Meet the chefs

We have a fabulous line up of celebrity and talented local chefs giving demonstrations from baking to fine dining and cooking competitions to spicy creations!

The chefs are listed by the date they are at the festival. Keep paging down for the chefs and celebrities at the festival on Sunday. A full timetable will be published before the festival weekend.

Tony Singh

BBC2's Incredible Spice Men

Saturday 19 July


Tony is a Sikh chef based in Edinburgh and has worked in the restaurant industry for over 22 years and has worked in some of Scotland's most prestigious restaurants including The Royal Yacht Britannia, The Balmoral Hotel and Skibo Castle.

He has competed in series 3, 5 and 6 of the BBC's Great British Menu and recently partnered Cyrus Todiwala in their own cookery show on BBC 2 The Incredible Spice Men.



Ruby Tandoh


BBC2's  Great British Bake Off

Saturday 19 July

Meet Ruby Tandoh. She is (in her own words) ' a glutton, a baking addict and a hazard in the kitchen'.

A finalist on the 2013 series of the Great British Bake Off, Ruby is now a full-time writer. she has a weekly column on baking in the Guardian's Saturday Cook supplement and in April she begins a monthly column for British Elle called the Dinner Party Philosopher.

Ruby has yet to decide what she will be creating for us at the festival but we will keep you posted.

She will also be judging the Great Essex Baking competition (part 1) on the Saturday19 July at the festival.



Hayden Groves

National Chef of the Year 2013

Baxter Storey

Saturday 19 July

Hayden is Executive Chef for caterer Baxter Storey and has a strong philosophy on using fresh, local sustainably sourced seasonal ingredients.

He has won a number of prestigious accolades in culinary competitions such as the Parade Des Chefs where he is a four time gold medalist.

Hayden will be demonstrating a selection of National Chef of the Year inspired dishes.



Jonboy Ranfield

Head Chef

Baumanns Brasserie, Coggeshall

Saturday 19 July

Jonboy is passionate about food and is constantly experimenting to come up with new and quirky ideas for the menu. He is never happier when using local seasonal produce to produce exciting, eye popping unusual dishes.

He will bring flair, great cooking skills and an exciting demonstration to the festival stage, along with a generous portion of humour and fun.





Alan Paton Executive Head Chef

Stoke By Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa

Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 July

Alan has been Executive head chef at the Stoke by Nayland hotel golf and spa for four years now. He oversees a brigade of 20 chefs catering to 12 outlets including the 2AA rosette restaurant.

In 2013 Alan was made a member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, a prestigious body that seeks to promote all that is best about British Cuisine.

Alan is passionate about his favourite meat - pork and over the past few years he has been able to create and develop some new and exciting ideas using British pork. The most recent being creating a range of street food recipes for contracting catering food service operators.




Chris Ribaudo Regional Development Chef

Baxter Storey

Saturday 19 July

Chris was born and raised in Cape Town and now lives in Billericay. His culinary training began in South Africa where he learned the beauty of simple robust flavours from his Nona and then in culinary college in Cape Town. He believes cooking is all about friends and family and is looking forward to showcasing great locally sourced produce and the delights of what he has found in Essex. Bringing together his South African flavours but championing the wonders that are already here.




Jo Wheatley

Sunday 20 July

Jo feels incredibly proud that not only did she make it onto the Great British Bake Off, but she also went on to win against some amazing bakers. Since winning Jo has set up a cookery school from her home in Essex and most recently she had a week-long guest slot on Channel 4's What's Cooking.

Jo's first book, A Passion for Baking was published in May 2012 and her second book, Home Baking, was published in April 2013 and is exclusive to Sainsbury's.

Jo will let us know what she will be demonstrating at the festival in the coming months, so please watch this space!

She will also be judging the Great Essex Baking Competition (part 2) on Sunday 20 July.

