Get more bite for your buck at this year's festival!

27 July 2017

Woking Food and Drink Festival has added an extra course to this year’s festival menu – a tapas style medley of Bite-size Talks, presented by a panel of local food and drink experts at venues across Woking Town Centre.

Taking place across the three-day event, the new Bite-size Talks will be hosted by a panel of high-calibre industry professionals. The short, informal talks aim to give an insight into the panels’ specialist careers and products, and also offer visitors the chance to ‘ask the expert’ questions and, at some sessions, sample small tasters*.

Tante Marie Culinary Academy, located in Commercial Way and the festival’s demo theatre sponsor, will host seven of the festival’s talks and will donate the revenue raised to local charity, Woking & Sam Beare Hospices; which opened its state-of-the art new hospice in Goldsworth Park earlier this year. Other talk venues include: WWF-UK’s Living Planet Centre, Seasons Café and Kitchen at The Lightbox and Cellar Magneval.

Bite-size Talks on the menu

  • Michelin maestro and former Roux Scholarship winner, Steve Drake, will explore the creative journey of cooking, including the need for a story behind our food and the emotional experience of eating.
  • John Downes, one of only 350 Master of Wines in the world, will talk visitors through the provenance and taste of three wines.
  • Food blogger enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Sarah Akhurst and Myles Williamson’s talk about food writing, which is perfectly paired with Jon Mackenzie’s subsequent talk on food photography with a smartphone – perfect for blogging direct from the table!
  • Bridging the gap from farm to fork, Simon Taylor, owner and head butcher at Surrey Hills Butcher from Oxshott, will demonstrate how to butcher a whole lamb carcass, show the different cuts of meat and the best ways to cook them.
  • British wine expert, John Mobbs from Weybridge based Great British Wine website, and cheese connoisseur, Francis Gimblett from Gimblett Cheese, will discuss the perfect pairing marriage between wine and cheese and lead a tasting session.
  • Flying the flag for local producers, Thurstons Brewery from Horsell and Silent Pool Gin from Shere will discuss their journeys from small producers to successful award-winning businesses.
  • Communications professional, Tony Hindhaugh, will detail how you can produce promotional food related content and highlight the importance of confidence to achieve effective communications.
  • For the second year running, Thierry de Magneval, Woking based sommelier and wine bar owner, will host interactive food and wine pairing masterclasses.
  • Adding some sparkle to the festival, Cassidy Dart, Director of Wine at Pol Roger Champagne House, will host a gourmet champagne tasting and fine dining experience at Seasons Café and Kitchen at The Lightbox on Friday 1 September.

Located in the new Cellar Wines and Deli Zone visitors will also have the opportunity to drop-in to the free, short ‘meet the producer’ and ‘expert’ sessions in the Ambassador’s Members’ Lounge in Gloucester Square. Confirmed award-winning producers and experts include Albury Vineyard from Shere, Greyfriars Vineyard from Puttenham, High Clandon Vineyard from High Clandon, Denbies Wine Estate from Dorking, Cellar Wines from Ripley, and Great British Wine website.

Speaking about the talks, Cllr Mark Pengelly, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture Services, said: “We’re delighted to introduce this exciting new element to the festival’s line up. The wide ranging subject matters should appeal to keen foodies and visitors wishing to expand their culinary horizons.

“The majority of ticket prices are modestly priced at around £5 to ensure accessibility for all. Spaces are limited, so I would recommend that people book their tickets in advance to avoid any disappointment on the event days.”

Bite-size Talks are subject to terms and conditions and ticket costs. Ticket prices range from £5 to £65. Book here.

Woking Food and Drink Festival 2017 is sponsored by Woking Shopping, Tante Marie Culinary Academy, Cellar Wines and Celebrate Woking, and professionally supported by Dreaming Fish Productions and Headline Design and Print.