Chefs at Ascot

Royal Ascot Fine Dining Preview

Royal Ascot Fine Dining Preview

Angela Zaher meets the top chefs behind the restaurants at this year’s Ascot

Royal Ascot is one of the stellar events of the summer season, not only because of its racing, style and fashion but also its emphasis on excellent food. We went along to the Fine Dining Preview to meet some of the top chefs who will be cooking there. Some are Royal Ascot veterans such as the illustrious Raymond Blanc OBE who is chef-in-residence at the Panoramic Restaurant whilst Sally Abé will make her debut at the Holyroodhouse set within the Royal Enclosure Gardens.

Sally made green bean and lovage tartlets on the night (in June the green beans will be swapped for broad beans) which were perfect – crispy pastry, beans bursting with their freshness in a zingy vinaigrette, like eating a happy thought. She will be serving a tasting menu which draws inspiration from her passion for cooking with the finest British flavours. If you are unfamiliar with Sally Abé’s food, then you can also head to her restaurant The Pem at the Conrad London St. James hotel.

Another one to look out for at Royal Ascot is Tom Barnes, executive head chef at three Michelin-starred L’Enclume and one Michelin-starred Rogan & Co. He is taking over The Old Press Room with a six course tasting menu. On the preview night, he made the most delicious cured mackerel in horseradish with fermented gooseberries and a potato pancake – a classic dish but stamped with Tom’s innovative approach.

If you prefer à la carte menus then look out for Ollie Dabbous, executive chef of Michelin starred Hide who will be hosting at the Sandringham or Simon Rogan at the Royal Enclosure Gardens. The Grill at the Dorchester will also be back this year with executive chef Tom Booton at the helm. Eric Lanlard is in charge of afternoon tea; his exquisite patisserie reflects the style and elegance of Royal Ascot.

At the preview, the drinks reception featured Moët & Chandon, Whispering Angel Rosé, Slingsbury Gin and Tonic, Peroni beer and a special Lavazza Espresso Martini.

Royal Ascot, 20-24 June 2023