Saturday 25th September
Compere: Simon Brown
Sunday 26th September
Compere: Suzy Pelta
The schedule may be subject to change.
Alex Hollywood is a passionate home cook and family food writer with two popular cookery books under her belt as well as a devoted following on social media.
Alex’s food is quick simple and delicious. She incorporates flavours from her Scandinavian and French heritage and her ‘waste not want not’ attitude resonates with busy mums across the globe. Her no fuss approach to cooking has garnered her a loyal following on both Twitter and Instagram where she posts videos and recipes on a weekly basis. Her infectious humour and relatability were noticed by TV producers, resulting in her featuring on numerous programmes including ITV’s This Morning, Nadia’s Family Feasts and Ainsley’s Food We Love. Alex has also captivated audiences whilst hosting live cooking demos at the BBC Good Food Show, Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre, Thame Food Festival and Bradford Upon Avon Food Festival.
Alex loves to travel the world – she discovered inspirational, innovative ideas and exciting flavours whilst globe-trotting, many of which she now uses to add unusual twists to her everyday home cooking, perfect for busy families who want something a little more exciting for their midweek meal!
As well as conjuring meals for family and friends Alex cooked on a semi-professional basis in the French Alps; she lived and worked in Cyprus for many years, initially as a Scuba Diving Instructor, then in Public Relations for the Exclusive Annabelle Hotel. Throughout her career Alex has actively been working with high-profile celebrity chefs assisting in recipe development and writing.
Her simple but effective recipes are always a hit on social media, so it was no surprise that in 2015 Alex secured her first book deal with ‘My Busy Kitchen’ published by Hodder and Stoughton. This beautiful book is filled with plenty of wonderfully accessible family meal recipes.
Alex published her second book ‘Cooking Tonight’ in 2017, continuing to inspire home-cooks with fuss-free family meals that have become her trade mark; using staple ingredients that comprise a weekly shop.
During Lockdown Alex teamed up with Lotte Duncan, from ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’, to present their own popular weekly cookery slot on Instagram Live called ‘Chop And Chat ‘. Alex is currently in conversation with production and the Swedish tourist board for a new Scandinavian food odyssey programme.
Her multi-media career compounds her versatility; she’s contributed to various high-profile publications such as The Times, The Telegraph, Delicious Magazine, BBC Good Food, OK!, Hello, The Mail on Sunday, You Magazine and Stella Magazine. Alex has also collaborated with Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Mission Deli Wraps etc. and is an Ambassador for Love British Food – the leading campaigning organisation promoting British food. She regularly promotes and discuss British food products on her social media platforms. Alex is a Judge for The Great Taste Awards, ‘the Oscars’ of the Food Calendar.
Alex lives in the Kent countryside where, along with cooking, recipe development and working on her 3rd book, she is also a keen gardener. Alex has created an extensive kitchen garden, grows all her own produce, and gives regular tips and updates to her growing Instagram followers.
Steven is a baker, TV personality, marketeer and now food teacher.
From a very young age Steven would stand with his Mum in the kitchen, watching and mastering everything she was doing. His own skills in the kitchen developed over the years, but the most important lesson his Mum taught him was to relax and enjoy preparing food, whether it was for a family party or just Wednesday night dinner.
After years of working in corporate marketing Steven finally plucked up the courage to enter Channel 4’s eighth series of The Great British Bake Off. With a dream to just make it through the first week, he finished as runner-up in the final, collecting three Star Bakers (and several Hollywood Handshakes) along the way. From his infamous loaf shaped cake to an intricate bread handbag and a show-stopping chess set made of biscuit; Steven would always challenge himself on both style and substance.
Steven has taken his experience in the tent and skill and put it to good use. He has already appeared at a host of food festivals across the country, with live demonstrations alongside his favourite celebrity chefs. In television he has baked alongside the talented Anton Du Beke and most recently, he appeared on the ITV London News as a special reporter, exploring London’s vibrant and diverse bakeries.
Lucie opened her restaurant The Milk Shed, just outside Oxford, in March 2013 following a career in the catering industry working in events, restaurants, and cooking on boats in the caribbean.
Approaching its 7th birthday The Milk Shed is busier than ever, open 6 days a week with additional pop-up supper clubs and restaurant nights, but now Lucie is able to spend a bit more of her time at home in Cornwall working on recipe ideas, writing projects and generally cooking and eating!
I’m a passionate foodie, TV cook, Cookery Theatre Compere and AGA demonstrator who just loves having fun in the kitchen.
