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Nantwich Food Festival says ‘Have we got Fantastic Chefs for you!’

Locals are certainly aware of the gem they have in the volunteer-run Nantwich Food Festival that takes place this year between August 30th and September 1st and one of the key attractions is the high quality celebrity chefs whose demonstrations are completely free to visitors.

Festival chef organiser, Karen Young tells us:

"The town centre atmosphere will be alive all Festival weekend with the great chef demonstrations. These will all take place in our state of the art Food Theatre, housed in a large marquee sponsored by Reaseheath College, and located in the Love Lane Festival zone, so I am delighted to announce the line-up of wonderful Celebrity Chefs who will be demonstrating this year in the Reaseheath Food Theatre.

“We announced earlier in the year that Chris Bavin will be demonstrating at this year’s Festival and know that foodies from near and far will be keen to see him on Festival Saturday using the fresh produce he advocates and to hear about his ways of encouraging us to eat well for less.

Chris’s first cookbook, ‘Good Food Sorted’ was published in March 2019. His second, also by DK Books, the popular, well-illustrated ‘Fakeaway’ was published in January 2020. We are so looking forward to his informative, fun, and entertaining food demos; it looks that we are in for a real treat.”

Festival Friday will showcase the talents of Jon Watts; Jon Watts first learned to cook in prison where he was admitted, aged 18, for six and a half years, but this was the catalyst to encourage him to turn around his life.

He set about changing his life and, with cooking as his specialism, became the first person in custody to complete the bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Jon went on to work for Jamie Oliver for five years before branching out on his own to share his story and recipes online @Jonwatts88. His ambition has seen him amass an audience of over one million and cook live on prime time TV. He is passionate about supporting young people to make good choices and does motivational speaking and runs an apprenticeship scheme with young offenders.

The additional great news is that Nantwich Bookshop will be selling Jon’s soon to be published cookbook ‘Speedy Weeknight Meals’ alongside Jon’s demo; with every recipe taking less than 30 minutes this will be the go-to book for quick, easy and delicious dinners.

Cherish Finden is new to Nantwich as a celebrity chef; she is a highly decorated pastry chef, who is best known for her role as a formidable judge on Channel 4’s Bake Off: The Professionals.

Since 2016, Cherish has been delivering her trademark sharp critiques on this show. Her style of patisserie marries food with art, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in a dessert and her attention to detail is famously second to none.

Before her TV career, Cherish was already a famous chef in the patisserie world. Between 2009 and 2017, she was the Executive Pastry Chef at London’s Langham Hotel, where her fame spread for her highly innovative afternoon teas. During this time she created a cake replica of Windsor castle for the Queen’s 90th birthday, as well as a gravity-defying edible hat for Royal Ascot! We can’t wait to see Cherish in action at Nantwich.

Karen concludes her line-up of Celebrity Chefs with the talented Nigel Brown, saying “In addition to being a celebrity chef in his own right, Nigel will again be the Demonstration Kitchen Compere on Festival Saturday and Sunday, providing the ‘glue’ to ensure we all hear what is truly happening in the kitchen plus hosting Cookalong sessions too.

Having spent a lifetime in the hotel and catering industry, Nigel has worked at some of the UK’s biggest hotels. He also spent time at the highly acclaimed French cookery school Ecole Le Notre where he picked up a wealth of experience in specialist patisserie work

Finally, The Festival Team is keen to advise us that Volunteers will host a stall at the Farmers Market in Nantwich Town Square on Saturday 29th June, so will be on hand to answer any queries and to welcome any locals who may wish to join them as volunteers for the 2024 Nantwich Food Festival.

Pictured - Jon Watts, author.

Picture Credit - Tim Cleasby.

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