Thursday, 1 September 2011

Local Produce At Its Very Best

On Saturday at Ascot, you will be tempted by locally produced goodies such as quince jelly, handmade chocolates, honey, pickles, jams, speciality breads, oils, handmade gingerbread, real ale, wine and the finest cheeses.

The Racecourse is hosting a variety of different stallholders, the majority of which are members of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire [BBO] Food Group and Hampshire Fare.

The BBO Food Group is a Community Interest Company, which is made up of local food, drink and hospitality businesses as well as organisations and individuals that share a passion for local food and drink. County food group Hampshire Fare campaigns to heighten the awareness and consumption of Hampshire's quality produce and 2011 sees the organisation celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Both organisations promote the production and consumption of local food and drink and to increase the volume of this market in the area; the principle objectives being to support producers to sell locally, promote the benefits of food and drink produced in the area, to enable as many people as possible to have access to good locally produced food and encourage producers to use environmentally friendly methods and to practise good animal welfare.

Now in its fifth year, the Ascot Racecourse Festival of Food has grown into a respected local gastronomic celebration enhanced this year by the cookery demonstrations from Gemma Amor, Ascot’s Head Chef. Gemma enthuses, ‘I will be rustling up three easy to prepare dishes today, each with recipe cards that racegoers can take away and try at home. It is so exciting and refreshing to know that the majority of the ingredients can be purchased at the racecourse today and they all come from local suppliers who are passionate about their produce’.
There are many stallholders that have been with the Ascot Racecourse Festival of Food from its humble beginnings in 2007, including Well Preserved (jams, marmalades, chutneys and pickles), Quince Products and Ilze’s Chocolates as well as regional brewer Ascot Ales, who will be returning to Ascot for the Campaign for Real Ale Beer Festival on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October.

We are also delighted to welcome some new faces for 2011 including Sweeney and Todd pie makers, Bow-in-the-Cloud Vineyard and Stanswick Farm. Stanswick Farm, run by the Sanderson Family on the Oxfordshire/Wilshire border between Lambourn and Shrvenham, have become famous in the region for their cold pressed Rape Seed Oil; very versatile with its subtle nutty taste which is not as overpowering as olive oil. It is great in the kitchen and can be used for everything from salad dressings to stir frying and is packed with goodness.When you are sampling the scrumptious local fare on Saturday that stallholders have to offer, you can be sure of its impeccable provenance. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite stallholder for the inaugural Ascot Festival of Food Award on Saturday!

For further information on the BBO Food Group, visit

For further information on Hampshire Fare, visit

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