TALKS & DEMOS

Sponsored by Wenlock Spring

Every year, we draw up a wish list of people who we’d like to get to the Wenlock Spring Demonstration Stage. And this year, we pretty much got the lot. There’s a perfect blend of recognisable Celebrity Chefs, Michelin Starred cooks and the best of Shropshire and its hinterland.

The line-up this year, ladies, gentleman and prodigious young kids who are planning to win Junior Chef, is the nuts.

We’ll have big hitters like Gareth Ward, the Michelin-starred chef patron from Ynyshir, showing you how to make the most exquisite food imaginable. Gareth is one of the best cooks in the UK, a Champions League-standard chef, who is in high demand. We’re thrilled he’s going to be hanging out in Shrewsbury for our festival and would urge you to beat a hasty retreat to his elegant and gorgeous restaurant at Eglwys Fach, near Machynlleth. We have. We promise you won’t regret it.

A relative new kid on the block is the MasterChef The Professionals star Leo Kattou, who delighted us all with his run to the latter stages in the most recent series. Kattou also holds a Michelin star for his dishes at Simpsons, in Birmingham, which is one of the region’s finest venues.

Paul Askew, the Liverpudlian Chef Patron of The Art School, will be making a trip from Merseyland to be with us, after dazzling on Saturday Kitchen, Great British Menu and a bunch of other TV shows. Paul will be bringing his new book, Onwards and Upwards, to sign. He’s so good, he’s going to be on both days.

And then there’s the best of local: Chris Burt, Karl Martin, Rob Swift and more. It promises to be a dreamy weekend.

All the chefs who are on our Wenlock Spring Demonstration Stage will be modelling aprons from the amazing Ridson & Ridson. Luxury aprons made in the heart of Shrewsbury.

Ridson & Ridson are two generations bringing together their creative strengths and ideas. Mother and sons – Carla, Alex and James – they each have a clear design perspective. 

Founder Carla has a background in textiles, sewing and making – mixed with a passion for traditional craftsmanship and a love of modern design. Alex is the leather worker with a natural talent for working raw materials into beautiful pieces. James is behind the branding, web design and is part-time photographer.

Their aim has always been to produce something that has style and practicality, delivered with the finest materials. They are unique in their features and are built to last.

Come and get your hands on this unique crafted aprons and bags in the retail stalls on site!

Saturday

Hosted by Shropshire Radio Colin Young we are grateful to this awesome chap who has supported us from the start.

11am  Rob Swift

Shropshire baker Rob Swift is born and bread in the county. And he'll be showing people how to perfect the perfect bake in this eagerly-anticipated masterclass. Rob will have a few tricks up his sleeve - so make sure you book early.

12pm  Harry Bullock

Youthful Shropshire chef Harry Bullock has made a remarkable start to his career after washing pots as a kid at Will Holland's Michelin-starred La Becasse. He's since earned himself two AA Rosettes with beautiful food in South West Shropshire. Enjoy this session with one of the county's rising stars. 

1pm James Sherwin

Foraging fan James Sherwin is passionate about local produce and has put homegrown ingredients front and centre of his menus in recent years. He's developed quite a following for his experimental cookery, with dishes built upon ingredients that are grown close to home.

2pm Stuart Collins

Much-travelled Stuart Collins worked under Gordon Ramsay before travelling the world to soak up inspiration as he learned to cook at the highest level. And now he's back in Shropshire with his own restaurant, in Whitchurch. He'll be showcasing the flavours on offer at Docket 33.

3pm  Ben Hall

Having grown up in Shropshire, Ben went to work under the two Michelin-starred Michael Wignall, at Gidleigh Park, in Devon, before returning to his roots. And since opening his first restaurant, The Walrus, in Shrewsbury, he's earned nothing but rave reviews. Get a taste of the county's best with Ben.

4pm To Be Announced

Sunday

Hosted by Carl Jones as master of ceremonies.

11am  Karl Martin

The silky skills of Old Downton Lodge chef Karl Martin have earned him four AA rosettes. And his cutting edge food will be on display when he opens the demonstration stage by showcasing some of his favourite food. 

12pm Chris Burt & Vicky Enderson

Expect fireworks from stage curator Chris Burt and his trusty sidekick, ingredients expert Vicky Enderson. Burt has made a success of the Mytton & Mermaid, earning it an AA Rosette, and his demonstrations with Vicky have proved to be a highlight of previous festivals.

1pm Paul Foster

Winning a Michelin star, publishing a book and securing a high score from the Good Food Guide made 2018 a landmark year for Stratford-Upon-Avon chef-patron Paul Foster, at Salt Restaurant. We're delighted to welcome him to Shrewsbury Food Festival, he'll be a star turn for fans who've seen him on BBC's Saturday Kitchen.

2pm Brad Cater

Bearded wonder Brad Carter has earned a Michelin star and numerous other awards at Carter's of Moseley. He'll be bringing high quality to the event, following the publication of his debut book, Staff, which focuses on the food that he and his fellow chefs love to cook.  The BBC Good Food Guide regular is also on our TV screens regularly. Get there early to bag a seat.

3pm Gareth Ward

North Wales cook Gareth Ward is one of the best chefs in Europe. We're delighted to welcome him back to Shrewsbury Food Festival following a sensational demo last year. He's the current Good Food Guide Chef of the Year and his restaurant offers once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic thrills. Don't miss the demo - and check out his restaurant, Ynyshir.

4pm  Leo Kattou

Birmingham's Michelin-starred Leo Kattou rattle the pans at Simpsons, alongside his chef director, Luke Tipping. Leo made a run towards the finals on BBC's MasterChefs The Professionals and we're thrilled that he's agreed to bring the curtain down on the strarriest day we've ever held in Shrewsbury. 

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