Our Cookery Stages are run by Katie and Glyn Johnson of 'Wots Cooking' based in Ludlow. Both former BBC Presenters, who now promote local Food and Drink Producers, Chefs and Demonstrators around the Country. We are proud to have them as sponsors of the stages and thank them for their ongoing support.
Fresh Faces For Top Chef Friday
Top Chef Friday has always been a major attraction at the Festival and over the years we have welcomed some of the most illustrious names from the culinary world. Chefs at the top of their game including Tom Kerridge, Atkar Islam and Chef of the Year 2013, Hayden Groves have all cooked for us at Ludlow. We’ve also seen rising stars, regional favourites and multi-Michelin starred masters.
As a not-for-profit event, we don’t pay the chefs to appear and have over the years been enormously grateful to each of them for giving up their time and sharing their passion and enthusiasm.
For the past few years Will Holland has been instrumental in organising Top Chef Friday until taking up his challenging new role as Head Chef at Coast Restaurant in Wales.
So, in 2014 the baton was passed to celebrity chef and Brompton Cookery School owner Marcus Bean. Having won the UK’s Iron Chef and been a regular on ITV’s This Morning, Marcus has just hosted the BBC Good Food Show Super Theatre working alongside the likes of James Martin and Mary Berry. He’s also been travelling the country this summer at a host of Festivals sharing his passion for seasonal food.
Brompton Cookery School in Shrewsbury is idyllic, being located on the National Trust’s Attingham Estate, from which they get much of their produce. The school itself is based in a beautiful barn conversion within a collection of original farm buildings. A spacious, purpose built farmhouse style kitchen allows for the tuition of 16 people and there are a wide range of courses running throughout the year; from curing to canapés and bread making, as well as one-to-one tuition with Marcus himself.
Details are still being finalised as we go to print but with an enviable contact book we know Marcus will be bringing along a fantastic line up of chefs to entertain, education and excite. If you want to see the very best chefs in the UK today make sure you come along to Ludlow on Friday 11th September.
The days full and AMAZING line up will appear here a couple of weeks prior to the festival...
11.00am - Warwick Kidd & Eric Delande - The Garden Room at Dormy House Hotel, Cotswolds & Places des Marches, Corbieres, Southern France
12noon - Adam Johnson - Development Chef to Raymond Blanc, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Oxfordshire
1.00pm - Rob Swift - Swift's Bakery/Bread2Bake, Clee Hill, Ludlow, Shropshire
2.00pm - Dan Jones - Award winning Chocolatier, Worcestershire
3.00pm - Andrew Birch - Head Chef, Fishmore Hall, Ludlow, Shropshire
4.00pm - Sausage Trail Judging
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. We’ll be on stage with a panel of experts who will pick their favourite porker!
11.00am - Harri Alun Williams - Head Chef, Lion and Pheasant Hotel, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
12.00noon - Felice Tocchini - Chef/Patron, Fusion Brasserie, Stoulton, Worcestershire
1.00pm - Daren Bale - Chef/Patron, Hop Pole, Bewdley, Worcestershire
2.00pm - Andy Link - Chef/Patron, Riverside Inn, Aymestrey, Herefordshire
3.00pm - Suree Coates, The King and Thai, Broseley, Shropshire
4.00pm - Best of the Marches Awards
The prize giving ceremony for the trails always creates a stir! The publics choice and the professionals award are a much sought after award. The only way to discover the very best as judged by you is to make sure you attend.
Despite the family background, it wasn’t his father Graeme that introduced Warwick to his future career, but the need to earn money for a school trip – so, at 14, Warwick spent his spare time working as a kitchen porter for Claude Bosi at Ludlow’s 'Hibiscus,' continuing the role for Will Holland when Claude left for Mayfair and Alan Murchison opened up 'La Becasse. '
Alan’s offer of an apprenticeship led to Warwick leaving school at 16 and spending the next three years being trained by and working for Will.
At 19, Warwick left England for Arles in Southern France, where he learned French cooking and the language whilst working for 2½ years for Jean-Luc Rabanel, a tough two-Michelin-starred Chef and Owner of the restaurant 'L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel' and its 'Bistro (A Côté)' - Warwick ran the latter in his final year in Arles.
Moving further south to the Corbières region and another Bistro, this time 'Places des Marchés' in Villesèque-des-Corbières where he worked with his former mentor Eric Delalande for a year, before deciding to come home to Ludlow and plan his next challenge.
Currently Warwick is working at 'The Garden Room' at Dormy House Hotel in The Cotswolds whilst spending his spare time catching up with friends and talking about food.
