Chef Demos in 2020 

Just turn up and take a seat in the marquee.

We are delighted to welcome a host of fabulous local cooks to our chef demo stage in 2020 who will share their skills throughout the weekend. Among them are Chef's Brigade star James Peck, Northampton's queen of Italian cuisine Carmela and Bake Off legend Howard Middleton.

Howard sprang to fame as a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. He introduced Mary Berry to cooking with hemp and was also the victim of the show's infamous 'Custardgate' incident when another contestant took his custard from a shared fridge!

The chef demos 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, and has been hosting our chef demo stage since the very first show. Here are the chefs taking part:


11.30am: Nenette Scrivener

Nenette's Chocolates

Nenette is an artisan chocolatier who trained with some of the biggest names in chocolate including award-winning Swiss chocolatier Carlo Melchior whose chocolates you will find in Fortnam and Masons.

She has been making her own chocolate for ten years and combines her tempered chocolate with fresh, seasonal ingredients to create delicious chocolates and truffles, bars and shapes.

Nenette is based just over the county border in a village in South Leicestershire and will demonstrate the art of tempering chocolate, making ganache and then combining them to make mouth-watering truffles which. if you're quick, you will be able to try after her demonstration.


Bake Off star Howard Middleton

12.30pm: Howard Middleton

Bake Off legend and author of ‘Delicious Gluten-Free Baking’

Howard won the hearts of the nation as a contestant on the fourth series of 'The Great British Bake Off.' He immediately caught attention with his first offering - a gluten free passion fruit and coconut sandwich cake which is now featured on the BBC Food website. He became the victim of the show's notorious 'Custardgate' incident when his perfect custard went missing from a shared fridge and introduced Mary Berry to cooking with hemp with his infamous Hemp Loaf!

His engaging personality and quirky sense of humour have made him a popular guest panellist on Bake Off's spin-off show 'An Extra Slice'. He is also a presenter on BBC Radio Sheffield and tours the country teaching people how to bake. His first book, 'Delicious Gluten-Free Baking' was published in September 2015.

Howard will be demonstrating twice on both days of the festival. While he cooks, he talks candidly aobut his time on the show and spills the beans on what happens behicn the scenes, making his sessions a must for any Bake Off fan!


1.30pm: TBC

2.30pm: Howard Middleton

Bake Off legend and author of ‘Delicious Gluten-Free Baking’

3.30pm: Justin Lefevre

The Red Lion in Culworth

Justin has been creating wonderful food for 30 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’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!


12pm: Howard Middleton

Bake Off legend and author of ‘Delicious Gluten-Free Baking’

1pm: James Peck

Burnt Lemon Catering in Northampton

James Peck learnt his trade in the Army before leaving at the age of 21 to hone his skills in high-end London kitchens.  He returned to his native Northampton when he was headhunted as a head chef.

In 2018, he set up his own niche catering business in Northamptonshire – Burnt Lemon Catering – which provides fine dining for parties, high profile events and weddings.

Last year, he appeared on a new reality TV show hosted by Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton, called Chef's Brigade which followed a team of ten hand picked chefs around the world, cooking against some of the best restaurants on the planet. James emerged as one of the stand-out contestants on the show.


Carmela Sereno Hayes

2pm: Carmela Sereno Hayes 

Carmela’s Kitchen in Northampton

Carmela is Northampton’s Queen of Italian cuisine. Carmela grew up at the apron strings of her Italian mother and grandmother, and is an evangelist for traditional Italian cooking.

A mother of four, she is recognised as a pastaia (a specialist pasta maker) and is the author of three cookery books - 'Southern Italian Family Cooking'A Passion of Pasta and 'Northern and Central Italian Family Cooking'.

Carmela's mantra is to cook simple, inexpensive, flavoursome food with good quality seasonal ingredients, in keeping with the ‘Cucina Povera’ cooking style of the Italian south, which she teaches in her classes and workshops.

Carmela has recently launched a range of frozen, ready-made meals which are exclusively available from the Italian shop in Northampton, where Carmela hosts her regular sell-out supper clubs.

3pm: Howard Middleton

Bake Off legend and author of ‘Delicious Gluten-Free Baking’

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