Big Cookery Stage
A myriad of demonstrations will be taking place throughout the weekend with some top chefs and bakers. Located within the Festival Village
The schedule may be subject to change.
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.
Born and bred in Italy, Giuseppe moved to the UK in his early 20s with the plan to stay only for six months while perfecting the language… Twenty years, one PhD, one happy marriage and three UK-born sons down the line, Giuseppe has elected England as his adoptive homeland and officially crowned himself a “Britalian”.
A materials engineer and researcher by trade, Giuseppe grew up in a family of passionate bakers, where food was the prime topic of conversation. He has inherited from his dad, a professional chef, the love for everything cooked or baked. Winning the Great British Bake Off in 2021 reinforced his mantra that simplicity, attention to detail and good quality ingredients are key to delicious food, and sparked off his ambition to share his family gastronomic knowledge far and wide.
He currently lives between Bristol and Milan, still nurturing his passion for good food, design and architecture, and excitedly looking forward to combine more of the myriad of regional nuances in his Italian heritage with the British culinary register.
“A worthy winner” – The Telegraph
“A showcase of all that is best about Italian baking” – The Times
“I live in Beverley, a market town close to Hull, surrounded by the coast, the Humber, the Yorkshire wolds – and by so many top producers of quality ingredients! I grew up in a small village in Leicestershire, Newton Harcourt. I spent eight years as a navigation officer in the Merchant Navy, navigating ships the world over. At the age of 26, I applied for my dream job as a Marine pilot and have piloted ships on the Humber for the last five years.
“I grew up in a family who were all very knowledgeable about food, which rubbed off on me. My mother is a great baker, and always shared her love of wonderful cakes with me. My dad would cook less often, but when he did it would be a grand affair involving trips to specialist supermarkets. He made exciting dishes like Mexican chimichangas, skate wing with beurre noisette and brilliant authentic Indian curries. My grandparents on my mother’s side from Punjab were both excellent cooks. I used to watch my grandmother cook piles of amazing Paranthas and my grandfather was an expert at Keema. They taught me a lot.
“Every summer holidays we’d go to France and I was astounded by how the French would present ingredients – fish in markets displayed like a work of art, and all of the fantastic varied cheeses. We’d often eat in workers’ cafes for lunch, where only the locals would go, and eat the freshest, simplest dishes, cooked so perfectly. The way food was engrained in French culture was a total revelation. I wanted to recreate the food I’d tasted and that’s how I really got into cooking. I was making classic French dishes like Tarte Tatin, Ile Flottante, Crème Brulée and Gratin Dauphinois by the age of 12.”
Cooking influences/ passions:
“I love to cook the Punjabi dishes I grew up eating with my family. But my real passion is the great Mughlai cuisine: the historic royal dishes of Old Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad. With a love for classic French and Indian cookery, I like to experiment with the two cuisines, creating my own fusion of the two fascinating foodie cultures.
“Aside from my family, I have a few food heroes such as Jeremy Lee, because of his food, ethos and he’s just a wonderful, warm man. Gordon Ramsay, what a legend. It was a dream come true cooking alongside him at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. I also grew up watching all of Keith Floyd’s classic cooking shows. What a charismatic pioneer of TV cookery! I admire Cyrus Todiwala, also a real character and master of Indian cuisine.”
Life post MasterChef
Since winning MasterChef I have left my job as a marine pilot. Now is the time to focus on my love of food and turn this into an exciting career. It’s always been my ambition, MasterChef has made it reality. I would love to write a cookbook to share my food with everyone. It is important for me to gain experience in professional kitchens, so I can take my food to the next level and one day open my own restaurant! For me, it’s all about immersing myself in the wonderful world of food!
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.
Steven Carter Bailey
Steven Carter-Bailey was a finalist on the 2017 series of The Great British Bakeoff and went on to win the 2019 New Years’ Day special. Friend and regular guest at the Thame Food Festival, Steven has taken his Bakeoff experience and forged his career in food. As a celebrity cake designer, Steven has made some incredible cakes for the likes of Sir Ian McKellan, Jade Thirlwall, and most recently was invited to the BAFTAs with a cake for Rebel Wilson.
Alongside his cakes and bakes, he is a regular contributor to TV and radio, and in 2021 he launched his chart topping podcast, Feed my Curiosity; where he interviews celebrity guests about their food loves and hates.
You can follow Steven and his antics over on Instagram – @spongecakesquaretin
Alex Hollywood is a passionate home cook and family food writer with two popular cookery books, My Busy Kitchen and Cooking Tonight, 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.
Jürgen was born and grew up in a village near Freiburg in the Black Forest. During his childhood he enjoyed playing with the plentiful tools that were around – his grandpa was a miner, and his father is a master locksmith. At 12 years old he managed to make a noise on his father’s trombone, and he has been playing ever since, in the town band, in specialist ensembles for renaissance music, and more recently in a community big band.
His love of baking started as soon as he could stand, helping his mother when she made Linzer Torte or the many varieties of biscuits for Christmas.
