Rhys Owen, Head Chef of Epsom DOWNS Racecourse gives us a monthly update of the Culinary going-ons at the course.
Hello! Welcome to my first blog post; I’m Rhys Owen – Head Chef at Epsom Downs Racecourse. You’re probably thinking it’s a bit of a weird time to start a culinary blog for a Flat racecourse, but actually it’s perfect – with only 7 months to go until the Investec Derby Festival, I’m now in my reflection and planning period for the upcoming season.
However, my culinary skills aren’t just showcased on race days, but throughout the events Epsom Downs host the rest of the year. With Christmas just around the corner, my team and I are prepping to host over 7000 guests in December, who come to celebrate with their colleagues, friends, family and loved ones, and we’re here to ensure they have a great meal as part of that.
The clocks have gone back, which I hear most people moan about – as who wants to drive home in the dark? But for us Chefs, we’re relishing the seeing the sunlight again on our early starts. There is a sense of cosiness for this time of year; which is matched perfectly by our seasonal produce.
As we approach November, our champion best of British product is one of my all-time favourite vegetables to cook with – versatile, fat free, bursting with vitamins and minerals, our trusty nation-loved British grown potatoes are at their best in November. Perfectly accompanied by a slow cooked shin of beef; it’s the ultimate comfort food, and perfect spread for hosting at this time of year.
Epsom Downs will be hosting the Owners and Trainers Awards soon, and I’ve curated the menu to incorporate the best of local and seasonal produce; including pumpkin, wild mushrooms, cranberries & potatoes. It’s been one of my favourite menus to make this year and showcases the best in Epsom culinary talent by my team, whilst the awards celebrate the best in Epsom Racing.