Cambridge Raceway launch catering section

The Dipping Chowder, one of the new menu items created by head chef Michelle Thomson for the Taylor St Club at Cambridge Raceway - Photo: Picket Fence
The Dipping Chowder, one of the new menu items created by head chef Michelle Thomson for the Taylor St Club at Cambridge Raceway

Photo: Picket Fence

Cambridge Raceway took a leap towards their goal of becoming a first-choice events hub in the Waikato today, with the launch of their new catering section, Off The Track Food & Bev.

Led by Head Chef Michelle Thomson, Off The Track Food & Bev will take over all of Cambridge Raceway’s on site catering from January 1, 2023 and will also provide an out catering service.

Thomson, who has more than 20 years’ experience, has been with Cambridge Raceway for the past six months, initially focused on the onsite Clubhouse sports bar.

“It has been an exciting new challenge,” Thomson said. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to be part of something so embedded in the Cambridge way of life and the harness racing industry.

“Bringing the hospitality sector to life for Cambridge Raceway and showing what we now have to offer our community is an exciting venture and one I am ready for.”

Cambridge Raceway’s CEO Dave Branch said that the creation of the catering business is a critical step towards enhancing the event experience offered by the raceway.

“We’re all about raising the standard and creating unique experiences that exceed expectations and we’re thrilled to now be able to offer a full service in house solution for clients who choose to have their events at Cambridge Raceway,” he said.

Cambridge Raceway have a wide array of indoor and outdoor venue spaces available for hire for a variety of events including weddings, birthdays, seminars, trade shows, meetings, markets and funerals.

They also host around 26 harness race meetings annually, predominantly on Thursday evenings, with a range of dining options available, from tapas in the Taylor St Club, pub-style food at the onsite Clubhouse sports bar, the more traditional race fare of burgers and chips at the Tote Burger window and the premium Skyline Lounge restaurant with the best views on site.

A new race night table service menu will debut in the Skyline Lounge in January, replacing the current bistro offering.

“The Skyline Lounge is a unique offering for the Waikato region, which will be elevated by the new menu,” Branch said. “Guests will be able to enjoy a top quality restaurant meal with great views and live harness racing action.”

There’re also plans in the pipeline to become a training provider for the hospitality sector, with staffing shortages a hurdle currently being faced by many in the industry.

“We’re a community-minded organisation and providing skills based training fits well with our values,” Branch said.

“We’re also looking for casual staff over the summer period and I’d encourage anyone interested to visit our website and get in touch with Michelle.”

Off The Track Food & Bev has replaced Montana Food and Events who have previously catered Cambridge Raceway.

“We would like to thank the team at Montana Food and Events for their support over the past 12 years,” Branch said.


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