Daniel Clifford

Midsummer House Cambridge

Sunday 20 July

Daniel spent the first 12 years of his career and training in some of the best restaurants in the UK and France and took over at Midsummer House in 1998. The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin Star in 2002 followed by the second in 2005 and has 5 AA Rosettes and is currently 8/10 in the Good Food Guide.

Daniel Clifford's quest for culinary perfection has taken the restaurant to another level over the past 13 years and his cooking has a modern focus which is underpinned by classical French techniques offering seriously sophisticated food.

Daniel is a regular chef featured on Saturday Kitchen and The Great British Menu

Mark Baumann


Baumanns Brasserie Coggeshall

Sunday 20 July

British Master Chef Mark is owner of the renowned Baumanns Brasserie internationally acclaimed and now multi award winning. Mark trained at Royal champagne owned by Moet & Chandon. Mark has built the brasserie into one of Essex's most famous restaurants.

Now with his new company Bourgee, Mark and his business partner have created a range of incredible new products for supermarkets, restaurants and venues. Mark is opening a new Restaurant in Southend in 2014.



Martin & Su

Heart Breakfast Presenters

Sunday 20 July

Catch Martin and Su at the festival on Sunday 20 July as they take to the stage for an exciting cooking competition. Mentor Mark Baumann will be coaching them in the lead up to the cook off.

Tune into Heart Breakfast to hear their preparations closer to the festival weekend.

On 96.1FM (Colchester) 96.3FM (South Essex) 97.5FM (Southend) 101.7FM (Harlow & Bishop Stortford) 102.6FM (Chelmsford & North Essex) DAB Digital Radio and online at

Paul Kelly

Kelly Turkeys

Sat 19  & Sunday 20 July

Paul is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the Worlds fastest turkey carver and plucker and is the only turkey farmer in the world to have full control of the production chain. His hatchery supplies day old chicks to farmers all over the UK and indeed the world.

Let Paul entertain you with his passion for turkey and the quality and versatility of the meat...... a turkey is not just for Christmas!




Saira Hamilton

Master Chef Finalist

Sunday 20 July

Saira appeared on TV's Master Chef 2013 and reached the final four on the strength of her delicious Bengali-inspired food. Saira was praised for her gifts for spicing and packing flavour into every dish she made, both by John and Gregg and guest chefs such as Atul Kochhar.

Since Master Chef Saira has launched her company, Small Aubergine. As well as private dining and cookery lessons, Saira has appeared at food festivals, has been  guest chef in local restaurants and has run several pop-up restaurants and is busily devising and testing recipes which she hopes will feature in her first cook book.

Mark Peters

Just Imagine Foods

Sunday 20 July

Mark is a Michelin Star trained chef running Just Imagine Foods, a consultancy, private chef and event catering business. Mark's career in high quality chef roles includes 90 Park Lane, Rhodes in the Square and Rue St Jaques. He is meticulous in his approach to food development and production.




Nick Anderson

Mayfield Farm Bakery

Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 July

Nick has been involved in the baking industry since he was a child and his family baking heritage goes back to the 1680's.

Three years ago he set up his own rural bakery and school just outside Old Harlow. Nick specialises in hand making bread and teaching, he uses organic flour milled by Marriage's in Chelmsford and the best possible ingredients. His breads are creative and innovative ranging from really good quality organic bloomers to beetroot and red onion bread.

Robert Pearce Head Chef & 2013 Essex Chef of the Year

James Kenneally Sous Chef

The Garden Restaurant at Orsett Hall

Sunday 20 July

Both chefs work as a close knit team and will take to the stage together to create a master demonstration.

Robert has worked in three Conran restaurants and in 1 Michelin Star restaurant; Aqua Dining on Sydney Harbour Under Robert's expert guidance, the Garden Restaurant was awarded 2AA Rosettes in 2012.

Before joining the Garden Restaurant James worked in 2 AA Rosette Anton's Restaurant at Great Hallingbury Manor and Tewin Bury Farm Hotel.