Thousands of visitors enjoyed three days of free culinary capers and one red-hot chilli showdown!
Foodies from across the region turned out in vast numbers to enjoy a large helping of celebrity and local chef demos, expert talks, pop-up dining experiences and a fantastic assortment of food and drink stalls, all served with a side of street entertainment and live music at Woking Food and Drink Festival 2019.
Located in Jubilee Square, the professional demo theatre hosted a smorgasbord of top culinary experts, including celebrity chefs: Sabrina Ghayour, TV presenter and author; Martha Collison, Great British Bake Off quarter finalist and food writer; Laurence Henry, MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 winner; and, Chris Bavin, co-presenter of BBC's Eat Well for Less.
The demo theatre also showcased a selection of talented chefs and experts from some of Surrey’s finest food establishments including: Steve Drake, chef patron of Sorrel restaurant; and, Tony Parkin, head chef of The Tudor Room at Great Fosters Hotel. Magimix expert, Linda Hewett, guided visitors through the fun process of creating wholesome and delicious meals in minutes during the Magimix Masterclasses.
Complementing the demo theatre were the informative and intimate bite-size talks. Local food and drink experts introduced festival visitors to a rich buffet of trade secret top tips, skills and mini masterclasses all hosted by Hersha Patel – host of YouTube channel 'Cook with a Little Indian'.
As well as the alluring pull of the Michelin star heavy weights and celebrity chefs, the Hot Pods chilli eating competition drew the crowds, with three finalists making it through to the tenth and final round, eating the world’s hottest chilli (the Carolina Reaper), before a ‘lunchbox’ tie breaker of six random chillies.
Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “What a fabulous event! The Woking Food and Drink Festival continues to grow, and this year's event was another success with high levels of participation across all three days. Every session and workshop was well attended and stallholders reported a successful weekend of trade.
“It was fantastic to see Woking Town Centre buzzing with visitors of all ages enjoying the chef demos, free activities and talks, street entertainment and live music, as well as the selection of cuisine available from across the world.
“I would like to extend my thanks to all our sponsors, the project teams and all of the volunteers throughout the festival, all of whom together mean we can put on this fantastic event.”
Woking Food and Drink Festival 2019 (Friday 30 August to Sunday 1 September), was sponsored by Woking Shopping, #WeAreWoking and Magimix UK.