Uttoxeter Racecourse, in Staffordshire, has been named amongst the finalists for a prestigious award at the Racecourse Association’s annual Showcase Awards.
Nominated in the Food and Beverage category, Uttoxeter Racecourse impressed the independent judging panel sufficiently to become one of five finalists and will be hoping to be crowned winners at the award ceremony at Doncaster Racecourse on November 17.
The Food & Beverage Award identifies excellence and innovation in racecourse food and drink quality and service. Entries were asked to reflect the fare itself and its journey from conception to plate, as well as the level of service underpinning the operation.
Following £600,000 investment from Arena racing Company, the main facility at the racecourse has been transformed into the 1907 panoramic restaurant. The physical transformation speaks for itself, creating an environment that complements the countryside it overlooks. It has provides a much larger space, seating up to 250 covers on a racedays, and up to 300 banquet style.
At the same time, Head Chef Emmett Cassidy and his team have developed a simple, understated, menu to allow the key ingredients to play centre stage and work in harmony with surroundings, such as Warm Salad of Pigeon, Roasted Fig, Pancetta, Wild Mushrooms and a Port Jus.
Around 85% of the menu is produced in-house and 70% of products locally sourced. The staff, meanwhile, have been trained to deliver outstanding service with both personality and flair.
Celebrating excellence and innovation on British Racecourses the RCA Showcase & Awards feature a daytime seminar with a variety of speakers from racing as well as other sports and leisure industries, before the awards ceremony in the evening.
The seventh edition of the RCA Showcase & Awards is supported by Moet Hennessey, and is as competitive as ever with racecourse submissions increasing by 10% to 77. There are ten main awards in total, covering all aspects of racecourse operation, with the ultimate goal of celebrating and rewarding initiatives which enhance the customer experience.
Executive Director of Uttoxeter Racecourse, David MacDonald said: “The redevelopment of the new 1907 restaurant has transformed our food and beverage offer, so to be recognised in this way is extremely rewarding. Being shortlisted for a Showcase Award is always a great honour and it’s a real tribute to the hard work of our team.”
Racecourse Association Chairman, Maggie Carver, said: “The RCA Showcase & Awards is one of the highlights of the year for racecourses and we have seen the number and standard of submissions increase yet again making 2016 another difficult one for our judging panel. It is an amazing achievement to be named as a Finalist and inspiring to see such a wide range of racecourses on the lists. I am delighted for the team at Uttoxeter Racecourse and it is testament to the hard work they put in all year round. We are now looking forward to finding out who all the winners are at Doncaster on 17 November.”
The seventh annual RCA Showcase & Awards will take place at Doncaster Racecourse on 17 November.
In addition to the “Food & Beverage” category, awards will be presented to racecourses for “All About The Horse”; “Best Campaign”; “Racing Together Community & Corporate Social Responsibility”; “Digital/Social Media Excellence”; “Events”; “Operational Excellence”; and “Owners’ Experience”.
The winners of the Racing Post Readers’ Award and #TopSpot Award will also be announced on the night.