When the management team at Towcester Racecourse was looking to improve the dining experience at the Northamptonshire venue, it turned to Sous Vide Tools for help.
Racecourse General Manager Helen Deakin had been searching for a catering solution that would allow consistency and quality time after time, despite the fact that the venue is open for just three nights a week and operated by a semi-permanent team.
“I have been a fan of sous vide for many years and knew the benefits would be advantageous to our business although I wasn’t sure to what extent it could work on site,” explains Deakin. “I also hadn’t managed to find a company that actually took an interest in what we were doing at Towcester, one that wanted to understand our vision and business and was prepared to spend the time to show me what could be achieved.”
All that changed when Deakin met the team from Sous Vide Tools at an exhibition in 2014. The company made an impression by showing Deakin sites that were already using sous vide as a ‘food-to-go’ option. It then went on to advise on scaling up, and on menu development for the racecourse restaurant.
“Our main problem was getting the chefs to buy into my vision,” explains Deakin. “At the start we had no permanent team in place so we spent time with Sous Vide Tools getting the first menu up and running. Once we had appointed both a head and a sous chef, we were able to send them both on a Sous Vide Tools training day, which proved invaluable in getting them on board with the concept, and everything just fell into place.”
“Two years on and we are using sous vide to prepare a range of dishes including our best-selling roast sirloin of beef, alongside slow-cooked featherblade, our bbq short rib, lamb rump, belly pork as well as compressed rhubarb and spiced pineapple. The concept allows us to use basic cuts of meat to produce some great dishes while taking care of portion control, reducing waste and extending shelf-life. None of this would have been possible without the food knowledge and back up that has come from working with Sous Vide Tools, so it has proved to be a win-win situation all round.”