At Towcester Racecourse 11 – 12 June 2022

Chef Demos in 2022

Just turn up and take a seat in the marquee.

We are delighted to welcome some fabulous local cooks to our chef demo stage in 2022. They will share their skills throughout the weekend and on Saturday we have our first ever all-female line-up.

Among those demonstrating are award-winning cake designer and TV chef Cynthia Tooley, Northampton’s queen of Italian cuisine Carmela and chef patron of the Red Lion at Culworth Justin Lefevre.

The chef demos take place hourly and are free. All the chefs wear microphones and the demonstrations are shown on large TV screens so you can see everything close up. The chefs concentrate on using fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal produce to prepare their signature dishes. Simply pull up a chair and enjoy!

Katie Johnson from Wot’s Cooking hosts the demo stage. Katie is a farmer turned broadcaster and writer, who worked as a presenter and producer for the BBC for 15 years, and has been hosting our chef demo stage since the very first show. Here are the chefs taking part:

SATURDAY

Noon: Sara Caporale

Italian chef and champion of the not-so humble truffle

Sara grew up in the beautiful Sangro Valley which lies in the green Abruzzo region of Italy. The landscape is characterised by mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes which create the perfect conditions for the natural growth and cultivation of truffles.

She worked as a chef in Italy before taking over the rein’s of the family business, which supplies truffles grown in Abruzzo to restaruants all over the world. Sara, who is now based in MK, will share her passion for truffles and demonstrate how to cook with them. Look out for the Abruzzo Truffle stand at the festival.

1pm: Cynthia Tooley

Award-winning cake designer and TV chef

Cynthia Tooley is a multi-award-winning British cake designer. Self-taught, she first burst on to our TV screens in 2017 in The Sweetmakers, a four-part series that explored the history and intrigues of confectionery through the ages.

Her first book, Pretty Gorgeous Cakes sold out on Amazon within three days. She bakes the cakes for the Brit Awards and also runs her own charity. In recognition of her work, she received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

2pm: Carmela Sereno Hayes 

Carmela’s Kitchen in Northampton

Carmela is Northampton’s Queen of Italian cuisine. Carmela grew up at the apron strings of her Italian mother and grandmother, and is an evangelist for traditional Italian cooking.

A mother of four, she is recognised as a pastaia (a specialist pasta maker) and is the author of three cookery books – ‘Southern Italian Family Cooking’A Passion of Pasta and ‘Northern and Central Italian Family Cooking’.

Carmela’s mantra is to cook simple, inexpensive, flavoursome food with good quality seasonal ingredients, in keeping with the ‘Cucina Povera’ cooking style of the Italian south, which she teaches in her classes and workshops.

Carmela has recently launched a range of frozen, ready-made meals which are exclusively available from the Italian shop in Northampton, where Carmela hosts her regular sell-out supper clubs.

3pm: Eva Humphries

Nutritionist and food evangelist

Eva Humphries is a fully qualified nutritional therapist on a mission to help us all eat better. The driving force behind the website delaprefoodfestival.co.uk, she wants us to eschew processed food in favour of whole foods, that are so much better for our health and well-being.

A former IT specialiast, she turned her back on tech to spend three years re-training and now boasts a string of qualifications – DipION, mBANT, CNHC – making her one of the country’s top nutritionists.

As well as cooking live, Eva will let you know what to eat for better sleep and food shortcuts to having more energy as she talks about nutrition during her demo.

SUNDAY

Noon: Justin Lefevre

The Red Lion in Culworth

Justin has been creating wonderful food for over 30 years, learning his craft at The  Wentworth Hotel in Aldeburgh. He opened ‘The Red Lion’ in Culworth in 2009, which remains a powerhouse for great food.

Between them, Justin and his wife Bronni, have developed a substantial loyal following of diners who enjoy his keenly priced contemporary style food, sourced locally wherever possible and always with attention to freshness and seasonality.

Seafood is a great favourite at The Red Lion and daily deliveries from Brixham provide plenty of inspiration for the specials board alongside the regular menu.

Justin’s keen interest in food extends to keeping his own pigs and chickens, and picking up inspiring ideas from his travels abroad. It’s not all about food though as playing golf and following Formula One racing play a big part of his life too!

1pm: Eva Humphries

Nutritionist and food evangelist

Eva Humphries is a fully qualified nutritional therapist on a mission to help us all eat better. The driving force behind the website delaprefoodfestival.co.uk, she wants us to eschew processed food in favour of whole foods, that are so much better for our health and well-being.

A former IT specialiast, she turned her back on tech to spend three years re-training and now boasts a string of qualifications – DipION, mBANT, CNHC – making her one of the country’s top nutritionists.

As well as cooking live, Eva will let you know what to eat for better sleep and food shortcuts to having more energy as she talks about nutrition during her demo.

2pm: Lorraine Hirst and Farah Rizvi

Cooking Good

Lorraine and Farah are part of Cooking Good, a comnunity cooking project in Northamptonshire which promotes home cookery and helps people cook well and on a budget.

As the UK faces a cost of living crunch, the pair will demonstrate how to make the pound in pocket stretch further with tips on how to reduce food waste and money-saving, hearty recipes, while demonstrating a tasty dish to use up left-overs.