An exclusive look at Michelin-star chef Ollie Dabbous’ menu at this year’s Festival of Speed

06th June 2024
Discover the inspiration behind the chef’s exquisite Festival of Speed menu and why it promises to be a feast for the senses…

Written by Rebecca Denne


Epic views, VIP treatment and a menu that’s been created by one of the UK’s top chefs. And that’s before we even get to the action on the track. 

This year, we’ve enlisted the creativity and master skills of Ollie Dabbous, Hide’s head chef. Having honed his craft under the likes of Raymond Blanc at the world-class Le Manoir, Ollie has exploded on the restaurant scene, best known for his elegant, minimalist approach to food and vivid celebration of ingredients.

Ollie will be heading up a team of chefs in the Surtees Pavilion at the Festival of Speed, where guests can expect to see (and taste) a variety of fresh produce – much of which is grown here on The Estate. 

Here, Ollie shares what he’ll be serving and why his hospitality package will take your weekend up a gear, creating a memory of a lifetime.


Hello, Ollie. So, have you been to the Festival of Speed before?

Never – largely due to my schedule in the kitchen. I love cars so I am very excited to finally be going. Hopefully I’ll catch some racing – I’ll definitely hear it!

Tell us about what you're going to be doing on-event

I’ll be serving a celebration of the very best summer ingredients including some of the Estate’s very own home-grown produce, including meats and cheeses. It will be elevated but informal – a menu that makes you hungry and dishes that make you smile. There will be some cooking stations visible to the guests too, so it will be immersive and entertaining as well as delicious. Cooking over charcoal, soft-serve machines and bespoke poke bowls.

How did you come up with the menu and why is it perfect for the Festival of Speed?

It’s a mix of homely crowd-pleasers, light summer dishes, twisted classics and brazenly progressive. Something for everyone. Guests are here for the cars, so now isn’t the time for anything too subtle or too adventurous. The food offering must be just as good as everything around it and exceed expectations. I think informality is key for people to be receptive. Great food and conviviality will just heighten their memories of the day.

Where do you get your inspiration for your dishes?

I love food and I am naturally curious, but I think people are either creative or not. Creativity largely comes from within, but also from seeing amazing produce, which is always a great reminder to keep things simple. I am also very organised, which gives me more time to be creative – it’s hard to think freely if you’re fighting fires.

Tell us a little more about some of the produce you’ll be using

There will be organic beef, pork, blue cheese and dairy all from the Estate. Fish from the south coast, including crab and monkfish. Then raw apple vinegar, pickled rose petals, homemade mango chutney, fig leaf oil, and elderflower to add some vibrancy. 

And the flavours – they seem very classic but elevated

Crystal clear flavours that are both delicious and nourishing. My role as a chef is to always showcase the ingredient, never vice versa. I question why we like something then look to showcase those qualities in an organic but refined manner.

You’re used to working in busy kitchens but how does that differ from an event such as Festival of Speed?

I think the main difference is being in a new kitchen; you don’t know where everything is, so you learn as you go. The muscle memory isn’t there. A bit like when you make a cup of coffee at a friend’s house and are looking for the mugs, the spoons etc, except times by a hundred! There is a different energy with events, though; everyone is so excited to be there. It is contagious. There will be seven of us in the kitchen total. I am lucky to have an amazing team of chefs that help me at such events: well organised, hard-working and fun to be around, which is important when you are in each other’s pockets for the best part of a week.

Have you got a stand-out dish from the menu? 

I think the Quail grilled over British charcoal with warm spices, crispy grains, beetroot and pickled rose petals is my favourite from the menu. But we are also doing an anglicised version of a poke bowl using unpearled spelt, and showcasing an array of vibrant summer vegetables and flavoursome dressings.

Why would you encourage people to treat themselves to the hospitality package and come and enjoy your dishes?

There are only so many times in your life that you look back on as golden days. If you love cars and love food, then you have no excuse not to. I will be there all day every day and The Surtees Pavilion is incredibly intimate rather than a massive venue. I have no doubts it will feel like a treat in the best possible way. I think now more than ever, going to special events and making memories with friends and family are the most worthwhile form of luxury.

The full menu can be viewed online here.

To find out more about Ollie Dabous at this year’s Festival of Speed, click here.

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