Chelmsford Foodies Festival to feature MasterChef: The Professionals winner Alex Webb from Dunmow as well as GBBO and MasterChef champions and Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Dunmow’s MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 winner Alex Webb is one of the star attractions at Chelmsford’s Foodies Festival next month alongside singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
The three-day event on October 1-3 kicks off a busy month for the former Helena Romanes School student who was hailed by Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing – one of the judges on the BBC TV programme who made him the champion – as the future of fine dining.
Alex, who is planning to open his own restaurant next year, is appearing at the Foodies Festival in Hylands Park with a host of other TV cooking stars like Great British Bake Off 2016 champion Candice Brown and 2020 finalists Laura Adlington and Dave Friday as well as MasterChef champions Thomas Frake (2020) and Irini Tzortzoglou (2019) and finalists Sandy Tang and David Rickett.
Alex said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be touring around the country with Foodies Festivals this summer, but it’s a pleasure to be taking part on my home turf too. I’ve been working on lots of delicious new recipes and I can't wait to see you all in person and cook live on stage.”
On Friday October 8 he will launch his first pop-up restaurant in London. The six-course tasting menu will showcase the skills which so impressed Wareing and fellow MasterChef judges Gregg Wallace and Monica Galetti.
Tickets for the feast, in association with restaurant supply app Rekki, cost £115 each. This includes a £10 donation to the Felix Project, which delivers surplus food to schools and charities.
Alex’s third event – a dinner at the Saracens Head Hotel in Great Dunmow on October 30 – has already sold out.
When he won the MasterChef: The Professionals title last year, Alex was head chef at Square 1 in Dunmow, the High Street restaurant where he started his culinary career as a schoolboy kitchen hand.
He has also honed his skills with two-Michelin star chef Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, Hame by Adam Handling, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and finally Roux at Parliament Square, Michel Roux Jr's second London restaurant.
Murder on the Dancefloor singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of the performers adding music to the Foodies Festival menu, headlining on the Saturday (Oct 2).
She will be sandwiched as headliner by top-ranked Lady Gaga and Coldplay tribute acts Maybe Gaga (Fri Oct 1) and Ultimate Coldplay (Sun Oct 3). In all, over 50 bands and artists will entertain the crowds across the long weekend.
Sophie said: “I’ve been doing my live-streamed kitchen discos since the first lockdown, but what a joy it will be to finally get out of my kitchen to appear at the biggest food festival of the year. I’m really looking forward to performing live to an audience again and sampling some of the lovely food on offer.”
Foodies Festival began in 2004 and was rapidly dubbed the “Gastro-Glastonbury”. This year it is behind ten Covid-safe events across the country.
As well as the entertainment and demonstrations, over 150 exhibitors will showcase their produce.
For the third year running, the festival is supporting Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) with tickets raising money for UK homelessness charity Crisis.
The festival takes place from Friday October 1 to Sunday October 3, starting at 12pm on the Friday, 11am on the Saturday and Sunday and finishing at 7pm all three days. Adult day ticket price is £19 and a weekend ticket costs £29. Children aged 12 and under go free when accompanied by an adult.
See www.foodiesfestival.com for full details.