The Woking Food and Drink Festival is organised by Woking Borough Council as part of its annual Celebrate Woking programme of events.
Woking Borough Council is committed to the economic development of the Borough as a place to live, do business and visit. The festival’s venue, the refurbished Jubilee Square and surrounding pedestrian areas, is the starting point of extensive and on-going town centre revitalisation works which are planned over the coming years.
Woking Borough Council works in partnership with a range of partners to deliver the free, three-day festival.
Festival Manager - Riëtte Thomas
Since its inception in 2011, Riëtte has managed Woking Borough Council’s Celebrate Woking cultural programme. She enjoys working with key partners, local businesses and community groups to deliver exciting content for the programme, which incorporates the Borough’s leading free events – Party in the Park and Woking Food and Drink Festival.
Over the last couple of years, Celebrate Woking events have attracted nearly 200,000 visitors per annum from inside and outside the Borough. Riëtte works hard to ensure that opportunities at these events remains relevant to Woking.
Marketing - Kate Mair
Marketing Communications Officer at Woking Borough Council, Kate is an award-winning and creative communications professional with B2B and B2C experience in both the public and private sectors. She has successfully led the communications and demo stage content, as well as taking an active role in sourcing local stallholders for the event, since the festival began in 2013.
A farmer’s daughter and an ardent supporter (and consumer) of good quality nosh and drink, Kate devotes a large percentage of her time watching foodie TV programmes, foraging for new eateries and watering holes, trialling and adapting recipes, and walking her beloved dog.
Demonstration Theatre - Kim Somauroo
After leaving Tante Marie in 2007, Kim began his career as a freelance chef. Kim is one of the UK’s leading home economists.
Kim is responsible for the complete delivery and smooth running of the theatre. He organises St Ives Food and Drink Festival in Cornwall and manages the demonstration stages at some of the country’s most prominent food events, including:
- Taste of London
- Taste of Winter
- Big Feastival
He also runs Jamie Oliver's supper clubs for the Fifteen Foundation and works alongside some of the UK’s leading celebrity chefs.
Demonstration Theatre - Hilary Lester
After completing her degree in photojournalism and a short internship with The Press Association, Hilary extended her keen amateur interest in food by undertaking the professional chef's Cordon Bleu course at Tante Marie Culinary Academy.
Hilary now works as a freelance home economist at a wide variety of food festivals including Taste of London, Taste of Winter London, Octopus Publishing Cookbook Confidential and The Big Festival. She also volunteers as one of the supporting chefs at the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Supper Clubs.
Hilary has developed her own business, Salt of the Earth, using locally sourced produce to meet bespoke briefs including shooting parties, private dinners and holistic health retreats.
Demonstration Theatre support - Tante Marie Culinary Academy
Established in 1954, the Tante Marie Culinary Academy is the oldest UK independent cookery academy, which is based in Woking. Over the last 60 years the Academy has developed an internationally acclaimed reputation for excellence, with graduates running successful businesses around the world.
Tante Marie has sponsored the Theatre since the first festival in 2013.
Event Management - Woking Market Ltd
Nick Saunders is Event Manager for Woking Market Limited, the festival's contracted event management company. He is responsible for managing the event, providing the infrastructure and coordinating festival exhibitors. Assisted by his team, he also manages:
- Woking Market
- The Growers and Makers Market
- Woking Continental Market
- Woking Christmas Market
Town Centre Management - Woking Shopping
The festival is delivered in partnership with Woking Shopping, which manages the town's centrally located shopping centres and public realm. It is responsible for ensuring that the Festival dove-tails with the shopping centres' activities and provides operational guidance and support.