Cookery Theatre

Each year we bring you a variety of cookery demonstrations from some of the areas top chefs designed to get you cooking with hints, tips and secrets from the experts.

10.15am – Festival Opening

10.30am – Breakfast with Lawrie

Lawrie has been a chef for 30 years. He has travelled all over the world and worked in Australia and New Zealand for some time. He spent some time teaching professional cookery at Gloucestershire college’s Forest of dean campus and now works as Senior Sous Chef at Cheltenham racecourse. He lives in the Forest where he and his wife have a large vegetable garden cultivating unusual vegetables. He keeps his own pigs for a hobby.

11.15am – Dan Blewitt, ESSE

Dan has worked as an ESSE Rep & Demonstrator for nearly three years and has received training from and worked alongside some very exciting chefs including Tim Maddams, Gill Mellor (both River Cottage head chefs), TV’s Matt Tebutt and Jane Baxter. “I always aim to deliver fresh, exciting food following the River Cottage principles of using locally sourced, seasonal, quality produce.”

12midday – A taste of the Forest with Yvette Farrell, Harts Barn Cookery School

Yvette owns and runs a Cookery School @HartsBarnCook in the beautiful Forest of Dean. Trained horticulturist, cook, carer, Mother, businesswoman & lover of hedgerows.


1pm -Peter Sidwell, TV chef and judge on ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, author, Executive Chef at Rheged and cookery school owner

Pete has just returned home from performing at the BBC Good Food Show at the Birmingham NEC. The show had thousands of visitors. Pete was part of a star studded line up including Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, James Martin and Loraine Pascal to name but a few.Peter Sidwell has been a chef all his working life, he has developed over the years a simple, fresh and inovative way of cooking that focuses on the importance of ingredients and making sure it is cooked the right way to make sure it is at its best. Peter’s first TV series was Lakes on a Plate,more recently, he has appeared as co-judge and presenter in Britain’s Best Bakery, on ITV1.

2pm – Something Fishy
Rob Cox, Head Chef The Tudor Farmhouse Hotel, Clearwell.

Rob is passionate about local, seasonal produce and his spare time loves nothing more than foraging for herbs.It was Tudor Farmhouse’s commitment to ‘local and homegrown’ that first struck him; their 20-mile menu ethos is something he really wants to develop as their new head chef. “I can’t wait to get my hands on the kitchen garden and plan to work closely with Jeanie our gardener and local forager Raoul Van Den Broucke to really maximise seasonality.”

2.40pm -Stuart Spicer, The Speech House Hotel.
A taste of the forest- a unique dessert inspired by the many edible species of the forest with bags of fun, a scientific twist and inte resting ideas

After beginning his career in London, Stuart moved back to his native Wales working for various high profile clients and celebrities. His ambition and passion then took him to the Celtic Manor where after three years of graft he became Head Chef.He is now a freelance chef consultant, bringing a wealth of knowledge, real passion and most importantly a bit of scientific fun into the kitchen. Stuart has featured in many television productions, most notably Professional Masterchef and the BBC production Hotel 24/7. Stuart has recently joined The Speech House hotel to develop and assist the team.

DEAN&WYE (5743-311-376)

3.20pm – A sweet for the Forest

Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism and independent sweet shop Tudor Sweets have been running a competition to find an official sweet flavour for the area. The suggestions have been coming through in their droves with ideas such as wild boar
and mint, rose and wild berry and plum and honey. The judges have deliberated and the winner of the competition, along with the flavour will be announced.
Packaged sweets will also be available to buy on the day

3.30pm Beer & Boar

Hillside Brewery was founded in 2014 with a simple mission statement – create a brewery that is part of the local community. Hillside’s Director Paul Williamson joins us in the Cookery Theatre to share his expertise with our food and drink loving community. Which beer is best paired with Boar? Come and find out…..

See the finalists in the ‘Battle of the Boar’ Competition
cook their dishes with wild boar from Camerons Butchers
& see who will be crowned this years winner

The Cookery Theatre is sponsored by  Hales of Drybrook & Esse