The Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival will be in its 17th year when it takes place at Chester Racecourse next Easter.

The official launch for the event took place, fittingly, at the 1539 Restaurant in front of 80 assembled guests. Among the crowd were politicians and sponsors who have supported the event over the years.

Principle sponsor Allington Hughes, now in their fifth year of sponsorship, brought along many of their valued clients.

Managing partner Alison Stace said: “Our firm and the festival have flourished over the last four years. We enjoy being a part of this fabulous experience every Easter at Chester Racecourse and this year’s event looks better than ever.”

Principal organiser Stephen Wundke said: “We are already 30% booked for Camperfest and that was only released last week, with over 1,500 people expected to camp on the Roodee. It shows how many want to come back to Chester.

“We have just 40 places left, of the 155 exhibitors that we put onsite and the Artfest programme, which allows local artists to show their work, is already completely full.

“Our stage features the usual big name chefs that you expect but we are proud that they are being supported by our burgeoning crop of exceptional Cheshire, chef du patrons, Liam McKay from Chefs Table, Gary Usher of the Sticky Walnut, Carl Noller from the Yard, Kevin Lynn from the Machine House and Ernst Van Zyl of The Lord Clyde are amongst those who will be on show.

“It really is an amazing eating scene across the city and county and we are so proud to be showcasing these talented chefs.”

Stephen Wundke speaking to guests at the launch of Chester Food Drink & Lifestyle Festival at Restaurant 1539

He added: “In addition, this year we have the Cheshire Cookery School providing free cooking classes for adults, where you can cook with their chef Sam Elliott and then eat your food after, your kids can do the same in our kids cooking classes and dads can sign up for the free BBQ cooking classes so they can do more than just burn meat!

“There is a special, new VIP area for those who purchase VIP tickets that allows them to relax undercover and enjoy their glass of champagne and food. Not to forget an exciting Young Chef competition being staged at West Cheshire College where the finalists will be judged on stage by none other than Masterchef supremo, Gregg Wallace.”

Samphire Magazine and the festival are running the Samphire Junior Bake Off for children under 12 with some amazing prizes and judging by our celebrity chefs.

You can also be one of our 40 judges who decided the Sausage of the Festival with a semi-final being staged at the Now Food Centre and there is so much tasting, trying and buying to be done across the whole event.

Mr Wundke added: “We will also be confirming very soon an amazing chef competition in the build up to find who is the Fastest Chef, more about that later, as well as our tie up with Action Against Hunger, our chosen charity for 2017. It’s a huge year for Chester and the festival in 2017.”

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