One small bite for mankind… one giant line-up for Woking Food and Drink Festival!

15 August 2018

The spotlight is once again to be turned on the experts as the Woking Food and Drink Festival 2018 boasts another supersized smorgasbord of talks and demonstrations, guaranteed to spice up the stage. Guest experts and TV personalities will bring their best recipes and juiciest cooking secrets to Woking Town Centre from Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September.

Tante Marie demo theatre

A healthy portion of prestigious TV and local chefs will be served up on the Demo Stage in the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre in Jubilee Square. The 'cream of the culinary crop' will demonstrate delicious, mouth-watering masterpieces that will inspire and delight audiences.

Adding a homely feel to the stage, local maths teacher and finalist on BBC's Britain's Best Home Cook, Philip Friend will make a guest appearance on Friday.

Reigning Master Chef Champion Kenny Tutt and international Emmy nominated TV chef and cookery author Ching He Huang headline on Saturday.

Kenny left the judges hearts pounding with his unparalleled preparations. Ching has taken her dynamic, modern approach to cooking around the world, using ethically sourced ingredients and fusing tradition with innovation to create modern dishes with Chinese heritage. Ching will also be selling and signing her new cookbook, Stir Crazy, directly after her demo in Jubilee Square at 1pm.

No less impressive, Sunday's visitors can catch the winner of MasterChef 2017, Saliha Mahmood Ahmed and The Gangotra Sisters, otherwise known as The Indian Spice Girls, winners of the BBC's The Big Family Cooking Showdown.

Also on the menu, a host of local chefs and returning favourites will take their turn in the spotlight. There will be a crepe deal to enjoy with Steve Tremblay's Saturday appearance and Jack Sturgess won't loaf around when he demonstrates how to make great bread. Simon Taylor from Surrey Hills Butchery will carve a niche in the world of butchery demonstrations on Sunday. Steve Drake, Chef Patron of Sorrel, Dorking, and owner of The Anchor, Ripley; Dougie Balish, Head Chef of Michelin starred The Tudor Room at Great Fosters, Egham; and pop-up chefs Dan Britten and Jimi Mistry will all be joining Sundays feast.

Lorna Gangotra Nanda from The Gangotra Sisters, talks about her excitement to be at the festival from a local perspective: "I'm very much looking forward to the whole festival, there is something for everyone from youngsters to elders to experience and eat!

"I've been attending Woking Food and Drink Festival for the past four years and it just keeps getting bigger and better and it's so great to see passionate, local foodies showcasing their talents and produce.

"This year I am super excited to be doing my first live demo on stage to a home crowd. When people return year after year remembering the food I served them the previous year, it's priceless."

Bite-size talks

Bite-size talks are back at Woking Food and Drink Festival and they have a new home right in the midst of the action, in Gloucester Square.

Local and national experts will give a series of talks to introduce a rich buffet of expertise and a hamper of facts to food aficionados, hosted by star of You Tube's 'Cook With a Little Indian' Hersha Patel. Hear their success stories and pick up some of their trade secrets to wow your family and friends at the next dinner party!

All bite-size talks are free and spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. The informal 15-minute talks also offer you the chance to ask the expert questions. So, whether you want to pop in and have a nibble, or take a massive mouthful of knowledge, the short talks will cater for all tastes and time budgets.

Simon Taylor, Proprietor and Head Butcher of Surrey Hills Butchers, said: "I think 2018 is going to be a fantastic year as Woking Food and Drink Festival always highlights just how lucky we are here in Surrey.

"Our food scene seems to be on a wave with everything from top-class gins to fantastic culinary experiences using high quality local ingredients, wherever possible."

Whilst soaking up the atmosphere and writing up notes from the previous talks, sit back and enjoy live music across the whole festival, brought to you by Phoenix Cultural Centre.

Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Cultural and Community Development, said: "I encourage everyone who wants to impress guests at their next dinner party to come along and broaden their food horizons at our three-time award-winning festival.

"The event is fully accessible and the whole weekend is full to the brim with talks and demonstrations of varying lengths to allow even the most time poor foodies to the chance to drop in and learn something new. The line up of expert and celebrity guests is unparalleled and, better still, most of the event is completely free to attend.

"Don't forget that ticketed activities are also on offer for those who wish to partake in something a little more special over the weekend, with takings for many of these additional events being donated to Woking & Sam Beare Hospice. No wonder it is a finalist in this years Surrey Life Food and Drink Hero Award category."

Woking Food and Drink Festival 2018 is sponsored by Woking Shopping, Magimix, Tante Marie Culinary Academy and Celebrate Woking, and supported by #WeAreWoking, Headline Design and Print, Woking Advertiser, Dreaming Fish Productions and Ellis Digital Media.