Chef Demonstrations in 2017

No need to book - just turn up and bag a spot in the marquee.

We are delighted to welcome a host of fabulous local cooks to our chef demo stage in 2017 who will share their skills throughout the weekend. The demonstrations take place hourly and are free.

All the chefs wear microphones and the demonstrations are shown on large TV screens so you can see everything close up. The chefs concentrate on using fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal produce to prepare their signature dishes. Simply pull up a chair and enjoy!

Katie Johnson from Wot’s Cooking hosts the demo stage. Katie is a farmer turned broadcaster and writer, who worked as a presenter and producer for the BBC for 15 years. The running order for 2017 is:


11.30am: Penny Zako

Penny is a passionate supporter of local produce and specialises in developing seasonal recipes with the best of British ingredients. Penny is also an approved AGA cookery demonstrator, runs cookery schools and bespoke tuition.

She wowed Michelin star chef John Burton Ray and the Head Chef of the Savoy Hotel, London when she won ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best Dish’ with her Pea Velouté and Marinated Ham Hock with coconut foam starter.

When Penny isn’t cooking it, she’s writing about it and in addition is a respected restaurant critic.

Chocolate cream tea

12.30pm: Fiona Sciolti

Sciolti Botanical Chocolates

An award winning artisan chocolatier and national food judge, Fiona has demonstrated her skills from London to Bangkok and has featured in Channel Secret Supper Club, and ITV's Alan Titchmarsh Show. She was also the face of a national TV campaign for the Potato Council!

She specialises in demonstrating easy to prepare, thrifty recipes, using natural ingredients and is always passing on handy hints and tips for the home cook. Her feedback say it all - she frequently inspires her audience to go home and have a go themselves.

Fiona will demonstrate how to create the perfect chocolate cream tea (pictured above).

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1.30pm: Carmela Sereno Hayes 

Carmela’s Kitchen in Northampton

Rapidly establishing herself as Queen of the Italian cookery scene, Carmela was born in Bedford to Italian parents who settled in the UK in the late 1950s. Today, half of Carmela’s family have made their way back to Italy, where they carry on the local traditions and cooking styles.

This remains a constant point of reference for Carmela, an Italian food writer and cookery teacher who holds her heritage close to her heart, teaching her 'Cucina Povera' cooking style at her classes and workshops.

Carmela's mantra is to cook simple, inexpensive, flavoursome food with good quality seasonal ingredients. 2014 saw the release of her first cookery book 'Southern Italian Family Cooking' and Carmela has followed that success with further titles. Her passion is the family, especially her four children, and making pasta!
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2.30pm: Spencer Ollington

Award winning private chef from MK

Spencer is an award winning chef with a passion for creating fresh, nutritious dishes who is on a mission to make mealtimes tasty. The Milton Keynes Chef Of The Year has spent 23 years working in kitchens, including as Executive Chef at Bistro Live.

Spencer now runs his own business Eat with Spencer; offering bespoke catering for all occasions, corporate events and hospitality, pop uprestaurants, sports nutrition courses and holidays, and his show stopper fine dining experience which means you can relax and entertain your dinner party guests whilst he does the shopping. cooking and cleaning!

He is also a judge at the MK Food and Leisure Awards and recently cooked at their gala awards ceremony. Away from the stove, he is a keen marathon runner and charity fundraiser.
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3.30pm: Justin Lefevre

The Red Lion in Culworth

Justin has been creating wonderful food for 25 years, learning his craft at 'The  Wentworth Hotel' in Aldeburgh before moving on to manage a very successful and popular gastro pub in the county for 10 years, before opening his own establishment at 'The Red Lion' in the lovely village of Culworth in 2009.

Between them, Justin and his wife Bronni, have developed a substantial loyal following of diners who enjoy his keenly priced contemporary style food, sourced locally wherever possible and always with attention to freshness and seasonality.

Seafood is a great favourite at The Red Lion and daily deliveries from Brixham provide plenty of inspiration for the specials board alongside the regular mouthwatering menu.

Justin will be cooking Thai fish balls, made with fresh South Coast fish, in a red Thai curry sauce with cardamon and coriander rice and flatbread, part of the Red Lion's new summer menu.

Justin’s keen interest in food extends to keeping his own pigs and chickens, and picking up inspiring ideas from his travels abroad.  It’s not all about food though as playing golf and following Formula One racing play a big part of his life too!
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12pm: Milton Keynes Cookery School

Milton Keynes Cookery School offers inspiring and practical cookery courses in their purpose built kitchen on the edge of Milton Keynes. Spilt into two brands, Inspired Gourmet offers Cookery Classes, Kids Cookery, Private Parties and Corporate Team Building. Mountain Chefs teaches the skills needed to become a chalet chef / host, and gives all the support needed to secure a Seasonaire role. Whether you are looking to do a cookery class, private party or cooking event, they off memorable experience, and are passionate about food and cooking.

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1pm: Louis Myhill & Tom Humphries 

Nelson Street Restaurant, Buckingham

The boy's from Nelson Street, one of Buckingham's best restaurants, are back. Louis has worked in various kitchens around Buckinghamshire and in London. He trained at ‘The Ivy’, the celebrity hang-out just off Leicester Square, and helped build the ‘Eat17’ restaurant chain in North East London.

In 2012, Louis launched the ‘Nelson Street Restaurant’ in Buckingham, with a trademark modern English menu and an emphasis on local produce.
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Anita Chipalkatty

Hobby Cooks in Northampton

Anita is a chef, teacher and mother who has a passion for Indian cuisine. She runs 'Hobby Cooks' in Northampton, passing on her knowledge of authentic Indian cooking, gathered from her upbringing and travels as an adult.

Anita is on a mission to inspire and teach the cooking of practical, interesting and delicious meals using fresh produce. “There is no need for complicated ingredients when you have such great spices for taste and aroma,” she says.
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3pm: Hanna Sillitoe

Author of Radiant

Hanna burst onto the health food scene in 2017 with her best-selling book 'Radiant'. It tells the story of her life-long battle against the vicious auto-immune disease that made her skin flare up into hot, scaly, angry red sores which eventually covered her whole body.

Told by doctors that there was nothing they could do, Hanna cured herself by radically changing her diet. Hanna will demonstrate one of the dishes that appears in Radiant, which is full of skin friendly recipes.

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