Talks & Demonstrations

We have a fantastic selection of demonstartions and foodie talks from local chefs and food experts. These will mainly take place in the marquees near the cricket square and are all FREE - spaces are limited, so get there early.
 

CHEFS’ DEMONSTRATIONS

We are delighted to announce that our Chefs’ Demo kitchen has been kindly sponsored by Renov8 Kitchens of Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes.

11.15am (at Crayfish Capers' stand)

Mark Lees - Crayfish Capers - Giant Pan Crayfish Paella

Mark will be kick-starting our food festival over at his Crayfish Capers stall by demonstrating giant pan paella from start to finish. Mark has been trapping, cooking and talking all things signal crayfish for over 10 years now. Having cooked for the likes of Gary Rhodes, Sophie Grigson, the Hairy Bikers, John and Gregg, Heston Blumenthal and Jay Rayner, Mark has turned his interest in crayfish into a full-on battle. Head over to his stall to see his demo and to whet your appetite for what this festival has to offer.

11.45am

Jonathan Adriaenssens - Robin Hood, Clifton Reynes - A Seasonally Inspired Dish

For 10 years, Jon Adriaenssens and his partner, Sophie, owned the Bell & Bear in Emberton. It is testament to their hard work that they won the Best Use of Local Produce category in the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards for four years and Best Pub in 2018. In addition, Jon won Chef of the Year in 2017. Now they have taken that experience and ethic to run the Robin Hood community pub in Clifton Reynes, Olney. Jon will be demonstrating his cooking skills to create a dish inspired by local, seasonal ingredients.

12.30pm

The Brasserie MK

The Brasserie has been described at Milton Keynes best kept dining experience secret. Tucked away on the Bletchley campus of Milton Keynes college, it is run by the catering students at the college, providing them with invaluable experience as they earn their qualification. Far from feeling like a training experience, diners enjoy high quality food and impeccable service. Today, one of the Brasserie chefs will be demonstrating the cooking skills that go into the dishes served in their restaurant.

1.15pm

William Bowman-Smith - Pan Fried Duck Breast

Will describes his nan as his inspiration for becoming a chef, he spent his childhood “cooking cakes and sweets with her for other members of my family to enjoy.” Former Milton Keynes College student, Will has worked in various kitchens including The Inn at Woburn, the River Restaurant at The Savoy and the Rose Vine Hotel in Cornwall. He was Young Masterchef of the Year finalist in 2017 and 2018, M Restaurant Young Cehf of the Year finalist 2018, and appeared on Masterchef The Professionals 2018. Will’s demonstration will be pan fried duck breast, confit leg, chargrilled fennel and fig jus.

2.00pm

Shane Clarke - Head Chef, Swan Inn, Milton Keynes Village - Pan Fried Seabass

Shane is a multi-award-winning chef with a passion for inspiring and nurturing young aspiring chefs, he currently employs four students in his team of ten chefs. He has worked predominately in rosette restaurants and has experience in busy top end gastro pubs. He won Chef of the Year at the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards in 2012 and again in 2018 and Northampton’s Best Chef in 2016. In addition, he has been awarded 2 rosettes for fine dining and has worked as a private chef in Switzerland for a top end 5-star company. It is his ambition to be at the forefront of bringing top quality food to Milton Keynes and to help bring original, exciting restaurants to Milton Keynes’ food scene, using as much local produce as possible. At the MKFoodFest, Shane will be demonstrating his skills by cooking Pan Fried Seabass, Crab Ravioli and Spaghetti Squash with Sage & Apple.

2.45pm

John Fernandez - Milton Keynes Cookery School - Thai Dumplings

John Fernandez a freelance chef who has been with Milton Keynes Cookery School for 15 years. He teaches many of the day to day courses such as Mexican, Spanish, Italian, Thai and Indian. He also trains chefs to work in the Alps for gap years through their sister company, Mountain Chefs. John comes with a wealth of experience gained through working in France and numerous restaurants and cookery schools in and around London. At the MKFoodFest he will be demonstrating how to make Thai dumplings, taken from Milton Keynes Cookery School’s Thai cooking course.

3.30pm

Godfrey Barton - Shires Country Kitchen - Loving Leftovers

Godfrey runs Shires Country Kitchen, a small food producer making hummus, dips and seasonal specials from local suppliers. He has volunteered in the River Cottage HQ kitchen, where he has learnt a great deal about seasonality and higher welfare produce. At the MKFoodFest, Godfrey will be cooking a dish from leftovers to demonstrate how easy it is to use up bits and pieces from the fridge to create a main meal.

4.15pm

Safina Sarang - Chin’s Kitchen - Onion Bhajis

Safina runs Chin’s Kitchen, a professional catering service that specialises in Indian cuisine. Catering for all occasions, she cooks authentic curries using the finest and freshest ingredients available. Safina also runs cooking experiences and children’s workshops and is passionate about passing on her expertise. At the MKFoodFest she will be demonstrating how to cook classic onion bhajis, inspiring you to have a go at home.

