Top producers and chefs set for Ludlow Food Festival

More than 180 of the region’s top producers will descend on Ludlow for the annual Ludlow Food Festival this weekend.

Ludlow Food Festival takes place in the grounds of Ludlow Castle
Ludlow Food Festival takes place in the grounds of Ludlow Castle

Producers include everything from local cheeses and charcuterie to the most delicious cakes and liqueurs. There are also two demo stages with top chefs, master classes, tutored tastings, the famous sausage and ale trails and much more.

As well as food and drink the festival has the very best food related products too, including ceramics, chef’s knives and books.

A new area for 2017 is The Fire Kitchen, hosted by Barbecue aficionado Christian Stevenson, AKA DJ BBQ who will be bringing some very talented friends with him to ensure this is one of the coolest stages at this year’s event. Cooking alongside him will be some outstanding chefs in this genre including Ben Tish, Tom Brown and Niall Davidson, one of Ireland’s young superstar chefs.

Rakesh Ravindran, Head Chef, of fine dining Indian restaurant, The Cinnamon Club will also be working his magic. Expect a spicy BBQ experience. Ashley Palmer-Watts from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Chantelle Nicholson from Tredwells, part of the Marcus Wareing Group of restaurants, Hus Vedat, Executive Chef of Turkish restaurant, Yosma in London and Mark Parr from the London Log Company will also be elevating barbecue food to new heights.

Top line-up chefs across the weekend
On the Graeme Kidd stage, more than 40 top names in the business will appear across the weekend, many of which you will not see at any other festivals in the region.

There will be some fresh new names, chefs at the very top of their game and a real treat for baking fans.

Joining local Chef and host Marcus Bean on stage on Friday 8 September will be Ashley Palmer-watts, Group Executive Head Chef for the Fat Duck group. Ashley currently heads up the kitchen at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park. Also, taking to the stage that day will be Chantelle Nicholson, Chef Patron at Tredwell’s in London’s Covent Garden and Group Operations director at Marcus Wareing Restaurants.

Also on Friday, award-winning food-writer, journalist and broadcaster Elisabeth Luard, as well as internationally acclaimed food artist Prudence Staite, will be sharing their passion and creativity.

There’s a lot to look forward to on Saturday 9 September with former Masterchef Professionals winner Mark Stinchcombe and former Great British Menu star Sue Stinchcombe returning to the festival. Radio 4’s ‘Best Street Food Winners’ Hang Fire Smokehouse, vegan chef Lee Watson and one of the leading Television Producers in the food genre – Pete Lawrence will be on stage with his ‘Allotment Cookbook.’

Sunday at the food festival has a really relaxed feel and it’s well worth visiting on this day with Michelin Starred and Ludlow Friend Shaun Hill on stage. He will be joined by Birmingham’s newest Michelin starred chef Brad Carter, Great British Menu favourite Richard Bainbridge and Radio 2’s Allotment Doctor Terry Walton.

The latest names to be added to the lineup include Chris Mackett a Development Chef at Tom Kerridge’s two Starred Michelin Pub, The Hand and Flowers in Marlow. Sarah Frankland, Head Pastry Chef at Pennyhill Park Hotel and Harry Bullock a rising star on the Shropshire food scene.

Harry, Sarah and Chris will join Ashley Palmer-Watts from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and Chantelle Nicholson from Tredwells in Covent Garden.

Great British Bake-Off favourites
With the Great British Bake-Off back on our screens, some series favourites will at this year’s festival.

2012 Bake Off winner John Waite will be demonstrating on the Wot’s Cooking stage on Friday 8 September at 2.30pm. Since winning the series he has gone on to forge a highly successful career in food, writing for national newspapers as well as being the resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine and the co-host of ITV’s hit daytime show, Chopping Block.

If you love baking then you won’t want to miss the new interactive baking area ‘Bake in Time’ running across the three days of the Food Festival. It has all the right ingredients for a fun and memorable experience as it’s being hosted by former Great British Bake Off favourites, Val Stones (Fri & Sat) Howard Middleton and Sandy Docherty (Sat & Sun).

Classes will run from 10am to 4pm each day and the great news is that they are free once you’ve paid your entry fee. Organisers are warning people to turn up early for each class as they are bound to be really popular.

Lindsey Rollings, Event Manager for the Festival said: “We cannot wait to have such a strong line-up of baking stars grace the castle this September. We all love baking, a bit of nostalgia and of course the ultimate comfort food that this quartet is renowned for.”

Authours added to Ludlow line-up
Some of the UK’s hottest food writers and authors will be reading extracts from their books and signing copies as part of the Literary Ludlow stage.

Amongst the line-up is Tim Hayward, a prolific writer, broadcaster, restaurateur and unrepentant food geek. He writes a column and criticises restaurants for the Financial Times and his features have appeared in the FT, Guardian, Observer Food Monthly, Delicious, Olive, Waitrose Food Illustrated and Saveur, amongst others. He is also a regular presenter on The Food Programme and a panellist on The Kitchen Cabinet, both broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

His book ‘Knife’, charting its form, history and function has fast become something of a cult classic amongst chefs and fellow writer with Tom Kerridge describing it as ‘…possibly the coolest book I have ever seen”.

Sudi Pigott is a food, restaurant and travel journalist and broadcaster who writes for several magazines and newspapers and websites including The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent, The Evening Standard, Delicious Magazine and Swedish Gourmet Magazine.

Her book ‘Flipping Good!: Pancakes from Around the World’ is bound to get us salivating. With chapters dedicated to Breakfast and Brunch, Main Meals, Snacks and Nibbles and Desserts and recipes taking influence from all over the world there’s a pancake for every occasion! What’s not to love about that.

Eleven food writers and authors will be appearing across the weekend Festival.

New Ludlow Street Food Market
The atmosphere and aromas of street food will be part of this year’s festival. The event will run from 3pm-10pm on Saturday 9th September at The Ludlow Brewing Company in Station Drive.

A number of vendors have been announced including Churros Café who will be serving Cuban sandwiches and delicious sweet Churros, as well as SMOhK & Mischief who specialise in the very best in BBQ.

Broad Street Kitchen will be ensuring vegetarian and vegan customers have a delicious evening with their flavour packed street food dishes.

There will be a distinctly French flavour with Le Flip Creperie, creating delicious sweet and savoury crepes. Using the best local ingredients, this family business includes a French father and bi-lingual daughter, so feel free to practice your French when ordering, but obviously, that’s not compulsory!

Greek Souvlaki will be bringing their irresistible combination of Souvlaki including pork, chicken and vegetarian varieties.

Alongside the food, Ludlow Brewery will be open with a fully stocked bar.

You don’t need a Food Festival ticket to attend the event and there is no entry fee, but it is the perfect stop off after a day in the castle. Just turn up and enjoy the atmosphere.

Ludlow Food Festival takes place on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September.