Alex Hollywood

As foodies flock in their thousands to the Thame Food Festival next weekend to enjoy the 130 artisan producers, fun, games and entertainment on September 25-26, the organisers have also ensured some really inspiring chefs to get you cooking.

Demonstrating their skills on the Big Cookery Stage over the two day food festival, you can enjoy a fantastic variety of new, exotic, traditional, and moreish recipes to watch and then try at home.

From Middle-Eastern delicacies to baking, Cornish to Indian food, home-cooking to Mediterranean dishes, shellfish to cheese expertise, it’s all for the taking.

Dave Mooney – The Gobby Chef

Book to see Alex Hollywood, Steven Carter-Bailey, Tristan Welch, The Crabstock Boys, Ozi Lala, Gobby Chef Dave Mooney, Suzy Pelta, Mallika Basu, Lucie Ellis, Lotte Duncan, Cherie Denham and Jun Tanaka to name just a few. 


Everything kicks off on Saturday 25th September with the fabulously flamboyant compere for the day – Simon Brown. The ideal person as he is a passionate foodie, TV cook, Cookery Theatre Compere and AGA demonstrator who just loves having fun in the kitchen. He will be introducing and chatting to a myriad of people from across the culinary world.

First up is Ozi Lala, who will be sharing his profound love of Levantine and Middle Eastern food. Then we are joined with all the delights of the very wonderful Gobby Chef – Dave Mooney – who has been part of the Thame Food Festival fun several times over the years and will no doubt bring his cheeky style to the stage.

Milkshed owner Lucie Ellis at Thame Food Festival

If you have ever visited the Milk Shed at Weston-on-the-Green you will no doubt have encountered the culinary skills of Lucie Ellis who mixes her time in Oxfordshire with working on recipe ideas from her home now in Cornwall.

Closely followed by Alex Hollywood (see main pic) who is a passionate home cook and family food writer with two popular cookery books and a devoted following on social media. Her regular Instagram Chop and Chat sessions through lockdown with Lotte Duncan added many a laugh to a Thursday night and they will be replicating it again live. 

Stephen Carter-Bailey who finished as a runner-up in the final of Channel 4’s eighth series of The Great British Bake Off, dreamt of simply making it through the first week and has now instead made baking his career. 

Steven Carter Bailey

Mallika Basu who writes a regular food column called Simply Spiced in the Evening Standard, will then be sharing some of the secrets from her cookery books ‘Miss Masala’ and ‘Masala.’ She will be followed by professional writer and Bologna-trained Honey Sommelier, Sarah Wyndham-Lewis who is a columnist for a leading beekeeping magazine, trains chefs and bartenders and runs raw honey tastings for food and drinks industry professionals.

Sarah can’t wait! She says: We are really looking forward to Thame – it is going to be a brilliant weekend. We will be bringing a large selection of our award-winning honey to teach people about honey and herb infusions and making the most delicious honey cocktail. Simple. Wonderful. Natural. See you there!

Barefoot Bakery’s carrot and orange cake

The final guest on the stage being Emily Lloyd-Jones from the Barefoot Bakery who originally started out making cakes and brownies at home until it was suggested that she have a market stall to sell her wares. Now she has three cafes, growing mail order and supplies 50 or so cafes and restaurants with cakes.

The ever-popular Suzy Pelta will be both kicking off Sunday 26 September and also compering the stage for the day. She is a recipe writer, food judge, demonstration chef and lover of leopard print and pink lipstick!

Suzy Pelta and Magimix

Her first guests will be The Crabstock Boys. Adrian and Andy are great champions of UK shellfish, passionately supporting the fishing industry and promoting the best of British shellfish and seafood. Local James Grant, who has worked in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues and for over a decade run No2 Pound Street – a wine shop and British cheese shop with delicatessen in the Chilterns, will be sharing his knowledge and love of cheese.

Next up promises to be lots of giggles, fun and frivolity with the Mystery Box challenge with Jun Tunaka, Tristan Welch and Lotte DuncanTristan started his culinary career in London, where he trained as commis chef at City Rhodes restaurant, under Gary Rhodes. More recently he opened and is co-owner of the fabulous Parker’s Tavern in Cambridge and is one of the new chefs on Cooking with the Stars on ITV. Jun Tanaka began his culinary career aged 19 at Le Gavroche under the mentorship of the Roux brothers until he opened his own restaurant – The Ninth. This focuses on sharing plates celebrating seasonal ingredients and clean, vibrant flavours.

As Lotte says; Tristan, Jun and I have long been friends. On stage, we will be reliving our ‘Chopped’ days on Food Network when we all competed together in New York. So while we may share and discuss some serious stuff, let’s face it you are more likely to see lots of cheeky chef fun!

Lotte Duncan at Thame Food Festival

They will be followed by Cherie Denham who also likes to share share an understanding of flavour combinations with local, seasonal ingredients. Particularly exploring recipes that cater for all abilities, whether it’s preparing a cosy weeknight supper or a special get-together with friend.

Then who cannot love Valerie Stones. After appearing on The Great British Bake Off, and over 50 years of baking with love for friends and family, Val Stones now has her first cookbook, The Cake Whisperer. Ending the event will be Vicky Marshall and her passion to ensure that everyone in the family including the dog eats food as unprocessed and fresh as possible. 

Thame Food Festival is back

There will also be the opportunity to get up close with several of the artisan producers on the Food Glorious Food Stage, where they will be sharing insights into their businesses, how the got to where they are and the lessons they have learnt along the way

Thame Food Festival is easily accessible from Thame town centre with plenty of free parking. Entrance in advance is £12 per day, with weekend tickets also available. All accompanied children under 16 go free. Every advance online ticket sale will be entered into a Magimix Prize Draw to win a Food Processor. 

For more details and tickets for Thame Food Festival go to