The UK’s biggest touring celebrity food and music festival series arrives in St Albans for a huge debut this weekend.
Foodies will visit Oaklands, St Albans, from 2-4 June, serving up a star-studded line-up of celebrity chefs and chart-topping music stars, including Natalie Imbruglia and Scouting For Girls.
Known as Gastro-Glastonbury, 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.
Who’s cooking live in the Chef and Baking Theatres?
Star names announced to appear in the live cooking theatres, include: Great British Bake Off 2022 winner, Syabira Yusoff, MasterChef champions Tom Rhodes and Dhruv Baker, Herts-based MasterChef guest judge, author, columnist and celebrity TV chef, Theo Michaels, ITV’s Love Island cast members, chefs and authors, John and Tony Alberti (The Alberti Twins), Bake Off finalists Jurgen Krauss and Crystelle Pereira, MasterChef finalist, Madeeha Qureshi and MasterChef: The Professionals finalist, Phil Armitage-Mattin.
Syabira Yusoff, said: ‘I’m looking forward to sharing my passion and cooking in-front of a live audience in St Albans. I’ll be baking some of my favourite cakes, sharing recipie ideas and talking about my amazing experience on the Great British Bake Off.’
The musical feast is just as sumptuous with multi-talented double Brit awarded songstress and Hollywood actress, Natalie Imbruglia, and platinum-selling festival favourites Scouting For Girls.
Scouting For Girls said: ‘We always look forward to Foodies and it just wouldn’t be summer without it! The festivals have a great vibe and we often bring our family and friends along to enjoy the fun. We’ve all taken a liking to the Japanese Bao Buns and the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, so we’ll also be looking forward to scoffing that! See you soon St Albans.’
Which local restauants and award-winning chefs will be on the menu to showcase the best of Hertfordshire?
Some of the region’s most-highly acclaimed Michelin and multi-award-winning chefs will also appear, including: MasterChef: The Professionals finalist and head chef, Scott Barnard, from Michelin recommended Crockers Tring, West Hertfordshire, Brett Barnes, from Michelin recommended Fox and Hounds in Barley and TV host, author and chef, Shahnaaz Ayub, from Jean-Christophe Novelli Academy.
Scott Barnard said: ‘It’s a real pleasure to be involved with Foodies Festival in St Albans. I’m looking forward to showing the Hertfordshire audience what Crockers Tring is all about, and showcasing some of the food we have on offer.’
Fun on Fridays
The festival launches ‘Cocktails, Cabaret and Cake’ – kicking off each weekend with a fun-fuelled schedule of events with a comprehensive selection of traditional and on-trend new cocktails to tempt the tastebuds, cocktail-making sessions with flamboyant mixologists and theatre shows. Including: entertaining cabaret sessions, top tribute acts and local performers, all headlined by a superb ABBA tribute band.
Throughout the 3-day weekend, visitors will enjoy a jam-packed schedule of TV cooking show champions and award-winning chefs in the interactive live theatres. In the Chefs 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.
Masterclasses in the Drinks Theatre include tutored Champagne, Beer, Cider, Cocktail and Wine-tasting – presenters include BBC drinks expert, Joe Wadsack, and local breweries and producers.
Foodies Fun For The Whole Family
In The Kids Cookery School, Foodies SuperChefs make cooking fun, helping younger guests to prepare delicious food which they can take away and enjoy. Sessions include design a Cookie Monster! There’s also a funfair, childens activities, face painting and lots of yummy treats to try.
And there are lots of doggy visitors too!
Food Glourious Food and the Shopping Village
Visitors will taste a huge selection of 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.
And browse the latest food trends in the Shopping Village, meeting local producers in the Artisan Market and sampling the best of Hertfordshire produce and beyond.
Foodies extra features
- 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.
- Cake-aoke: Audience sing ’n’ bake-along with Foodies multi-talented hosts.
- 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.
Director Sue Hitchen said: ‘We are thrilled to bring our celebration of amazing food, drink and entertainment to St Albans, 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.’
For the fifth year running, the festival is supporting Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) with tickets raising money for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis.
Hertfordshire-based 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.’
Dates and tickets
Oaklands, Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL4 OJA2-4 June 2023 Earlybird Day tickets from £3 (child) and £18 (adult) Weekend tickets from £38 (3-day)
Full schedule and tickets: www.foodiesfestival.com