Meet the Chefs

Meet the chefs

Welcome to the Fisher & Paykel Chefs Stage

Fisher & Paykel Appliances are pleased to be back for a third year at our favourite food festival in Essex

We'll be sponsoring the main stage and ensuring that the guest chefs have beautiful, easy to use appliances to demonstrate to the crowds

Tom Kerridge, Saturday 14 July

Demonstrations: 11am: 1pm: 3pm

We are delighted to welcome the "lush" Tom Kerridge back to the festival. Tom was last here in 2016 and he charmed the audience with his cooking skills and friendly presentation style. You could almost imagine he was cooking in your own kitchen!

After each of Tom's demonstrations, he will be signing his latest book

To buy tickets to watch Tom click here

Fred Sirieix and Chris Galvin, Sunday 15 July

Demonstrations: 11am : 1pm


Yes, it's Fred from First Dates! On stage with Chris Galvin

You really will have a treat in store when Fred and Chris take to the stage - Chris the master of cooking and Fred, his Commis chef for the day!

To buy tickets to watch Fred and Chris click here

Welcome to the Dan Hull/ Broil King Barbecue Local Chefs Stage

All demonstrations are free to watch and seating is on a first come first served basis

Come and watch our local chefs cook up a storm on the Broil King BBQ stage. They will be using local seasonal produce and cooking dishes on the BBQ to give you inspiration for your own cooking at home! Seating is on a first come first served basis and the demonstrations are free to watch. You might even be invited to "have a go" at cooking along with our chefs.

Dan Hull

Dan Hull Prepared Foods

Demonstration: Saturday 14 July, 12noon & Sunday 15 July 11am

Having grown up as a butchers son, understanding food and where it comes from was always imprtant to Dan. After studying at catering college he started a trainee management position with the Hilton Hotel Group. this gave him the insight he needed to want to become a chef. He loves working with fresh herbs, spices and creating distinctive natural flavours

Connor Lowrey

Stuart Inns

Demonstration: Sunday 15 July, 12noon

An Essex boy, Connor works at Stuart Inns. He was previously the Senior Sous chef at Le Benaix Brasserie, Rettendon near Chelmsford. He has also worked at the Pier in Harwich and West Street Vineyard in Coggeshall. His fantastic skills and knowledge lead him to create beautiful unique dishes. His demonstration will truly inspire you!

David Innes

Master Butcher, Hollingsworth Butchers, Ipswich

Demonstration: Saturday 14 July, 11am

David found his passion for traditional butchery techniques at Jimmy's Farm in Suffolk. He takes every opportunity to travel around Essex and Suffolk visiting food shows and demonstrating his passion for the trade.

David is known as "Off the Hook Butcher". What he doesn't know about butchery isn't worth knowing!

Watch him in a live butchery demonstration where he will take you through all the various cuts of meat and then cook them on the BBQ for you to taste and try. His skills will blow you away!

Alan Paton

Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa

Demonstration: Saturday 14 July, 1pm

Alan is the Executive Head Chef of Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa. His love of all things pork, borders on the obsessive! When not in his kitchen at work he is usually trying out something new at home, nearly always pork!

Also involved with Will Raymond, Alan and Will run "Meat the Bruce" - a hot smoking BBQ business.

Alan said "The Essex Festival of Food and Drink is my absolute favbourite to attend, not only as a chef but as a customer as well. There are so many cracking stands. Its always great to catch up with old friends and familair faces, I love it"


Steve Walpole

Steve Walpole Ltd

Demonstration: Sunday 15 July, 1pm

Steve is passionate about food and cooking since he started a Saturday job in a local restaurant at the age of 15. He has had a vast career to date including Senior Executive Development chef at Gate Gourmet where he developed menus for various airline clients.

Teaching and training is something Steve is very passionate about having worked as a Senior Lecturer at Westminster Kingsway College in London where he was also course coordinator for part of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Foundation.

Now, Steve heads up Steve Walpole Ltd with a wealth of experience and knowledge under his belt

His philosophy is "food is something to love and respect, less is more, keep it simple"

Jahdre Hayward

Haywards Restaurant, Epping

Demonstration: Sunday 15 July, 2pm

Jahdre is the Chef Patron at Haywards restaurant. Originally from Bermuda, Jahdre studied catering in Forida. Once qualified he moved to London to work at the Savoy under Anton Edelmann. He followed this with roles at well known restaurants in London including Oxo Tower, The Ritz and London Capital club.

In May 2013, Jahdre and his wife Amanda opened Haywards - an elegant fine dining restaurant offering modern European cuisine and using produce from their own kitchen garden.

Tim Allen

Flitch of Bacon

Demonstration: Saturday 14 July, 2pm

The Flitch of Bacon's new owner and Michelin star winning chef, Tim Allen is the name on every foodie's lips; serving the highest quality dishes featuring local, seasonal and authentic ingredients, Tim holds extremely high standards for both the food and service at his restaurants.

Originally trained in French cuisine, Tim now has his own style which features a modern, yet signature take on classic dishes. Guiding his two previous restaurants, The wild Rabbit, to 3 AA rosettes and Launceston Place to 4 AA rosettes and a Michelin Star, is a testament to his immense skill and commitment, which he has now brought to Essex!

Thomas Leatherbarrow

Private Chef

Demonstration: Saturday 14 July, 3pm

At only 17 years of age,Thomas was given the opportunity of a lifetime to be a head pastry chef in a Michelin starred restaurant. By 19, he was running his own hospitality and consultant firm growing and expanding through multiple countries. At 21, he owned his own factories and was working on high end luxury food contracts ranging from private corporate catering to global hotels and racing events.

Today, Thomas works as a private chef with clients in the UK, Europe, Middle East and India.

Dayashankar Sharma

Grand Trunk Road, South Woodford

Demonstration: Sunday 15 July, 3pm

From honing an impecable reputation across 28 years of culinary experience Chef sharma has become recognised for pairing time-honoured tradition with contemporary ideas and stylings. He has over 28 years experience and has worked at India's Taj Hotel and his most recent position as Indian Food Consultant for a collection of major airlines has seen him continue to develop his understanding of flavour and execution.

Grand Trunk Road sees him continue to explosre the varied and always seductive flavours of historical India via a stunning menu and his trademark cutting-edge cooking technicques