His love of science also started early, he sporadically read a children’s encyclopaedia he had been given for Christmas, dipping in and out at random when he had the leisure. Later he also had a chemistry set, and Physics seemed to come to him naturally at school.
After Abitur and military service, he studied Physics in Freiburg.
He re-oriented and for a while split his time between early music gigs and kitchen fitting, before settling into IT and computer programming around 1999.
His musical development brought me in contact with The Feldenkrais Method (body work), which he studied, and he graduated as a practitioner in 2002.
The Feldenkrais Method brought him to a course in Lewes, where he met his wife, and he moved to Brighton soon after, where he lives with his wife and son.
Jürgen works as a database administrator and analyst programmer for a job agency.
Apart from baking and music Jürgen enjoys outdoor activities (hiking, running, swimming), engineering, architecture, and anything that tickles his interest.
Jürgen started making bread in earnest from about 2010, when he was longing for German style bread, and it is his strongest baking skill.
Making bread has taught him to work systematically and with precision, and he used this successfully in the Great British Bake Off. He also applied his sense for flavour combinations, architecture, and engineering to create his memorable bakes.
Rosie was a semi-finalist on the Great British Bake Off 2019, best known for producing her animal-themed bakes, and quirky chats. She then returned to the tent to win the Great Christmas Bake Off in 2020.
Growing up with a severe nut allergy, Rosie loves developing allergen free bakes and recipes for the whole family to enjoy. She posts regular recipes and themed celebration cakes on her social media, and enjoys live demos and teaching baking classes.
As a vet, she is also your go-to person for dog biscuit recipes and treats for your family’s other pets.
Noma Creates (Nomalanga Nyamayaro) is a multi-award-winning former BBC MasterChef Quarter Finalist (2016) and Nutritionist.
She has worked with leading brands like Google, Facebook, the Guardian and the London Stock Exchange.
Her transformational health and wellbeing brand ‘Noma Creates’ serves to empower people to develop healthy relationships with food.
For Noma Creates, food serves more than the function of feeding a hungry mouth; it is also life-giving energy.
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.
For all press enquiries please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zena Kamgaing appeared in Jamie Oliver’s Cookbook Star, she is a passionate homecook and recipe creator, based in London. Her social channels include her Instagram and TikTok @zenaskitchen, where she shares both authentic and innovative renditions of international culinary classics. For Zena’s, it’s all about honouring and celebrating culinary traditions from around the world.
Zena has been passionate about cooking since she was a young girl. She has always loved experimenting with food and playing around with different ingredients, flavours and textures. The more she experimented, the better she got, and as she improved, so did her knack for pairing flavours. Some live to eat, others eat to live. Similarly, some cook to eat, others eat to cook. Zena of course enjoys eating, but she also loves the act of cooking itself. For her, cooking is fun, engaging, relaxing, therapeutic and so much more. Through her recipes and videos, Zena hopes to inspire others to find joy in the act of cooking itself.
Becky Excell is a best-selling author and gluten-free food writer with a following of over 450,000 across Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Having started her food blog in 2013 as a place to share her recipes with friends and family, they quickly started to be exchanged amongst the online gluten-free community with high praise. Since then, she has dedicated her blog to sharing recipes that reunite gluten-free eaters with the foods they miss and crave the most, now with over 1 million readers visiting each month.
Becky’s debut cookbook How to Make Anything Gluten Free was published in 2021 and became a Sunday Times best seller on release, featuring over 100+ recipes for everything from homemade pasta, fresh bread, authentic fakeaways, classic bakes and mouthwatering desserts.
She followed this up with her second Sunday Times best-selling cookbook, How to Bake Anything Gluten Free, which delivered on the promise of turning the reader’s kitchen into their own personal gluten-free bakery. Her her third book (How to Plan Anything Gluten Free) will be published on the 24th of March 2022.
Having been dubbed by Nigella Lawson as ‘the Queen of gluten-free’, she continues to help restore a sense of normality that, for so many, a gluten-free diet often takes away – one recipe at a time.
Edd Kimber is a baker, food writer and TV personality and is the author of three cookbooks – The Boy Who Bakes (2011), Say It With Cake (2012) and Patisserie Made Simple (Oct 2014).
Edd grew up in a house where baking was a regular occurrence, his first memory was standing on a stool in the kitchen helping his mum to make mince pies. After studying politics at university Edd realised the corporate world wasn’t for him and after entering and winning the first series of The Great British Bake Off (BBC Two) he has jumped at the chance of following his passion for baking.
Edd writes for several magazines and newspapers including regular features in BBC Good Food, Delicious and Waitrose Kitchen. Edd has also made regular appearances on TV including on Sunday Brunch and as resident baker on The Alan Titchmarsh Show (ITV 2014) as well as on his own Christmas special ‘John and Edd’s Christmas Bakes’ (Food Network 2013).
Theboywhobakes.co.uk has been named as one of the best UK blogs by Woman and Home Magazine and as one of the best baking blogs by Channel4.com.
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!
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.