A CELEBRATION of food and wine came to Ascot racecourse last weekend.

Internationally-renowned chefs, local artisan producers and race-goers all flocked to the racecourse on Friday and Saturday to sample the Italian Tourist Board Food & Wine Festival.

Celebrity chefs Aldo Zilli, James Tanner and Raymond Blanc all took to the Gastronomes Theatre to give expert demonstrations of their latest masterpieces, while guests enjoyed culinary heaven in the Food Avenue.

Newly opened restaurant The Royal Foresters had the honour of sponsoring the British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes, which was won by Shambolic.

The CEO of Oakman Inns, which owns The Royal Foresters, Peter Borg-Neal said: "We have had the most perfect weekend. The Italian Tourist Board Festival of Food & Wine brought with it some glorious autumnal weather; there was a friendly knowledgeable crowd across both the Festival itself and the racing, and it has been the most wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the renaissance, restoration and reopening of The Royal Foresters, just a few minutes’ walk from one of my favourite racecourses.

"The ITB Festival gave us the chance to introduce thousands of visitors to our offering via our chalet in the Food Avenue, whilst we also celebrated by sponsoring the second race which was great fun and which marked the beginning of what we hope will be a long-term and very happy supportive relationship between The Royal Foresters and Ascot Racecourse.”