Ottery food festival announces stellar chef line-up

The organisers of the Ottery St Mary Food & Families Festival have revealed the line-up of chefs for this year’s event on September 11 – and the list is impressive.

Kicking off the demos with a masterclass in shredded duck spring rolls is Jazzi Curley from Devon Cookery School. Jazzi was cooking tutor for Jamie Oliver in London before returning to Devon and setting up her own cookery school.

The Pig at Combe’s Dan Gavrilidis returns to wow the crowds with ideas for using seasonal produce picked fresh from the hotel’s kitchen garden combined with the highest quality meat and fish from local suppliers. After making his name working in top restaurants in London’s Fitzrovia and Mayfair, Dan moved to the Pig-near Bath prior to his current appointment as head chef at The Pig at Combe.

The festival will also be welcoming Michael Caines MBE and Liam Finnegan to showcase the modern European cuisine created with the local artisanal ingredients favoured at Lympstone Manor. Michael is a huge ambassador for Devon’s quality produce, a holder of two Michelin stars and well known for his appearances on MasterChef, Saturday Kitchen and The Great British Menu.

Flying the flag for Ottery St Mary, popular local chef Samosa Lady Tina Chauhan-Challis will be calling on her Gujarati cookery skills to show festival goers how to make a feast from vegan cuisine. From her initial success creating handmade samosas Tina now sells deli-style Indian food and runs dining nights from her shop in Mill Street.

Rounding off the day is the unmissable traditional Cook Off, which will see Good Game’s ‘Salami Steve’ and Chris Piper of Christopher Piper Wines go head to head with a surprise chef to be revealed on the day.

Throughout the festival there will be foodie events aplenty in the Cookery Workshop, including tips from Kings Manor Care Home cook Michelle Strode, food and foraging with Tessa Stone and an inspired demo from Pierre Graeber focussing on zero waste methods for cooking without wastage.

With heaps more to enjoy including activities for children, live music all day on the Samosa Lady’s Spice Stage, the Ottery Village – a celebration of all the amazing local voluntary groups, shops and other establishments in Ottery St Mary, and of course fantastic food and drink to sample, this is an event not to be missed.

This year there is an extra commitment to the environment, too. One of the festival organisers, Ruud Jansen Venneboer explained: “This festival will be the greenest ever, with a whole raft of measures in place to reduce the impact on the planet where at all possible. There will be no single use plastic on site and all waste will be separated. If you can, please bring your own reusable cup or buy one there.”

Entry to the festival on Saturday September 11 is free. It is open from 10am to 6pm at its new location in Alfington Road on land adjacent to Otter Garden Centres. There’s limited parking on site but a free shuttle bus will be operating from the centre of Ottery.

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