I trained as a Home Economist in Manchester and began cooking professionally as a member of the Home Economics team at Miele, the German domestic appliance manufacturer, based just outside Oxford. I spent seven very happy years there, but got itchy feet and decided that I wanted to cook with and inspire a wider audience, so I began giving cookery demonstrations in the UK and Europe and met loads of fellow foodies along the way at exhibitions and food shows.
At the same time I was asked to cook on QVC for the first time and was immediately smitten by the shopping TV bug. So began a long and exciting career on a number of shopping channels, including Granada Shop!, eeZee TV and The Jewellery Channel.
In 2009 I returned to QVC as the regular guest presenter for their exclusive kitchenwares range, Cook’s Essentials. Since then I’ve spent many happy hours on air, explaining the great products I’m using and, hopefully, passing on my knowledge to inspire you to get cooking too. For a backstage insight into QVC and QVC recipes I’ve cooked on air plus a link to the QVC website, click on my QVC page.
I first cooked on the AGA and Rayburn over 25 years ago, and I still love them! I give occasional demonstrations at AGA shops and Rayburn distributors in the southern half of the country where I demonstrate simple and delicious recipes to show how to get the best from your range cooker. It’s great to meet other AGA and Rayburn fanatics and to swap ideas and recipes! Click on my Cooking on AGA page for dedicated recipes I’ve cooked at my demonstrations and for a link to the AGA website.
Why not enjoy one of my ‘AGA demonstrations at home’ ? – I’ll cook on your AGA for you, your family or a group of your friends.
As an Event Compere, I host cookery theatre stages at food festivals and events throughout the UK, from a marquee in a field to The Royal Geographical Institute in London. Corporate clients have included Tesco, Gaggenau, Kenwood, Kuhn Rikon and Magimix. For more information, go to my Cookery Stage Compere page.
I live just outside Oxford with my husband and my classic 1959 Armstrong Siddeley saloon.
James Grant has worked in some of the U.K.s most prestigious establishments. He ran Wilton’s in St James’s, London – an exceptional British Restaurant, The Bluebird, alongside Celebrity Chef John Torode (AKA Masterchef), Claridges Restaurant, Mark’s Club in Mayfair, The Lanesborough, The Carlton Tower and Lutyen’s in Fleet Street and Cliveden in Berkshire.
He has won numerous awards including The Tatler Restaurant Award for the U.K.s Best Front Of House Team, The British Cheese Awards Best New Cheese Shop,
The World Restaurant Awards Top 100, Springboard Chris Beaumont Award of Excellence and Cheesemonger Education Champion through Speciality Food Magazine.
TV appearances include Masterchef, The One Show and Top Gear (the one where JC JM RH drove through the Yorkshire dales in black tie).
James also writes a column in Speciality Food Magazine.
Over his career he has always served cheese. For over a decade he and his wife have run No2 Pound Street, a wine shop and British cheese shop with delicatessen in the Chilterns. It is Buckinghamshire’s premier Artisan British Cheese Shop. No2 only sells British cheese. James travels the length and breadth of the U.K. to find taste and bring back some of the finest artisan cheese the country has to offer. He is a training partner with The Academy of Cheese and is proud to be able to teach people about a food that predates recorded history. Also he aims, through education to help train people to become Masters of Cheese.
Sarah Wyndham Lewis
A professional writer and Bologna-trained Honey Sommelier, Sarah is a columnist for a leading beekeeping magazine, trains chefs and bartenders and runs raw honey tastings for food and drinks industry professionals.
She also runs tastings and workshops for clients including Petersham Nurseries, Lambeth Palace, Cookery School and Hiver Beers.
Her most recent book, ‘Planting for Honeybees’, is published worldwide by Quadrille. Sarah is a (Guild of Fine Foods) Great Taste Awards judge and co-ordinator trainer.
Food….where did the affair start?
Yeah, I’d love to tell you it was the truffle we foraged for as kids, the leafy vines that straddled our garden, the stunning markets bursting with local produce….in truth we didn’t have such things in downtown Ramsbottom in the 60’s! (how things have changed there NOW btw!)
So, I hear you say, did you learn at your Grandmothers knee, I bet your Mother was a wonderful cook ? Nope….all too busy working! Although I didn’t realise it at the time it was the glorious produce of the North that stirred my soul – we ate black pudding boiled in cauldron like pans on Bury market, fresh Lancashire cheese so crumbly we picked up bits for hours. And Tripe …the stench from hell but with a taste of heaven. Eccles cakes still warm from the bakery ….weird all this shizzle is the done thing now!!
