MasterChef 2019 winner, Irini Tzortzoglou and former Eastenders star and Celebrity MasterChef winner John Partridge will be cooking up a storm when London celebrates its 10th year hosting the UK’s biggest celebration of food and drink

Words Jan Roberts 

The eagerly-anticipated Foodies Festival will be heading to the capital’s historic Syon Park over the May Bank Holiday Weekend 25-27 to serve up a mouth-watering selection of top chefs and music acts.

Having triumphed in MasterChef’s first all-female final, 2019 winner Irini Tzortzoglou will be headlining festivities, alongside actor John Partridge, who famously played Christian Clarke in the BBC soap and was crowned Celebrity MasterChef 2018 champion, and supergroup Boyzlife, comprising former Westlife star Brian McFadden and Boyzone’s member Keith Duffy.

The three-day festival is expected to draw more than 20,000 food-lovers to the capital and has been highly praised by the Mayor of London’s promotional agency, London and Partners for its contribution to the city’s tourism.

For the second year running, the festival is supporting Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) with tickets raising money for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis. Unused food and drink left over from the festival will also be donated to local food banks and homeless shelters.

Master chef winner Irini

John Partridge, who appeared at the festival in Edinburgh last year, will cook a delicious vegetarian dish from his new book – and he’s excited about sampling the sizzling atmosphere from the other side of the kitchen too. “I cannot wait to appear at Foodies Festival. I had a great time last year when I came to Edinburgh. I hadn’t been to one before and couldn’t believe how many people there were at this event,” he says, “It was quite nerve-racking cooking for such a huge audience but I managed to not cut my finger off! Last time I had to dash away as I had a flight to catch. This time I will be able to enjoy everything the festival has to offer. If you’ve never been before, the atmosphere is great – live music, kids cooking, and a new dog arena! What’s not to like?”

The 2019 Foodies Festival will dish up more than 200 exhibitors and award-winning artisan producers as well as a Street Food Village, Cakes and Desserts Theatre, Kids Cookery School, Healthy Living Area, Chef’s Theatre, Vegan Beer Tent and Food and Drink masterclasses.

Tracy Halliwell, the Director of Tourism, Conventions & Major Events at London & Partners, says, “Foodies Festival is a brilliant example of how visitors and Londoners alike can come together to experience a taste of the capital’s vibrant food and entertainment scene.

“London truly is a foodie’s paradise, with a fantastic and diverse culinary offer that continues to delight visitors from all over the world, and these events are crucial in driving even more tourism to the capital.”

cakes at foodies festival

Also appearing in the Chef’s Theatre is Norfolk’s Richard Bainbridge, who won the 2015 Great British Menu series on BBC2 and returned as a judge two years later. Top chefs from London’s finest eateries will also demonstrate their skills. They include Arnaud Stevens of Plate in Shoreditch, Andrew Cole, head chef at Richmond-upon-Thames’s Bingham Riverhouse, Guillaume Gillian, executive chef of Bòkan in Canary Wharf, and Nepalese chef Santosh Shah of Indian restaurant Baluchi.

Also on the menu is Italian chef and author Giancarlo Caldesi of Caffe Caldesi in Marylebone along with a hearty helping of top tips from vegan chef and author Katy Beskow, aka Little Miss Meat Free.

As well as headline act Boyzlife, the festival’s Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) stage will also be graced by leading Queen tribute act Flash and a host of emerging bands and soloists. MAH provides opportunities for up-coming talent while raising funds for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis in the process. Staged up and down the country, Foodies Festivals will provide a major platform with more than 400 acts appearing during the series of events. For every ticket sold, the festival will make a donation to the cause. There will also be merchandise on sale giving a further boost to funds.

25-27 May, Syon Park; foodiesfestival.com

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