IT WILL be a vintage year for chefs at the Chester, Food Drink & Lifestyle Festival, with the full line-up revealed for the event at Chester Racecourse at Easter.
Headlining the event is Cheshire’s own Simon Rimmer, star of Channel 4 show Sunday Brunch, who features in a Saturday programme that also includes Cheshire’s chef of the moment, Dave Mooney.
New to the event is Barry Johnson, chief chocolatier for Rococo Chocolates, who will be demystify the art of chocolate making in front of your eyes.
Local chefs Ben Finchett, from the Marco Pierre White Steak House Restaurant, and Andy King, of the newly refurbished Ring o’ Bells in Christleton, make up a Saturday team.
Sunday is yet another feast of multiple award winners and TV celebrities and sees the arrival of two-star Michelin chef and Abode supremo Michael Caines, as well as River Cottage star Tim Maddams and former Lotus Grand Prix racing chef Norman Musa, who was named Young Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year 2012 at the Asian Curry Awards.
Monday features Manchester Chef of the year and Food TV star Andrew Nutter, who is supported by former Coronation Street star and now master cheesemaker and Channel 5 host Sean Wilson, who, with Chester’s up-and-coming talent Gary Usher, completes a line-up of chefs that is the strongest ever seen in the North West.
But it’s not just about the superstars of cooking as the Academy of Culinary Arts will again provide its interactive kids cooking classes.
Headed up by North West boss James Holden and with more than 900 children taking part last year, the team expects to be flat out over the three days.
Mr Holden says, with all the superstars of the kitchen on the stage, the enthusiasm to cook by youngsters in the North West just grows and grows.
“It is fantastic that the kids are able to get so close to their heroes at an event like this and, of course, having seen them demonstrate they just want to cook and that’s where we come in,” he said.
“I don’t know if we can beat last year’s record but I will say if you are bringing your child then book your place early on the day for any of the sessions.”
The Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival is from March 30-April 1 at Chester Racecourse, with pre-bought tickets online costing £6 for adults, with under-12s free. For more information, visit www.chesterfoodanddrink.co.uk.