Convinced that all our local food was surely rubbish I first set off for France. A static caravan in Frejus since you ask! Being English we naturally took loads of food with us; I mean what could the French Riviera give us that Ramsbottom couldn’t?! Truth was I was mesmerised, not by the masses of stunning fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and herbs, but you could buy an Emmental frappe…….!! A love had begun, La Belle France!
So, off to boarding school in Yorkshire – I loved it! The trips out to eat with my parents when they came to visit My Father, a printer in Colne, knew all the decent places….things were brewing!
Three hours after my last GCE ‘O’Level, I was heading back to France, working in restaurants, market gardens and markets, I inhaled the near obsession with provenance, the quality of the cooking and something just clicked……we had ALL of this in the Northwest of England – albeit not quite so sunny – but the fire inside me started!
Back to the Motherland, spells with Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White stoked the fire to another level and I then went to the restaurant my parents had acquired and off we went on the classic ‘posh’ French route. It worked for a while …..
La Belle Epoque, Knutsford, was fabulous – big, bold, busy, frequented by celebrities, yet recessions are no respecters of history – the sh*t ran deep – a solution was needed and my love of the Northwest had come full circle …..now on trend (it was the early 90’s remember!) was bury black pudding, salty Cheshire cheese, sandy local asparagus – sitting alongside classic dover sole, lobster and guinea fowl. The Belle Epoque ‘Brasserie’ was born and will always be a very special offspring!
Media offers started to come in from Regional and National TV, cooking with the Hairy Bikers, Simon Rimmer, and Matt Tebbutt are just a few of the amazing chefs I’ve been privileged to cook alongside, but my affair with the kitchen stove will always be my first love.
As the culinary and hospitality scene moves on and is ever changing, gastro pub chains come and go I am very happy to be involved in a variety of exciting new projects, offering my (coughs) XX years of experience as a consultant and enjoying demonstrating at some of the best food festivals in the country.
Ryan and Liam Simpson-Trotman
Ryan and Liam Simpson-Trotman are the chefs and co-owners of Orwells Restaurant which opened in 2010 in an 18thcentury former pub in Shiplake, near Henley. Since launching the restaurant has won The Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year 2017, consistently been included in The Good Food Guide Top 50 UK Restaurants (currently no. 29), awarded 4 AA Rosettes ranking it amongst the best restaurants in the country and, most recently, won Thames Valley Hospitality Awards Restaurant of the Year.
The pair are also no stranger to television – they are regulars of BBC Saturday Kitchen and they became the first married couple and chef duo to both appear on BBC2’s Great British Menu, competing for their respective home regions. Ryan and Liam appeared on the show in June this year, a third time for Ryan and second for Liam.
Ryan’s experience includes apprenticeships with the Troisgros family, Guy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire during time spent in France before returning to the UK to work his way up the ranks. His colourful CV includes Sketch, The Langham, Winteringham Fields and The Elephant. Ryan’s first head chef role was at The Goose where he won a Michelin star within just 18 months and was awarded The Good Food Guide ‘Up and Coming Chef of the Year’. Here he met Liam who joined the team having begun his career at the famous 60 Hope Street and worked at Bovey Castle.
Ryan and Liam’s ethos is to serve nothing but the highest quality food with a major focus on sustainability. Ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible, all meat is locally reared, higher welfare and entirely seasonal, plus they serve absolutely nothing that isn’t completely sustainable – eel has been off the menu for years. The chefs have their own smallholding where up to 75% of their fruit and vegetables are grown and Liam is a passionate and successful beekeeper, producing the honey used in the restaurant and selling it to support Friends of the Earth’s ‘Bee Cause’. Ryan and Liam send nothing to landfill – all their refuse is recycled and they choose their suppliers carefully based on their sustainability merits. This approach and dedication has earned them a three-star gold sustainability rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, ‘demonstrating an exceptional standard of sustainability’.
Mallika is a food writer, cookery book author and cook who lives in London, and is originally from Bengal, India. She has authored two cookery books ‘Miss Masala’ and ‘Masala’ and has also been featured on Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation TV come back programme and on Jamie Oliver’s online cookery channel, Foodtube.
Mallika writes a regular food column called Simply Spiced in the Evening Standard as well as ad hoc cookbook reviews, restaurant and comment pieces. She was nominated a Tastemaker, one of London’s top 1000 influencers in 2018.
