Foodies Festival – the UK’s biggest touring gourmet food and music festival series – returns to Oxford for a huge August Bank Holiday weekend from 26 to 28 August.
Featuring a star-studded line-up of celebrity chefs and chart-topping music stars, including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Scouting For Girls and Martin Kemp.
Known as Gastro-Glastonbury, the festival will take place at South Park across the August Bank Holiday weekend. The three-day event features live cooking demonstrations from top chefs drawn from the ranks of TV’s MasterChef, Great British Bake Off and Great British Menu, plus top-rated Michelin-starred and award-winning chefs.
Early announcements of star names appearing in the live cooking theatres include MasterChef champions Thomas Frake and Dhruv Baker, Great British Menu and Michelin-starred chef-patron Paul Welburn from the Swan Inn and Cygnet restaurant, Islip, stars of Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers and founders of Black Box Cake, Christine and Phil Jensen and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch bread expert, Jack Sturgess.
The musical feast is just as sumptuous with chart-topping disco diva Sophie Ellis-Bextor, platinum-selling festival favourites Scouting For Girls, and Spandau Ballet and Eastenders icon Martin Kemp, delivering the ultimate 80’s DJ party.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: “It’s wonderful to be joining the Foodies Festival tour again. Warm summer weekends full of lovely food and music and families having fun together – I can’t wait!”
Showcasing the best of Oxford and beyond, many of the most highly acclaimed Michelin and multi-award-winning chefs will also appear, including Mike North, chef-patron of Michelin-starred The Nut Tree in Murcott, multi-award-winning chef Samuel Squires, from The Old Crown Coaching Inn, Faringdon and BBC Food and Farming finalists, Yeshi and Julie Jampa, from Taste Tibet in Oxford.
Throughout the 3 day weekend, visitors will enjoy a jam-packed schedule of a TV cooking show champions and award-winning chefs in the interactive live theatres. In the Chef’s Theatre, celebrities will create their signature dishes and share new tips and tricks, whilst in the Cake & Bake Theatre, star bakers whip up showstoppers and offer tempting sweet treats.
In The Kids Cookery School, Foodies SuperChefs make cooking fun, helping younger guests prepare delicious food they can take away and enjoy. Masterclasses in the Drinks Theatre include tutored Champagne, Beer, Cider, Cocktail and Wine-tasting, including presentations from BBC expert Joe Wadsack and ITV expert Tom Surgey.
Visitors can browse the latest food trends in the Shopping Village, meet local producers in the Artisan Market and taste exotic and unusual new dishes in the Feasting Tent – which features a mouth-watering range of street food and delicacies from all four corners of the globe. Other attractions include a fairground, children’s activities, and family-friendly areas.
Director Sue Hitchen said: “Foodies Festivals are a celebration of amazing food, drink and entertainment, and we are proud to support local artisan producers and restaurants.
“We’ve all had a difficult few years, so to help keep things affordable, festival prices have been frozen for the third year running – even though our stars and features get bigger and better every year. We offer a great value day out for families and friends.”
Top TV Chef Challenge: This battle of the best will see winners and finalists of MasterChef competing with the winners of Bake Off and Great British Menu as they take to the live stage in a highly competitive cook-off to create the most impressive dish.
Theatre Takeovers: Expect comedy, hit songs, audience participation, Drag Queens, and a lot of fun!
Green Fingers: meet the experts hosting sessions on growing your own fruit and veg, and discover new varieties, recipe ideas and health benefits.
Doughnut Dash!: A messy race to eat the most doughnuts against the clock…while our host distracts competitors with other silly tasks!
Cake-aoke: Audience sing ’n’ bake-along with Foodies’ multi-talented hosts.
Meet the authors and discover new recipes in the Cookbook Shop – with celebrity signings, photo opportunities and top chefs showcasing their latest cookbooks.
London-based world Chilli-eating Champion Shahina Waseem will challenge those brave enough to compete. Competitions will be broadcast to ‘League of Fire’ audiences around the world.
Kids Can Cook!: Budding junior MasterChefs get creative in the Kids Cookery School, hosted by Foodies SuperChefs.
The Musicians Against Homelessness main stage will feature over 25 superb artists. Including top headliners, the best of local bands and an introduction to exciting new acts from across the UK.
For the fifth year running, the festival is supporting Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) with tickets raising money for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis.
MAH founder Emma Rule said: “We are thrilled to be back at Foodies with our music stage and fantastic line-up of artists, raising much needed funds during these challenging times.”