Feast on a cornucopia of delectable delights at Woking Food and Drink Festival!

26 August 2015

The countdown is on to this year’s Woking Food and Drink Festival, from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September 2015, which is set to be bigger and better than previous years with a stellar line up of demonstration chefs and a mouth-watering selection of exhibitors, all topped off with a full menu of exciting, interactive activities for foodies and families.

Over 80 local and regional food and drink exhibitors are confirmed for the free, three-day event. Spread across the refurbished Woking Town Centre, incorporating Gloucester Square, Gloucester Walk, Mercia Walk, Market Walk, Commercial Way and Jubilee Square, the festival will feature a tented village of food and drink stalls.

Open on Friday 4 September and Saturday 5 September from 9.30am to 4.30pm, and 10am to 5pm on Sunday 6 September, on offer will be a selection of freshly prepared dishes and products inspired from many corners of the world, including the Caribbean, France, Germany, Greece, Hungry, India, Italy, South America, Korea, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK, Vietnam and, of course, Woking! A full list of exhibitors can be viewed here.

Taking centre stage in Jubilee Square will be the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre, a purpose-built, professional cookery demonstration stage featuring live gourmet demos delivered by a range of top chefs and restaurant owners.

Headlining the theatre on Saturday 5 September will be celebrity chefs, Monica Galetti (MasterChef: The Professionals co-presenter and judge) and John Whaite (Great British Bake Off winner 2012, author and regular guest chef on ITV’s Lorraine) on Sunday 6 September.

The back-to-back live gourmet demonstrations will take place over all three days and be delivered by an impressive line up of local chefs, including ‘Michelin masters’, Michael Wignall and Steve Drake who will wow the crowds with their culinary masterpieces, tricks of the trade and tasty anecdotes.

Michael’s career originates from tenures at prestigious restaurants, including Broughton Park in Preston, Heathcote’s, L’Ortolan with John Burton Race, Cliveden, The Devonshire Arms, and in November 2007 he took on the lead role at The Latymer at Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa, Bagshot.

His natural flair in the kitchen, expertise and passion for food has contributed to the many successes of ‘Michael Wignall at The Latymer’; most notably, it is the first two Michelin starred restaurant in Surrey which also holds five AA rosettes. Adding to his accolades, Michael was named the ‘Best Chef you have never heard of ' by Olive magazine and he has appeared as a guest judge on BBC’s MasterChef The Professionals and competed on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best Dish – The Chefs’

Fellow Michelin alumni, Steve Drake, is also a trail blazer on the UK’s culinary landscape. Steve's career began in Essex at Southend Technical College whilst working in a local restaurant, and from there heading to London to the Ritz Hotel

His first head chef position was a new opening, Drakes On The Pond, where as sole chef Steve achieved a Michelin star. In 2001, he won the coveted Roux Scholarship and as his prize worked with French chef Marc Veyrat in Annecy; considered by some to be the best chef in the world after achieving a total of six Michelin Stars.

In 2004, Steve and his wife Serina were given the opportunity to buy a restaurant site in the picturesque village of Ripley and fulfilling their ambition to open Drakes Restaurant. Drakes has been awarded a Michelin Star every year since 2005.

Visitors to the festival will also be treated to gastronomic demonstrations from:

  • Fernando Stovell, award-winning chef, owner of Stovell's restaurant based in Chobham, and guest chef on TV shows, including BBC One's Saturday Kitchen Live.
  • Ben Piette, owner of the London House restaurant based in West Byfleet and MasterChef 2010 semi finalist.
  • Daniel Britten, owner of Britten’s restaurant based in Guildford and MasterChef 2008 semi finalist.
  • Rob Kennedy, Executive Chef at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and winner of international and national culinary awards.
  • Aneke Spacie, owner and Executive Chef of Food by Aneke, a private catering firm based in West End.
  • Steve Tremblay, owner and Head Chef of Tremblay's private catering firm based in Farnborough and private chef to A-list celebrities.
  • Sue-Lee Jones, Executive Chef at The Restaurant at Tante Marie based in Woking.
  • Claire Alexander-Brown, Director of Studies at Tante Marie Culinary Academy based in Woking.
  • Al Brady, Senior instructor at Tante Marie Culinary Academy based in Woking.
  • Ally Molyneaux, Senior instructor at Tante Marie Culinary Academy based in Woking.
  • Thierry Magneval, Chief Sommelier and owner of Cellar Magneval based in Woking and Fleet.

Speaking about the festival exhibitors and calibre of chefs appearing at the event, Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “The third annual Woking Food and Drink Festival is set to showcase a spectacular range of diverse food and drink from Woking, the surrounding boroughs and further afield.

“The fantastic line up of local and big named chefs appearing at this year’s festival demonstrates the event’s credentials, and the community’s increasing desire to celebrate food in Woking.

“Woking’s profile as an emerging foodie destination is growing each year with the help of the festival and the opening of new Tante Marie Culinary Academy premises in Commercial Way. Both are drawing national attention from foodies and the media, and the festival is a great platform for local producers and retailers to display their cuisines, talents and to reach new audiences.”

The Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre will be open on Friday 4 September from 12pm and it will close at 4.45pm, and on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September from 11am and it will close at 4.45pm.

Find out more about the festival’s chefs and read the delicious theatre timetable and menu, here.

Woking Food and Drink Festival 2015 is delivered in partnership with Woking Shopping and sponsored by Tante Marie Culinary Academy, Woking Advertiser and Celebrate Woking.