Monday, 26 July 2021

Demos offer an early taste of festival fun

A COUPLE of exciting dates for local gastronauts and gourmands — we have two food festivals this spring and summer,

A COUPLE of exciting dates for local gastronauts and gourmands — we have two food festivals this spring and summer,

writes Paul Clerehugh

Over the spring bank holiday weekend of April 30 to May 1 you can enjoy Henley on Food.

Organised by the clever team behind the Henley Literary Festival, it is guaranteed to be brilliant.

Henley on Food is set in the Thames-side grounds of the historic Shiplake College, and the concept behind the festival is to feed the growing popularity of food authors — many food books being on the national bestseller list.

The festival brings together food book authors with the Henley and surrounding publics — a brilliant crowd of genuinely interesting people for a weekend celebrating food and drink.

Already announced to attend is chef, restaurateur and BBC MasterChef host John Torode. Enjoy a Q&A with John discussing his book

My Kind of Food
— recipes he cooks at home.

Nutritionist to the stars Madeleine Shaw will be discussing her new book,

Ready, Steady, Glow: Fast, Fresh Food Designed for Real Life.


Great British Bake Off
winner Frances Quinn will be chatting about her debut cookbook,

Quinntessential Baking

Festivalgoers will feast on a variety of talks, Q&As, interactive cookery demonstrations, samplings, wine tastings and pop-up restaurants.

I am excited that the Henley Food and Drink Festival returns to Falaise Square for the weekend of June 11 and 12.

I adored being part of the first Henley Food Festivals in 2007 and 2008 — local chefs alongside a host of famous foodies including Raymond Blanc, Mary Berry, Antony Worrall Thompson, Giancarlo Caldesi, Roy Ackerman and Tom Kerridge.

The Henley Food and Drink Festival 2016 brings the feast back to Henley town centre, celebrating outstanding food and drink from the local area.

It promises to showcase the most exciting chefs from our exceptional restaurants, outstanding local producers and featuring the top talent of the future.

Open to everyone, it will be a fabulous event for foodies, beer and wine lovers, and families alike.

Pop-up food stalls, cookery demos and interactive educational children’s cookery will all feature.

Organised by the inspired White Fox Events, who staged the very successful Henley House and Garden Show in Henley last year, the food and drink festival is in safe hands.

I’m looking forward to cooking and demonstrating at both festivals. Chefs love demonstrations — unadulterated showing off!

To this end I’m doing a series of demos at the Crooked Billet on March 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 as practice runs for the Henley festivals.

Arrive at 10.30am for coffee and patisserie, followed by the demo at 11.15am, complimentary recipe book, wine tasting, champagne and canapes, goodie bag, three-course luncheon with a half bottle of wine. The session will end at 3pm.

Tickets are £85. For more information, call the Crooked Billet on (01491) 681048.

Paul Clerehugh is chef proprietor of the Crooked Billet, Stoke Row and London Street Brasserie, Reading. Catch Paul every week on

Food on Friday

(2pm, BBC Radio Berkshire) for lighthearted food chat, recipes and topical current affairs.

More News:

POLL: Have your say