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Hospitality experts at a Scottish race course have earned a hat trick of national awards for the fine dining served up to punters.
Sodexo Prestige provides all catering and hospitality services at Hamilton Park Racecourse, which has just earned a trio of accolades for the quality of its food and drink.
The Lanarkshire track, which hosts 18 race events through the flat season, was named the best racecourse caterer in Scotland at the prestigious National Racecourse Catering Awards.
The Sodexo Prestige team was also honoured with the title for the Best Food Supplier, for its work with Hamilton-based Equi’s Ice Cream and for Best Mobiles for Supreme Group.
Sodexo Prestige is the fine dining and corporate hospitality division of Sodexo and provides all race day hospitality at Hamilton Park. It has also helped establish the course as a popular, year-round venue for private and corporate events.
Graham Box, managing director of Sodexo Prestige in Scotland, said: "Awards like this are a fantastic recognition of the extremely strong and enjoyable partnership we have with Hamilton Park Racecourse.
"As a result our team helps make big days even more memorable for racegoers, while we have also helped establish the excellent facilities at Hamilton Park as a versatile and popular venue for events well beyond the racing calendar.
"Whether we are providing hospitality for race day crowds, a special wedding or business conference for hundreds of delegates, our chefs always show imagination and creativity in developing menus which use the finest Scottish produce which is both locally sourced and sustainable."
The latest award success came during a glittering event at Ascot Racecourse, with Hamilton Park being the only one of Scotland’s five racecourses to receive recognition. No other UK racecourse won more than two awards.
Vivien Kyles, Chief Executive of the racecourse, said: “These awards are a wonderful and deserved recognition for the very talented team we have here.
“The quality of the food and drink we offer is of huge importance to us; something we all work on together as one team through planning, delivering and even tasting with Sodexo’s general manager Kathryn Jones an integral part of Hamilton Park’s management. It is very much a partnership approach which has led to these successes.
"We must now ensure these high standards are maintained and innovative new dishes continue to be created and I have no doubt the team will rise to that challenge.”
The job of constantly innovating with creative menus which deliver on the Sodexo Prestige ethos of using locally-sourced, in-season and sustainable produce falls to Trevor Garden, the company’s central production unit executive chef.
His menus, which included Scottish inspired dishes such as spale bone of buccleuch beef, ballotine of Shetland salmon and mouth watering desserts such as lemon & ginger posset with a freeze dried raspberry crumb and Perthshire berry syrup were instrumental in helping the racecourse land the three awards and he praised all members of the Sodexo Prestige team.
Trevor said: “We are constantly pushing ourselves to work alongside the racecourse and they are a pleasure to deal with, which makes the job all the more enjoyable.
“These awards are not just a success for the kitchen team, but for all of the staff who work so hard on site to give Hamilton Park visitors a dining experience to remember and for our suppliers whose excellent produce is crucial to what we do.”
The National Racecourse Catering Awards, sponsored by Piper-Heidsieck, are held to recognise excellence and achievement within racecourse catering, with 18 awards presented on the night.
Hamilton Park Racecourse offers a variety of fine dining in Private Boxes, Dukes Restaurant, Marquee Restaurants and Chalets. All are catered by Sodexo Prestige, which partners with 17 top class venues in Scotland – and 50 across the UK – including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Hampden Park Stadium and also provides catering hospitality for The Open Championship, one of the world’s biggest golfing events.