The award-winning Woking Food and Drink Festival returned for the fifth year with another magnificent mezze of culinary delights!
The free-to-attend festival, named the county’s Best Local Food Event 2015, 2016 and 2017 by readers' of Surrey Life magazine, dished up another three days of live cookery demonstrations served by Surrey’s top culinary talents and well-known celebrity chefs in the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre, and topped off by a bountiful platter of foodie treats for all the family.
Adding to the festival’s previous impressive demo chef credentials, the theatre’s stage was headlined by another seasoned and stellar line up of international chefs.
Michelin maestro, Bruno Loubet, added some French flair and finesse to the table. During his glittering international career he founded numerous high profile restaurants and picked up a selection of prestigious awards.
A popular, second time visitor, Antonio Carluccio OBE, Chef Ambassador for The Clink Charity, returned with fellow Italian and founder of the restaurants, Al Crisci MBE, to highlight the charity’s pioneering and inspirational prisoner rehabilitation programme, which has changed the lives of thousands of former inmates.
Further gastronomic inspiration was provided by Three Girls Cook – aka Alison O'Reilly, Giovanna Ryan and Lorna Robertson – who appeared on our screens as MasterChef 2017 finalists, impressing the judges with their skill, creativity and determination.
Chetna Makan, chef, author and Great British Bake Off 2014 semi-finalist, and Olia Hercules, Ukrainian born chef and author named The Observer’s Rising Star of 2015, added some exotic flavour and spice to the demos.
The cream of Surrey’s crop
Representing the best of Surrey’s local culinary talent:
- Dougie Balish, Head Chef at The Tudor Room at Great Fosters, Egham – Surrey’s only Michelin Star restaurant
- Steve Drake, Chef Patron at Sorrel, Dorking
- Fernando Stovell, Head Chef at Stovell’s, Chobham
- Ben Piette, Head Chef at London House, West Byfleet
- Dan Britten, Head Chef at The White Horse, Hascombe
- Aneke Spacie, Executive Chef at Waters Edge, Woking
Over 80 stallholders stretched across the modern, pedestrianised town centre, fully stocked with artisan products, freshly prepared dishes and tipples hailing from producers across the locality, the UK and the World.
A tasty selection of side dishes…
The key aims of this year’s festival was to teach visitors more about what they eat and encourage them to push beyond their culinary boundaries.
To celebrate the festival's fifth birthday, the event welcomed a new selection of tasty attractions:
English wine and deli zone
Bite-size Talks with a panel of food and drink experts
Meet the Producer and Expert sessions
Family shows with Ceebies presenter Katy Ashworth
Kenwood in the Kitchen exhibition at The Lightbox