William Sitwell

Masterchef judge, renowned food critic and patron of Towcester Food Festival.

Ode to a Food Festival

In our first year, William penned an 'Ode to a Food Festival'. Here it is.

Northamptonshire's pre-eminent foodie William Sitwell - the Masterchef judge, food historian and award-winning food writer - is our Patron.

He's been a supporter since our first festival in 2014 when he took part in a 45-minute Q&A with one of the country’s most celebrated interviewers - broadcaster, journalist and author Mark Lawson.

William Sitwell famously dislikes square plates and in 2014 he called on people to bring their square plates to the festival and hand them in to charity as part of a 'Square Plate Amnesty'. Read the story in the Daily Telegraph here.

He says square plates are an insult to Mother Nature. Read more here. The scion of a famous literary family, he opened the 2014 festival with an ode which he wrote especially for the occasion.

We are delilghted to welcome him back this year for his famous tour of the stalls, seeking out the best produce Northamptonshire has to offer.

This fine old place, once Lactodorum
Is today a tasting forum
Standing here on Watling Street
Now bustling with things to eat
Towcester may be far from seas
We’ve got no fish or strawberries
We don’t grow spuds, make ham or pasties
Bannocks, clangers, fondant fancies
We can’t shoot grouse, catch crab or lobsters
Or buy eels from dodgy mobsters
Make champagne, grow tea, grow hops
No liquorish, no chocolate shops
But my friends, fear not. You see
I know a man called Crispin Slee
A foodie chap, that’s clear to me
He’s standing here right next to me
So here today are ales and waffles
Cupcakes, cider, fudge and truffles
Nibbles, starters, puddings, main course
All right here at Towcester Racecourse
So thank you Crispin for this favour
You tell the world that we’ve got flavour
Come here and drink and stuff your face
For Towcester is a foodie place
Bring friends, bring chums, bring every cousin
Pile ‘em in here by the dozen
Eat fine food with your best mates
Just promise me, no square plates!

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