Woking Borough Council
Civic OfficesGloucester SquareWokingSurreyGU21 6YL
Telephone: 01483 755855
15 August 2013
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The first Woking Food and Drink Festival, from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September 2013, is set to be a free mouth-watering `feastival' for all of the family, featuring an assortment of over 40 high quality food and drink stalls, three days of live culinary demonstrations from TV and local prestigious chefs, cookery-related workshops for children and all topped off with a healthy portion of live entertainment.
Hosted in newly refurbished Jubilee Square in Woking Town Centre, the three-day celebration of food and drink aims to showcase the very best of the area's producers, chefs and restaurants, as well as attracting a range of regional producers to the town. Artisan producers and retailers will be offering delicious taster samples and the opportunity to purchase their produce and freshly cooked dishes.
Whether you are a cookery beginner, improver or foodie fanatic, visitors to the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre can watch the `cream of the crop' deliver live gourmet demonstrations in the purpose-built, professional cookery marquee. Each day, there will be up to six gourmet master-classes where you can learn top tips from the experts.
Topping the Theatre's bill will be demonstrations delivered by TV competition chefs Natalie Coleman, BBC Master Chef 2013 winner and Jo Wheatley, Television Bake Off Winner. And, showcasing the local area's strong culinary credentials will be a series of live demos from a range of prominent chefs and restaurant owners - all based within a five-mile radius of the Town Centre. Confirmed demo chefs are:
Steve Drake - Former Roux Scholarship winner and owner of Drakes in Ripley; a Michelin Star rated restaurant.
Ben Piette - BBC MasterChef 2010 semi-finalist and owner of London House restaurant in Woking.
Fernando Stovell - Featured chef on BBC's Saturday Kitchen and owner of Stovell's restaurant in Chobham; voted one of the Top 50 out-of-London restaurants 2013 by Square Meal reviewers.
Shane Cooke - Executive Chef and Roux Scholarship entrant 2013 who has previously worked under Raymond Blanc.
Tante Marie Culinary Academy instructors - Three of the most experienced cookery instructors from the oldest UK independent cookery school which is based in Woking and co-owned by Gordon Ramsay.
Speaking about her appearance at the Festival, Natalie Coleman, BBC MasterChef 2013 winner, said: "I'm really looking forward to taking part in the first ever Woking Food and Drink Festival. I'm excited to be demonstrating some special recipes written for this event, alongside a line up of great local chefs."
As well as foraging amongst the artisan stalls and tucking in to some flavoursome plates from street food vendors, foodies of the future can participate in a range of free children's cookery workshops, courtesy of Woking Shopping.
Children can roll up their sleeves to create their own chocolate creations, decorate cookies and put their palates to the test in a series of tasting and healthy eating sessions. The free children's workshops will be held in Gloucester Square and will run from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September.
And, if that's not enough to whet your appetite, why not have a slice of the baking action and take part in the Festival's great bake-off competition judged by TV Bake Off winner, Jo Wheatley. Pre-registered entrants can drop off their `baked beauties' at Christchurch on Sunday 15 September by 12noon. Cakes will be judged based on design, decoration and texture and the lucky winner will win a place on one of Jo's cookery classes, held in her own home in Essex, along with a signed copy of her book, A Passion For Cooking.
Talking about the bake-off competition, Jo Wheatley, Television Bake Off Winner, said: "After years of enjoying baking at home for my family, I am thrilled to be living the dream and sharing my top tips at live demonstrations and via my cookbooks.
"Baking and decorating the perfect cake takes patience and practice, and I'm looking forward to judging the bake-off competition and discovering Woking's master cake baker, and then welcoming the winner to my cookery school in Essex."
Adding some extra flavour to the Festival will be live acoustic music to entertain visitors as they sample Woking's gastronomic delights and special offers will be up for grabs for retail outlets within Peacocks and Wolsey Place Shopping Centres.
Cllr Gary Elson, Woking Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Promoting the Local Economy, said: "Woking continues to go through exciting changes and I welcome the addition of the food and drink festival to the Council's popular Celebrate Woking programme of annual events. The newly refurbished Jubilee Square is the perfect Town Centre venue for outdoor events and we hope the Festival will be the start of many more to come.
"Like all Celebrate Woking events, we aim to host free, engaging events for all of the family, which also attract returning and new visitors to the town. I am looking forward to tasting the quality products and dishes on sale, and seeing some of the best local chefs demonstrate their skills and expertise in the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre."
To find out more information about the Festival as and when it is released, including exhibitor stalls, demonstration timetable and menu, children's activities, please visit www.wokingfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk or follow @WokingFoodFest on Twitter.