Eric's career as a Chef began in the South of France where he worked, most notably, with 2-michelin-starred chef, Jean-Luc Rabanel, in Arles. Then in his early 20s, a move to New York, working in several high-end Manhattan restaurants including running 'Le Bilboquet' as Head Chef, 'ICI Restaurant' owned by Eric Clapton and 'Le Charlot' which Eric opened and ran for 3 years.
After almost 15 years in America, Eric returned to Arles to run Jean-Luc Rabanel’s 'Bistro A Cote' as Head Chef.
Now Eric has his own restaurant 'Places des Marches' in the Corbieres wine district of Southern France, where he is able to take advantage of the local produce that is grown in this incredibly bio-diverse location and when he's not at the stove, he enjoys drinking good Corbieres wine and smoking expensive Cuban cigars!
Adam has been Development Chef to Raymond Blanc at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons for 8 years.
He joined Le Manoir in April 2004 to work under Executive Head Chef Gary Jones, following his role as Chef de Partie at 'The Hundred House Hotel' in Norton, Shropshire.
A former pupil at Idsall School in Shifnal, Adam has a varied role working closely with Monsieur Blanc, be it on his latest TV shows including the hugely successful 'Kitchen Secrets' where Adam became a familiar face, known to millions as 'Adaam.' He is behind the recipe development and food styling for Raymond's cookery books, including his latest “Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons - The Story of a Modern Classic” due out October 2016. He is his right hand man at cookery demonstrations, is instrumental in many other projects that Monsieur Blanc is involved in as well as running his own cookery course at the world famous school.
His most recent projects have seen Adam head up Raymond Blanc’s hospitality area “Jardin Blanc” at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, running the kitchens of the Panoramic Restaurant at Royal Ascot and teaching barbeque courses at The Raymond Blanc Cookery School.
A quail egg ravioli is the most complicated dish that he's made and his guilty pleasure is homemade sausage and black pudding sausage rolls!
The Swift family began baking bread in 1863, when Hannah Swift created loaves for the people of Staffordshire. Now more than 150 years and six generations on, Rob along with his brother John who recently starred in the BBC programme 'Victorian Bakers,' continue that tradition, producing some of the most delicious and inventive breads you will find, all of which are available from their shops in Tenbury Wells Worcestershire, Clee Hill, Craven Arms and Ludlow in Shropshire. More recently the opportunity to extend their retail outlets has resulted in the addition of a branch in the vibrant area of Shrewsbury.
Rob runs the Bakery and Baking School on the Eco Park in Ludlow, and it's from his love of teaching that he not only wrote the book 'Born and Bread' to mark the family's 150th anniversary, but as his guide to baking bread with easy-to-follow recipes for standard, savoury and sweet breads, and following a recent meeting with Royalty, HRH Duchess of Cornwall now has a copy!
Training as a Chef, Daniel soon developed an interest in patisserie and after studying at Birmingham College of Food for six years, he became Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'River Cottage.'
Still as a Chef in 2011, he enjoyed success in the prestigious 'National Chef of the Year' competition, reaching the semi-finals, but it was his real love of chocolate that saw him receive a Ludlow Food Festival Bursary in 2012 to pursue his dream as an Artisan Chocolatier. In the same year, he went on to win Gold in the National Taste Awards with his Tonka bean bar.
At present, creating beautiful chocolates is done in his spare time so we're delighted that we've persuaded him to brush off his marble slab to join us.
Follow him on Twitter @danieljoneschoc
Andrew is Head Chef at Ludlow's very own 'Fishmore Hall' which has a loyal following with both visitors and local guests.
He joined Acorn Award winner and owner of the boutique hotel, Laura Penman in 2014 to re-launch 'Forelles Restaurant' and has since been awarded 3AA Rosettes.
Previously Senior Sous Chef of the 3AA Rosette and Michelin-starred 'Montague Arms' in Hampshire, originally from Swansea, Andrew has previously been awarded Welsh Chef of the Year in 2004, Young Chef Apprentice of Britain in 2005, Young Chef Apprentice of Europe in 2005, and was a finalist in the Roux Regional Scholarship in 2006. He is currently a National Chef of the Year semi-finalist, and watch out for him him on 'The Great British Menu,' with the prize of getting to The Palace of Westminster as it opens its doors for the first televised banquet to be held in the historic House of Commons Members’ Dining Room.
Harri Alun Williams
Harri is Head Chef at 'The Lion & Pheasant' in Shrewsbury.
A former Captain of the silver medal winning 'Welsh Junior National Culinary Team' at the Culinary Olympics in Germany and a 'De Vere Junior Chef of the Year.'
His interest in cooking comes from his mum, Rhian Williams, co-founder and owner of the hugely successful Llanrwst-based bakery 'Siwgwr a Sbeis.'
At the age of 15, Harri went to work at 'The Castle Hotel in Conwy' under the guidance of Graham Tinsley MBE, before moving with him to 'Carden Park Hotel and Spa' in Cheshire. Then followed 'Ellenborough Park' in Cheltenham before spending a year working in Australia, including Sydney Opera House.
