Chop of the block! Rosemary Shrager and John Whaite top Sunday’s festival line-up

17 August 2016

Mixing it up in the demo theatre at the forthcoming Woking Food and Drink Festival, ITV1’s ‘Chopping Block’ duo, Rosemary Shrager and John Whaite, will take centre stage as Nadiya Hussain unfortunately bows out of Sunday’s festival line-up, due to family illness.
Rosemary Shrager, one of TVs longest serving celebrity chefs, endeared herself to the nation when she took part in ITV1’s ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ in 2012. The queen of ‘bush tucker miracles’ reunites with the ‘king of bakes’, GBBO 2012 winner, John Whaite, off the back of their hit TV series ‘Chopping Block’, for two ebullient cooking demonstrations at the Woking Food and Drink Festival on Sunday 4 September.

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Combining with ease in the kitchen, this celebrity cooking duo will fill the slots vacated by Nadiya, rounding off this year’s festival in the most entertaining way possible, bringing their brand of verve, and hint of playfulness, to the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre.

John Whaite, who makes a welcome return to Woking after his 2015 festival debut, said: “The Woking Food and Drink Festival is lovely! It’s got lots of variety, lots of people, it’s busy, and there’s lots of produce. It’s one of my favourite festivals, so I’m really excited to be sharing the stage with Rosemary this year. It should be a good experience, and lots of fun, for us and the audience!”

Speaking about her appearance, celebrated cookery teacher and chef, founder of Shrager’s Patisserie, and author of ‘Bakes, Cakes & Puddings’, Rosemary Shrager said: “I love these types of events! It’s always great to interact with people who are passionate about food. I’ve heard great things about Woking’s Food and Drink Festival from John, so I’m looking forward to our appearance and presenting the Bake Off competition prizes to the winners.”

Winner of the 2012 Great British Bake Off, John, and cookery expert, Rosemary, will step up to the plate to spur on the Borough’s bakers in place of last year’s GBBO winner, Nadiya Hussain. Rosemary and John will have the pleasure of welcoming the 2016 Woking Food and Drink Festival bake off winners on stage with them, at the front of the Theatre, to be crowned Woking’s star bakers.

Speaking about her withdrawal from the festival, Nadiya said: “It is with real regret that I will no longer be able to be at Woking Food and Drink Festival in September. Unfortunately family circumstances have made it impossible for me to attend and as much as I’d like to be with you all, my family has to come first. I certainly hope that you all have a fantastic time at what I know will be a brilliant festival.”

Speaking about the last minute changes to Sunday’s demo programme, Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “Our thoughts are with Nadiya and her family at this difficult time. We’re obviously disappointed that she will not be a part of this year’s festival line-up, but we are working with her to organise a special visit to Woking later in the year.

“We have an exceptionally strong offer which ensures visitors to the festival will have a good time and get a lot out of it in terms of expert tips and celebrity appearances. Rosemary and John join the likes of Antonio Carluccio, current MasterChef Champion Jane Devonshire, and Tom and Henry Herbert, aka the Baker Brothers.”

Named ‘Best Local Food Event’ at the Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2015, Woking Food and Drink Festival returns to the town centre for the fourth year running from Friday 2 and Sunday 4 September 2016 inclusive. The free to attend festival promises to deliver another a three-day menu of culinary delights, including:

  • live demonstrations from celebrity and local chefs in the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre
  • over 80 local and regional food and drink exhibitors
  • Dessert Bar demos and guided tours at Tante Marie Culinary Academy
  • Broil King BBQ demonstrations and cook-alongs
  • children’s cookery workshops
  • English wine masterclasses and tastings at Cellar Magneval
  • Woking Shopping Bake Off competition
  • celebrity booking signings in Peacocks Shopping Centre
  • fairtrade food and family quarter at WWF-UK
  • live music from Phoenix Cultural Centre and much more!

This year’s festival is delivered in partnership with Woking Shopping, and sponsored by Tante Marie Culinary Academy and the Woking Advertiser.

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