FINALLY, the greatest flat-race in the world has a world-class restaurant to match. Last week, French culinary legends Albert Roux and his son Michel Roux Jnr launched a new fine dining establishment that is to be at Epsom Downs Racecourse during the Investec Derby Festival. As official newspaper of the event, City A.M. was on hand to raise a toast to Chez Roux On The Princes’s Lawn. The ticket-only restaurant, which will be open on the Friday and Saturday of the event, offers a menu designed by the chefs, both of whom will be in attendance on race day.
On this most English of occasions, local produce is the order of the day. As Michel says, “the menu we’ve designed will be seasonal, for the most part British produce. For example there is english pea soup with some frozen yoghurt on top, so very fresh, ideal summer weather food, especially with a nice glass of sancerre. What a way to start off the lunch. And we’ve also got english asparagus with a poached egg on top with truffles.”
How do the Roux chefs deal with venturing out of their comfort zones to cook at a racecourse? “Forward planning. The Jockey Club have arranged a special temporary extension to the kitchen. We’re going to have a massive walk-in fridge so we can actually work and make sure everything is fresh and at the right temperature. The food is going to be indulgent but it’s light and very straightforward. There are no smoke and mirrors its just proper, really well cooked great ingredients in a fantastic, very luxurious environment.”
With Albert’s passion for horse-racing, the partnership between the Roux family and the Jockey Club was a no brainer. Albert won rave reviews for the menu he designed for the Fairlawne restaurant at this year’s Cheltenham festival.
Is Roux Jnr a horse-racing fan? “I enjoy the horseracing occasionally but not as much as my Dad. He is the most passionate horse-racing fan I know.”
Tickets include a four course lunch in the Princess
Lawn Marquee with a complimentary bar, champagne on arrival and a full traditional afternoon tea.
Ticket-holders will benefit from:
•Private terrace with amazing views of the finish line
•VIP “after party” tickets
•Racecards and racing papers
•Betting service including couriers and TVs
•Queen’s Stand Enclosure Badges
•Private tables for groups of ten or more. Shared tables for smaller groups.
Ladies day: £549 per person plus VAT.
Derby Day: £649 per person plus VAT. To book your package, log on to epsomdowns.co.uk or call the hospitality team on 01372 47 77 47.