Region’s top chefs will cook up a storm

Philippa James
Philippa James

THE organisers behind the Lancaster Food and Drink Festival have just released the names of the chefs confirmed for this year’s event.

The event takes place at Lancaster Leisure Park over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend (May 6 and 7), and entry is free of charge.

Stosie Madi.

Stosie Madi.

Local producers, growers, artisans, bars and food retailers are joined by four well known Lancashire chefs in a packed timetable of foodie festivities over the two days.

On Sunday morning head chef and Co owner of the Parkers Arms in Clitheroe, Stosie Madi will be cooking up a treat with her demonstration.

A spokesman for the festival said: “Stosie believes in cooking simple, modern food using only the best local produce in the Ribble Valley.

“Her restaurant has been awarded with the highest accreditation from Taste Lancashire for the last four years running.”

On Monday, Chris Yates from the Shoulder of Mutton in Bury will be headlining the show with his exceptional culinary talent.

Chris was a finalist in the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship and has won numerous awards including Best Newcomer in 2009.

During both days Philippa James, Lancashire Life’s food editor, will be giving live cookery demonstrations, bringing her enthusiasm for well-cooked food to her hungry audience.

The spokesman said: “Philippa is known as an ambassador for our region, its famers and their local produce – so she is the perfect guest for a local food festival.”

Also giving his time to share his culinary ideas over both days, is Craig Johnson from the Sun Hotel in Lancaster.

“Inspirational Craig is a young, exciting, energetic chef who’s so passionate about local, fresh food that he’s often out shooting or fishing for produce that appears on the Sun Hotel’s menu later that day,” the spokesman said.

In the demonstration kitchen, area tutored tastings will take place throughout the weekend giving visitors a chance to taste and try some Lancashire specialties.

All the chefs will be on hand to answer questions.

The spokesman said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with the experts, get new and exciting recipe ideas as well as see the professionals at work.

“With plenty of stalls where you can try before you buy, music, a full programme of events and places to eat and drink, the festival is the perfect weekend for everyone from the serious foodie to the happy browser.

Allan Blackburn, owner of the Leisure Park and organiser of the event, said: “It’s great being able to finally reveal the chefs that we’ve confirmed for the show.

“There’s such an amazing range of talent here – there’s a real buzz about this event already and I’m really looking forward to it.

“We’ve got a new website specifically for the event and are expecting about 10,000 visitors over the two days.”

There’s still chance to become an exhibitor or sponsor the event and details can be found on the website, or by emailing