'Gastro-Glastonbury' Foodies Festival coming to Hylands Park in Chelmsford

Alex Webb at Foodies.

Alex Webb at Foodies Festival. - Credit: Supplied by Foodies Festival

A food festival dubbed the 'Gastro-Glastonbury' is on its way to Essex for a star-studded, three-day weekend with big name chefs, live theatres and headline music acts.

Foodies Festival – the biggest gourmet celebrity food and drink touring festival in the UK – arrives in Chelmsford for the first time from Friday, October 1 to Sunday, October 3.

The line-up features MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off champions, chart-topper Sophie Ellis-Bextor and gastronomic delights from around the world.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be appearing at Foodies Festival in Chelmsford.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be appearing at Foodies Festival in Chelmsford. - Credit: Supplied by Foodies Festival


So who’s on the Foodies menu?

Star names performing at Hylands Park include Essex-born MasterChef The Professionals champion Alex Webb, Bake Off champion Candice Brown, Essex-based MasterChef champion Thomas Frake, and MasterChef champion Irini Tzortzoglou.

Alex Webb will be appearing at Foodies Festival.

Alex Webb will be appearing at Foodies Festival in Chelmsford. - Credit: Supplied by Foodies Festival

Alex Webb, who won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2020, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be touring around the country with Foodies Festivals this summer, but it’s a pleasure to be taking part on my home turf, too.

"I’ve been working on lots of delicious new recipes and I can't wait to see you all in person and cook live on stage!”

Thomas Frake will be appearing at Foodies Festival  in Chelmsford.

Thomas Frake will be appearing at Foodies Festival in Chelmsford. - Credit: Supplied by Foodies Festival

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Last year’s MasterChef champion Thomas Frake said: “I am thrilled that Foodies Festival is back with a bang this summer and I can’t wait to share my favourite recipes and my top cooking tips with all you foodies out there.

"We all deserve a fun-filled day out in Essex, so hope to see you there!”

Candice Brown will be appearing at Foodies Festival.

Candice Brown will be appearing at Foodies Festival in Chelmsford. - Credit: Supplied by Foodies Festival

Candice Brown, who won Great British Bake Off in 2016 and is the author of new best-selling cookbook Happy Cooking, said: “I love Foodies Festival and I am so excited to be back this year.”

Other culinary talents cooking up a storm are GBBO finalists Dave Friday and Laura Adlington, and 2020 MasterChef finalists Sandy Tang and David Rickett.

The musical feast is just as sumptuous with Murder On The Dancefloor star Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing her many crowd-pleasing, dance-along anthems.

Also appearing is the UK’s top-ranked Lady Gaga tribute act, Maybe Gaga, and Ultimate Coldplay, voted the UK’s best Coldplay tribute.

Over 50 bands and artists will entertain the crowds across the long weekend.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: "I’m really looking forward to performing live to the Chelmsford audience, and sampling some of the lovely food on offer.”


What to expect?

At the three-day festival, visitors can enjoy the Chefs Theatre, Cake & Bake Theatre, Drinks Theatre with wine, Champagne, beer and cocktail making masterclasses, Shopping Village with award-winning artisan producers and the mouth-watering Street Food Avenue offering a large selection of tempting dishes from Japanese bao buns to traditional Hawaiian barbecues.

Foodies Festival is coming to Chelmsford.

Foodies Festival is coming to Chelmsford. - Credit: Foodies Festival

To keep the children entertained, the Kids Cookery School hosted by Foodies' super chefs will take on a teddy bear’s picnic theme, encouraging kids to make simple food which they can take away and enjoy.

And for those little thrill seekers, there will be a funfair, sand art, craft tents, face painting and family friendly areas.

For those brave enough, take part in Foodies' famous chilli eating competition, featuring the reigning UK champion.

Over 150 exhibitors will showcase their produce, providing festival-goers with a fantastic opportunity to sample the best of Essex – and try a huge selection of delicious food from around the world.

Foodies Festival is coming to Chelmsford.

Foodies Festival is coming to Chelmsford. - Credit: Black Circus Food

Festival director Sue Hitchen said: “I am delighted to bring Foodies Festival to Hylands Estate, which has a popular food market and is such a beautiful venue.

"We will be celebrating local produce and giving top Essex chefs an opportunity to cook live in the Chefs Theatre.

"There is such a great foodie scene in Essex and I know that Foodies will be made very welcome."

Sue added: “There has never been a better time to support local restaurants and food producers and we are all ready to enjoy a fun day out with friends.”

For the third 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: “The last year has been incredibly difficult for charities, we are so pleased to be back at Foodies with our music stage and brilliant artists, raising much-needed funds.”

Adult day tickets cost £19 and a weekend ticket £29. Children aged 12 and under go free when accompanied by an adult.

Tickets are on sale at www.foodiesfestival.com 

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