RISING star chef Tom Barnes will have one eye on the finishing line as he cooks from a new pop up kitchen next to the final furlong at Cartmel Racecourse this summer.
Tom will take the reins at Rogan & Co at the Races - the exclusive new restaurant set to open at one of the UK's most unique tracks in May.
He is fully prepared for excitement levels to hit the roof on race days when diners are able to cheer on the runners and riders from the venue’s trackside location.
“I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on the races but I’m not sure if I’ll have the chance to watch any from start to finish,” Tom said.
“I think it will make a really great atmosphere in the marquee,” he added. “And you never know, we might be cheering the horses on as well.”
Historic Cartmel Racecourse is the local track for Tom, from Barrow, who has made a name for himself as head chef of Simon Rogan’s Cartmel-based neighbourhood restaurant, the Michelin-starred Rogan & Co.
The glass fronted pop up, which will showcase a Lake District-inspired interior, is set to further cement Cartmel’s position as a destination on the international food map.
Work to develop a menu in time for the first of the course’s nine annual race days began in earnest after Rogan & Co at the Races was announced. It will feature three courses as well as afternoon tea.
The experience has been an enjoyable one for Tom, who will incorporate seasonal produce grown on Simon’s 12-acre organic farm in the Cartmel valley; Our Farm, for ultra-fresh flavours and low food miles.
He said: “A lot of time goes into putting together the menu, as we use seasonal produce so we have to think ahead to what will be ripe at the time.
“It’s really important for us to use locally grown produce; not only does it reduce the carbon footprint but it also means we can use the freshest ingredients which have the best flavour.
“We love using produce from the farm as we can pick vegetables in the morning and make them into a dish in the same day. You can’t beat that.”
With diners able to enjoy the thrill of a racing finish just yards from their table, Rogan & Co at the Races is set to provide Tom with some memorable days at work.
He added: “There’s something special about Cartmel Racecourse, I’ve had many a fun day out there myself.
“This year, I think Rogan & Co at the Races will bring something different to the racecourse.
“Guests can expect to enjoy exceptional quality food whilst overlooking the finishing straight which is pretty exciting.
“It’s a new culinary experience for many and will add that extra element to their day.
“Rogan & Co is a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant, so we are translating that to the racecourse environment.
“I want to make sure everyone has a wonderful day out with delicious food and fantastic entertainment.”
Tickets for Rogan & Co at the Races are available to book via cartmel-racecourse.co.uk