FOODIE TALKS & FORAGING WALKS

All Day (at MK College stand)

MK College Food Preparation Demonstrations

Students from the Catering BTEC course from Milton Keynes College will be demonstrating various food preparation skills throughout the day. Pop over to their pitch to learn new food skills or to just admire their abilities.

11.30am

Foraging Walk

We have Live Primally at the MKFoodFest again this year running foraging walks around the local area. Kev is a professional forager, bush-craft instructor, primal health coach and authority on lacto-fermentation. Join him on one of the two 45-minute walks to learn about the amazing wealth of edible and medicinal wild plants found in our area. Learn how to identify the plants, avoid potential confusion, and how best way to collect, prepare and use the plants.

Walks cost £5 per person and numbers will be limited to 15 people per walk, so book early as they likely to prove extremely popular. 

11.30am (Foodie Talk marquee)

St Marks - Tackling Child Food Poverty in MK

Can you believe that 1 in 4 children in Milton Keynes are living in poverty and are at risk of going to bed hungry every day? St Mark’s Meals work towards making child hunger a thing of the past in MK by getting nutritious food into the tummies of the most vulnerable children in the city as and when they need it. Find out more about the work they do and the meal boxes they provide.

12.15pm (Foodie Talk marquee)

Sew & Grow - Using Food Waste to Make Natural Dyed

As we become more aware of the issues around the textile industry, the ancient craft of natural dyeing has become a gentle form of activism trying to highlight how we can create sustainable, low impact lives for ourselves. When combined with using food waste, it leads us further down the path of a sustainable future. Sew & Grow is a social enterprise based in Wolverton that invites young people who are out of education to gain a qualification in a practical skills-based environmental focused on textiles and dyeing. They create dyes from their own dye garden, foraging and food waste. In her talk, Ciara will show how easy it is to get started with creating natural dyes from food scraps.

1.00pm (Foodie Talk marquee)

Live Primally - Fermented Food

Gut health is a hot topic. The evidence of a link between the health of your gut microbiome and a range of diseases is now overwhelming. Eating fermented food is one way of ensuring the health of your gut bacteria. Kevan has been making and using fermented foods for over 25 years and regularly run workshops teaching how to make sauerkrauts, kimchis, kefirs, kombuchas, pickles, kvass and yoghurts. At the MKFoodFest he will be running through the basics to get you started on your journey to a healthier gut through the creation and enjoyment of fermented foods at home.

1.45pm (Foodie Talk marquee)

Nature Way Farm - When eating red meat can be good for the planet

Nature Way Farm offer subscription monthly meat boxes delivered across Milton Keynes. They bring together passionate pastoral farmers to share their 100% grass-fed beef and lamb and woodland and pastured pork to those who want to reconnect with their food and the land it comes from. From this talk, find out how not all beef and lamb are equal and how it is possible to produce the finest red meat whilst regenerating our land, restoring wildlife and helping to slow down global warming by sequestering carbon back in the soil.

2.00pm (by the fire pit)

Cooking Over an Open Fire Demonstration

Kev from Live Primally will be back on site demonstrating different ways of cooking over an open fire. Your barbecues will never be the same again!

2.30pm (Foodie Talk marquee)

Alchemise Yoga Studio - Improving Your Digestive System Through Yoga

Yoga teaches us to be consciously aware of the mind-body connection between brain and digestive health. It is known that our gut is our second brain and during this talk Team Alchemise will explain how yoga improves your entire digestive system and your ability to digest your emotions. Through a range of yogic tools and by looking at oxygen delivery, lymphatic flow and enhanced blood flow you can learn how to improve body-image, your entire wellbeing and digestive health.

3.00pm

Foraging Walk

We have Live Primally at the MKFoodFest again this year running foraging walks around the local area. Kev is a professional forager, bush-craft instructor, primal health coach and authority on lacto-fermentation. Join him on one of the two 45-minute walks to learn about the amazing wealth of edible and medicinal wild plants found in our area. Learn how to identify the plants, avoid potential confusion, and how best way to collect, prepare and use the plants.

Walks cost £5 per person and numbers will be limited to 15 people per walk, so book early as they likely to prove extremely popular.

3.15pm (Foodie Talk marquee)

Wharf Distillery - The Fall & Rise of English Whisky

Drinks entrepreneur Laurence began distilling in 2011. Starting with apple brandy, he now produces a whole host of spirits – gin, whisky, brandy, even a beetroot vodka. He will be talking about English whisky, and how he became the country’s smallest producer.

4.00pm (Foodie Talk marquee)

Urban Bee-lievers - Raw Honey: From Flower To Jar

Urban Bee-lievers is a bee keeping social enterprise with a mission to make Milton Keynes a bee-friendly city. Staffed by professional bee-keepers and young people from Milton Keynes who are not in education, training or employment, they encourage the local community to learn about the amazing life of bees, take action to help slow their decline and enjoy all the valuable products from the hive. In their talk they will explain how growing bee friendly flowers ensures the bees have a varied diet throughout the year, which in turn keeps the bees healthy and productive, resulting in excess honey full of good enzymes to keep us healthy and happy too.