Harri has appeared on S4C with his cookery Masterclass, recently flew to Brussels to demonstrate at The European Seafood Expo and cooked at No 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister David Cameron on St David’s Day plus a host of Welsh celebrities and sports stars.
Felice is originally from a village just outside of Luca in Italy but for many years Worcestershire has been his home, running his award-winning restaurant 'Fusion Brasserie' alongside wife Fiorinda, son Dan, daughter in law Abbey and Grandson Dexter.
Felice specialises in using fresh, seasonal produce to create delicious food with an Italian twist, and is especially known for his creativity which has resulted in him appearing on numerous television programmes such as 'The One Show,' 'Countryfile,' and 'The Gadget show' as well as in the media worldwide for his innovative creations such as Sprout Cake and the Dunker – a biscuit designed to hold its own when dipped in tea - or champagne!
Passionate about local produce, he spends much of his time working with producers, creating recipes for them. Felice works a lot with schools as well as teaching at both Eckington Manor Cookery School in Worcestershire and at the acclaimed “Novelli Academy” for celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli.
This award winning Chef is regularly recognised for his commitment to cooking local and seasonal produce, and received Worcestershire and Warwickshire Life Magazines top prize for his 'outstanding contribution to food.'
Having spent many years working in fine dining restaurants in London and across the country, Daren first appeared in this part of the world as acclaimed Head Chef at the luxury Elms Hotel just outside of Worcester for several years, winning many accolades including 2 AA Rosettes, but now that passion for food is found at The Hop Pole Inn in Bewdley, which Daren runs with his wife Louise. Away from cooking, he loves spending time with the family and walking the dog, he's a retired rally driver but a current musician, playing his drums with the group 'One Tree Canyon'
Andy is the award winning Chef/Patron, Gardener and Bee Keeper of The Riverside Inn at Aymestrey in Herefordshire.
Born and raised on a farm in the county, this gave him the passion and respect for local produce, using only high quality local ingredients with the emphasis on 'seed to plate.'
Andy regularly demonstrates his skills to up and coming youngsters with his ethos being that nothing is wasted in the kitchen, not just for financial reasons but out of respect for the animal and produce grown.
He's currently working with a fantastic project in Mortimer Forest regarding the long haired Fallow Deer, which aren't found anywhere else in the world, and if you're a fan of 'Countryfile,' you'll have seen him recently flying the flag for Mutton.
Suree is the award winning Chef Patron of the much acclaimed 'King and Thai' at Broseley near historic Ironbridge in Shropshire, which she runs with her partner Simon Turner.
Suree has a real passion for food which has seen her awarded 'Thai Curry Chef' of the Year 2011/12and 'South Asia Chef of The Year' 2013/14 and in the same year she also published her first ever cook book 'Cook Thai with Suree.'
Growing up in Thailand before moving to England over 25 years ago, Suree's earliest cookery memory is at 5 years old cooking with her Grandmother who was the one who taught her the importance of good quality raw produce, and that fresh cooked food is always the best.
As a small child in Thailand it would have been Surees's job to both set the fire (with everything cooked over charcoal) and to make the curry paste and it's after many hours of pounding away at a pestle and mortar that taught her the importance of a good quality food processor!
In Thailand food is a big deal, a real family affair with everyone getting involved so for instance, Suree's father would bring fresh fish from the river and pick herbs and spices growing wild. Vegetables were always available and locally grown and this is how Thai food should be, and it's what they strive for at 'The King and Thai.'
Look out for Suree's recipe in the recently published 'Made in Shropshire'.
Taste Workshops are led by expert producers or chefs who will guide you through a tutored tasting of selected food and drink. Booking is essential!
Danielle's Coffee will ensure you experience great coffee and learn all about those different flavours.
Marcus Bean brings together an amazing selection of chefs in an entertaining and interactive day which as always promises to bring fantastic food and the best chefs from across the UK.
The festival simply could not happen without its band of merry men & women; so come and be part of this fantastic team!
For 2016 we have the very popular Pork Pie Making, Sushi classes, Butchery and Thai Green Curry. Book early places are limited.
Our phone app TiCL will help you navigate the town, the trails and the festival. You'll be able to use the handy compass anywhere in town to find highlights of the festival. It's FREE to download and will act as a handy guide to the event too...
Getting hands on and dirty is the best way to learn, especially when you get to eat what you've made - this is what we're planning on doing with our NEW kids sessions each day. Education and fun, don't miss them!
Enter to win some delicious prizes from our partners, producers and exhibitors
The Sausage Trail; Ale Trail and Bread Trail take place on the Saturday + the Window Dressing Competition all weekend.