Everyone from chefs and caterers to farmers and growers are being invited to sign up to explore Britain’s ‘outdoor larder’ at the second Universal Cookery & Food Festival.


Registration is now open for the inspirational event on September 4th at Warbrook House in Hook, Hampshire, with plans now full steam ahead and seven top guest chefs confirmed.


As an overview of the day, the festival will blend chef demonstrations with trends and debates from expert speakers on a centre stage under one huge marquee, with demos and foraging tours – to incorporate clay pigeon shooting this year – taking place outside.


In response to feedback from last year’s 250 attendees, the 2013 festival, organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs, will also incorporate a bigger farmers market, arranged in seven main areas – fish, meat, cheese, deli, fresh produce, drink and equipment – with demos in each. 

Once again driving the initiative are Craft Guild of Chefs committee members Lee Maycock, John Feeney and Ian Nottage. Lee said: “Our inaugural festival last year was such a huge success and we have built on this to make the second event even bigger and better, whilst bringing back some of the demonstrations that were a hit in 2012 by popular demand.


“The festival is one of a kind and a fantastic opportunity for food lovers across the industry to celebrate the seasons, wild food and harvest, and broaden their culinary knowledge with top chefs in a relaxed, friendly environment, getting away from the usual ‘stuffy’ conference approach. Watch this space for the full programme coming soon.”


The first guest chefs to be confirmed for the festival are:

  • Michael Wignall, head chef at The Latymer
  • Russell Bateman, head chef at Collettes, The Grove, Hertfordshire
  • Mary-Ellen McTague, chef / proprietor at The Aumbry, Manchester
  • Mike Robinson, TV presenter and chef at Pot Kiln
  • Lisa Allen, head chef at Northcote Manor, Blackburn
  • Chris Bell, head chef at Galgorm Resort & Spa
  • James Knappett, chef, Bubbledogs, London


The location for the festival, De Vere Venues Warbrook House, is an attraction in itself and is set in 130 acres of woodland and parkland on the Hampshire and Berkshire border.


To register a place (£99 + VAT for Craft Guild members/£199 + VAT for non-members), visit www.cookeryandfoodfestival.co.uk. For more details or to discuss showing your produce at the farmers market, call 01293 854403 or email eventsteam@cookeryandfoodfestival.co.uk. You can also join the conversation on Twitter @cookeryfoodfest, #UCFF2013