to continue Cheltenham’s endeavors on sustainability, this year the team are pulling out all the stops to beat last year’s recycling record which saw 73% of waste recycled. This year will also see Jockey Club Catering working with local charity partner RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) and around 30 volunteers to help raise funds that will make a life changing impact on local disabled children and adults.
Nick Campbell, managing director for Jockey Club Catering said: “The Cheltenham Festival is always a highlight of the year, nothing compares to the atmosphere or excitement that surrounds the racecourse, while the size of the operation and commitment from staff to run such a successful event cannot be matched. With the innovations across the site we look forward to hosting the best Festival possible.”
Jockey Club Catering is a joint venture between The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British racing, and Compass Group UK & Ireland. The partnership was launched in 2009 with the aim of providing premium quality catering at all 15 of The Jockey Club Racecourses.