Suzy Pelta is the winner of ITV1’s Lorraine Cake Club Competition and is a recipe writer, food judge, demonstration chef and lover of leopard print and pink lipstick!
As well as food blogging for The Metro, judging for The Great Taste Awards and writing ‘Miracle Mug Cakes and Other Cheat’s Bakes’ for Ryland Peters and Small, Suzy is Marie Curie’s Blooming Great Tea Party Queen & each year creates the signature cake for the campaign.
Tristan started his culinary career in London, where he trained as commis chef at City Rhodes restaurant, under Gary Rhodes, until 1998 when he joined Le Gavroche, working under the stern guidance of Michel Roux Jr. Here he achieved the Award of Excellence from the Academy of Culinary Arts, which recognizes exceptional talent and ambition in young chefs.
He remained at Le Gavroche for almost 3 years, before he moved to the triple Michelin starred L’Arpège in Paris.
Travelling north, he took on his first head chef role at the award winning five star, Michelin starred Glenapp Castle Relais & Châteaux hotel in Ayrshire, Scotland, where he spent over two years. During this time, they achieved many awards; from 3 AA rosettes, to hotel chef of the year and, in 2003, the prestigious Gordon Ramsay Scholarship Award.
A call back to London to take on the role of head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s and Marcus Wearing’s prestigious restaurant Petrus at The Berkeley in 2005.
Petrus was awarded 2 Michelin stars in 2007, Best Restaurant Award in the Harden’s Guide 2008, numerous other awards followed. In March 2008, he relaunched the Kensington restaurant Launceston Place, where he created a modern British menu, received with rave reviews by the critics.It won Best Restaurant in the London Time Out guide, number 3 of most fashionable London restaurants, Best In Taste award, awards from the London restaurant festival, plus wine awards from Tattler and Wine Spectator.
In 2009 he was a finalist in BBC2’s Great British Menu and appeared again on the show in 2010. Tristan makes regular appearances on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, BBC1’s The One Show, Good Food channel’s Market Kitchen, C4’s Drop Down Menu, and radio BBC London. He also makes regular appearances on Food Network USA and Food Network UK
After three years working in Mustique, Tristan headed back to Blighty where he opened and is co-owner of the fabulous Parker’s Tavern in Cambridge. https://parkerstavern.com
The Crabstock Boys
Adrian and Andy are great champions of UK shellfish.
They support the fishing industry and the fishermen/women who catch in calm and gale. They are passionate about promoting the best of British shellfish and seafood and spend their summers touring the country demonstrating the most delicious seafood and dish to happy audiences.
Val was born in Yorkshire and began baking with her Nana and Aunts who all loved baking and passed on the love to her. As Val grew she practiced her baking skills with her Mum and whilst holidaying with Aunts.
Whilst at Teacher Training College she continued to bake for her fellow students often foraging for ingredients and “ borrowing “ apples from the college orchard to make blackberry and apple jam. Val’s house on campus was the only one to be scented with scones, cakes and pies which often drew in a crowd.
Val met her husband whilst they were still at school aged sweet sixteen and so her family extended to include her to be Mum in law and her mother. From them she learned the skills of cooking on a coal Yorkshire range, how to milk a cow and make her own butter.
After over 50 years of baking with love for friends and family, Val Stones presents her first cookbook, The Cake Whisperer. Whether you are a seasoned cook looking for new ideas or a total beginner, this collection of tried and tested recipes is perfect for anyone who wants to put a smile on the face of their loved ones.
Named after Val’s technique of listening to her bakes, the recipes in The Cake Whisperer have been chosen by Val to provide the fundamental skills and basic recipes that any home cook should have – including how to listen to your cakes! Val doesn’t want you to follow her recipes to the letter, but hopes that people will get creative, make changes and end up with something they love.
At its heart The Cake Whisperer is a family cookbook. Val grew up in multi-generational home, baking with her Nana, her mum and her aunts. Her recipes have been taste tested by countless sticky-fingered children at the buffet tables that marked generations of birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. They are her husband’s favourites and the things that her siblings Suse, Steve and Denise request every time she visits. Each one has received a seal of approval from the only critics that Val cares about – her family.
Independently minded as ever, Val chose to self-publish, packing this book with her unique personality and charm. Each recipe is accompanied by anecdotes, notes and comments which tell you the inspiration that lies behind her bakes. As well as irresistible sausage rolls, cakes and biscuits The Cake Whisperer also contains Val’s secret recipe for friendship, which she demonstrates using hand-picked photos of her friends from across the globe.
