Chef Demos in 2018 

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 2018 who will share their skills throughout the weekend. Korean chef and cookery writer Da-Hae West will add a little extra spice to the line up.

Da-Hae is the poster girl for Korean cooking in the UK. She learnt to cook at her mother's apron strings and her new book - Eat Korean - will be published in July.

The chef 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. Here are the chefs taking part:


11.30am: Barbara Everest

Elsie's Cafe in Northampton

More than 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year and one of the items that is most commonly thrown away is bread. Barbara Everest is part of the team at Elsie’s Café in Northampton that are trying to combat food waste.

They take food that otherwise would be heading for the incinerator and turn it into tasty, wholesome meals. As one of the chefs at Elsie’s, Barbara helps design the daily menu. She will share her insights and demonstrate ways of cooking with bread that has gone stale.

Originally from Yorkshire, Barbara has lived in Northampton for 34 years. She has spent the majority of her life in catering and is the owner of Mama's Handmade Pasta in the town.  Barbara also bakes cakes to order and is a well known figure among the local WI for her talks on how to make pasta by hand. She will be joined on stage by Kate Wills, who describes herself as Barbara’s ‘kitchen skivvy’ and who is also a volunteer at Elsie’s.

12.30pm: Da-Hae West

Korean chef, cookery writer and author of Eat Korean

Like her cooking style, Da Hae is a fusion of East and West. She moved to the UK with her English father and her Korean mother when she was three.

Da-Hae says her mother was a 'reluctant, but good cook' who was keen that her daughter understood the culture of her motherland and Da-Hae learned to cook at her mother’s apron strings.

It was not until she returned to Korea on her honeymoon, that she was inspired to celebrate the nation’s cuisine. She and husband Gareth ran the famous Korean Busan BBQ street food truck in London and recently moved to Milton Keynes with their young son.

Da-Hae is now a celebrated food writer and cook, sharing her love for Korean food at regular classes and via her new cookbook, Eat Korean. She will demonstrate twice a day, showcasing two different recipes.

1.30pm: 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 both 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.

Anita will demonstrate two Anglo-Indian dishes - Country Captain Chicken Curry and Devil’s Chutney. She said: “Anglo-Indian food is the delicious result of the British Raj in India. Indian Khansamas (cooks) took aspects of British cuisine and amalgamated them with Indian methods of cooking, spices and ingredients, for instance tempered with cumin and red chilies, roasts cooked in whole spices like cloves, pepper and cinnamon and croquettes flavored with turmeric and garam masala.”

Read more


Da-Hae West

Korean chef, cookery writer and author of Eat Korean

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!
Read more


12pm: Da-Hae West

Korean chef, cookery writer and author of Eat Korean

1pm: 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.
Read more

2pm: George Spires and Richie Carter

Milton Keynes College

Chef George Spires runs The Brasserie at MK College, a swish eatery where students help to cook the a la carte menu, using local, seasonal ingredients, and traditional techniques with a twist of modern flair. Chef Richie Carter is the course team leader and, as well as teaching them how to cook, tutors the trainee chefs on the specials which appear every day at The Brasserie.

Read more

3pm: Da-Hae West

Korean chef, cookery writer and author of Eat Korean

COPYRIGHT © 2016 Towcester Food Festival | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | FAQ