Royal Ascot, or the Royal Meet, is to many the highlight of the social calendar. We love it, too; the fascinators, the out-there dresses, the endless amount of champagne – and of course, the food. The announcement of the chef line-up for the races is always exciting and this year, we can with certainty say that the attendees are in for a royal treat.
Raymond Blanc OBE, Simon Rogan, Ollie Dabbous, Phil Howard, James Tanner and Eric Lanlard will join head chef and executive chef at Ascot Racecourse, Ben Dutson and Gemma Amor for a week of culinary delight. Together, they form eight Michelin stars!
Raymond Blanc plates up his starter of mackerel tartare
The different restaurants play a huge role in the hospitality offering at Ascot, which can be booked here.
READ MORE: Read our guide to hospitality at Royal Ascot 2019
We were invited to the launch to sample some of the dishes that will be presented during the week and to get an idea of the food concepts expected at the Royal Meet. Each of the chefs took to the stage to demonstrate a dish of choice from their Royal Ascot menu.
James Tanner, who heads up Queen Anne Kitchen and the Gourmet Burger Pod at Ascot Racecourse, kicked off the evening with some savoury canapés. Last year, the organisers experimented with having walk-ins only for Queen Anne Kitchen, which was a roaring success and will be done again this year. Our best tip? Get there early to avoid massive queues.
James Tanner presents his Dorset crab canapés and mini burgers
Next up was Michelin-starred Raymond Blanc OBE, who heads up the Panoramic Restaurant at Ascot. He dished up scorched mackerel and tartare of mackerel with horseradish, served with pickled vegetables in an eccentric demo. Yum!
READ MORE: This is what we think of Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc Threadneedle Street
Toby Burrowes (head chef of Elystan Street) presented a crowd-pleasing cod dish with wild garlic pesto, field mushrooms, parmesan gnocchi and parsley. He was there on behalf of Phil Howard, who will take the fine-dining reigns at On5 Restaurant, Ascot’s flagship restaurant at the fifth floor of the Grandstand.
READ MORE: We spoke to Phil Howard ahead of his Royal Ascot debut last year – read the interview here
Philip Howard and Raymond Blanc gears up for another year at Ascot
Returning for a second year at Ascot, Simon Rogan told us he has decided to simplify and strip things back. Using produce mainly from his farm near the Lake District in Cumbria, we got to taste his confit jersey royal potatoes, short rib of beef and picked mushrooms. Rogan heads his own restaurant within the Royal Enclosure Garden as well as the Green Yard Restaurant that’s also in the Royal Enclosure.
READ MORE: Read our reviews of Rogan’s top restaurants, L’Enclume, Rogan & Co, Roganic, and Aulis London
Debuting this year is Ollie Dabbous, who’s received lots of acclaim from the critics lately with his Michelin-starred restaurant Hide in Mayfair (it only opened last year). He will be at the helm of Ascot’s latest restaurant concept, The Balmoral. On the launch night, Dabbous was in charge of dessert and he made lemon verbena posset with summer fruits and blossoms.
READ MORE: We interviewed Ollie Dabbous two years ago – what’s changed? Read the interview here
READ MORE: What we thought of Dabbous’ Hide in Mayfair
Ollie Dabbous presents his lemon verbena posset that will be on the menu at The Balmoral
Another Ascot debutant is dessert master Eric Lanlard, who’ll be in charge of afternoon tea in the Windsor Greys, and 1768 Grill and Tearooms.
Royal Ascot takes place from Thursday 18 to Saturday 22 June – book tickets here