A retired Headteacher, Val of course knows the value of a little group work and has enjoyed sharing the drafts of this book with her fellow Great British BakeOff contestants. Andrew Smyth, 2016 finalist and also the person setting up Val’s online shop said, “Val’s voice is on every page. Working through these recipes is like being back in the tent, Val in front of me chatting away and dancing as she bakes. I’ve even started listening to my own baking!”
Every detail of this book shows the way that thinking of others is at the centre of who Val is. The fonts and page colours have been chosen to make it easier for person with dyslexia to read, something which Val herself has struggled with. Val is also proud that every image is glossy, “…so you can wipe it when you spill”, something else she knows every baker has experiences. Most of all though, every story, picture and recipe has been carefully selected because Val thinks it will make someone happy.
The Cake Whisperer is available for purchase at valstones.com. RRP £12.95.
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Emily Lloyd-Jones - Barefoot Bakery
Emily comes from a background of catering and events management, and returning to work after the birth of her daughter, was looking for something to enable her to spend time as a mother and be based from home.
Emily was making cakes and brownies at home and it was suggested to her that she have a market stall and sell her wares.
We couldn’t believe how popular the stall was and the market became a regular thing. Within a year we had built up a small trade supply and opened our first cafe.
We now have 3 cafes, supply 50 or so cafes/restaurants with cake and have a growing mail order supply.
Everything we make is our own well researched recipes and reflect Emilys love of all natural, zero additive and balanced flavour combinations.
Once I had left culinary college I found myself in the kitchens of multi rosette hotels and restaurants, constantly looking for ways to develop my skill and learn to become a better chef. Always exploring new flavours and techniques I quickly found myself working in a Michelin starred restaurant, from here I never looked back.
Progressively, my food became more refined and I decided to take on MasterChef: The Professionals (now available on Netflix) landing myself in the final three competitors. In December 2020 I made the biggest decision of my career and returned to the MasterChef kitchen to put my skills to the test for the second time. This time I walked away as the winner which has to be my biggest achievement to date.
Since MasterChef: The Professionals aired I have delivered tasting menus at events throughout the country, held restaurant take overs and been fortunate enough to work in some incredible 2 & 3 Michelin starred restaurants.
Now, I am a private chef based in Nottingham. I design an array of new menus every month for customers to enjoy at dinner parties. My passion for flavour and unique combinations is shown in my ever evolving menus. Durning the pandemic, I quickly adapted my service to a home delivery meaning people could order my food and “Heat at Home”. This was a huge success thanks to the local community’s support. Since the beginning of 2021, I have launched my own yuzu & Sichuan peppercorn botanical gin, Sichuan Seasoning and also become an ambassador for Pit Boss Grills, Difference Coffee Company & The tasting spoon. I’m also really proud to say that I am this years Nestle Toque d’Or chef judge!
I’ve always tried my best to make sure that the food we ate as a family was unprocessed, locally sourced where possible, and fresh. So when we welcomed our first dog – Rudi Doodle – into the family, I saw no reason not to source his food in the same way.
The problem was that in 2009 proper, natural, species-appropriate food didn’t really exist for pets, it was before the ‘raw pet food revolution!’. So a bit nervous… but determined….. I set about reading books, scouring pet shops for supplements and chatting to vet friends. It accidentally became a business and I was making and selling raw pet food, baking biscuits and drying liver (not the nicest thing) to sell. Before I knew it I was responsible for feeding around 4000 dogs per month !
Fast forward a few years and Fletcher joined the family as a re-home. Fletcher is a labradoodle who is VERY in touch with his poodle side and as well as insisting he sit on the settee and share your digestive biscuits, he also flat refused to eat raw food…. What did I think he was….a dog ? Sometimes I was so desperate to make him eat I would pop him on my lap and feed him with a spoon. In terms of quality I simply couldn’t find anything that matched raw food, that wasn’t raw food !
So having moved on from my first business I set about creating HUG Pet Food! At HUG we have created a range of foods that suit all tastes…. With critical aspects in common, the quality, ingredients and processes to create the food are the best of their kind. We want to help all pet parents nurture their dog or cat and enjoy the experience. With HUG you can choose from 3 types of food…a traditional raw food; a cook-at-home food; and a cold pressed dry food that is highly nutritious and easy to digest. Picky eaters rejoice !
We are really excited to be demonstrating how you too can deal with a ‘Fussy Fletcher’ or simply enjoy cooking for your canine. Given half a chance I’d rather dine with my dog …. Join us and we’ll share some recipes so you can too !