October 17, 2016
Apprentice star is among top cooks heading to Burnham Food Festival

Burnham-On-Sea's Food and Drink Festival returns to the town centre this coming Saturday (October 22nd) and will include a top line-up of chefs including Apprentice star Alana Spencer.

The ninth festival will feature stalls from over 100 local food and drink producers from across the area, plus live music and demonstrations through the day.

The event, which runs from 9am-4pm, will feature five great chefs cooking up great demos with very different styles.

First up at 11am is Manveena Walia, founder of Somerset Curry Club and head chef of Guddi and Gikki in Taunton High Street.

Brought up in Amritsar, she firmly believes in taking the great tasting spices that she grew up with and using the best fresh ingredients from the countryside. She and her family have brought the most authentic flavours to Somerset and will be sharing her restaurant kitchen secrets with festival visitors.

Then at 12 noon Justin Reeves takes to the stage. Justin, of Reeves Restaurant in Dunster and winner of Somerset Life's Best Chef award for the last two years.

He and his wife, Claire, received an unheard of 10/10 from The Times critic Giles Coren in their first year of opening. Justin will be cooking Wild Minehead Bay sea bass, coconut & lemongrass risotto with a pea shoot and walnut pesto. Justin told us: "I love to take local produce and combine it with ingredients you might not expect. This dish works beautifully and the coconut risotto is so easy to make."

Next up at 1pm the festival welcomes Liam Finnegan, Head Chef at The Castle, Taunton. Liam is an award-winning chef whose approach to cooking ensures ingredients are celebrated and the flavours sing out.

Liam said: "As a chef, the seasonal transitions are so important and late summer / early autumn is my favourite."

"With so many fantastic ingredients available, it’s tough to not be inspired."

Liam will be cooking with the finest ingredients from the festival, creating dishes from the menus from The Castle's two restaurants.

The Apprentice star Alana Spencer, right, will also be demonstrating on the KDS Fresh Ideas Stage at 2pm. Alana, an accomplished baker, will be showcasing her baking skills that have helped her build up Narna's Cakes.

Alana said: "I have been baking since I was a little girl. Enjoying creating new recipes and even once trying a “cheddar” cheesecake (that one wasn’t a success). The cakes I make now are tried and tasted. I hope you enjoy eating them as much as I enjoy baking them."

The chefs' demonstrations will be introduced and compered by Ben Forte and Daniel Shahin of UnitedQ, pictured below.

Ben and Dan are people behind United Q - the only Barbecue Radio Podcast in the UK, but they will be proving they are far more than the 'BBQ Boys' at their 3pm demo stage takeover.

Throughout the day they will be bringing some humor, asking the questions that maybe you are too nervous to ask and spilling the beans on their recent Channel 4 cookery show experience.

Festival organiser Sarah Milner Simonds explained the thought behind this season's chef choices: "We have brought together five popular cooking talents on the stage this October, each bringing something we know our audiences enjoy."

"We have Manvenna's spicy Indian flavours; Justin & Liam's cookery aimed at sharing the tips from award-winning kitchens; Alana's story is an inspiration to all young entrepreneurs just starting out on their journey and Ben and Dan - two guys who are so passionate about their cooking that fear that they may cook all night!"

"All the chefs we have picked are skilled at sharing their tips, techniques and ideas and encouraging our audiences to have a go for themselves."

Sarah added that with all the demos there will be samples to taste afterwards.

The festival runs from 9am-4pm. The KDS Demo Stage opens at 11am. No tickets are required and seating (and samples) are on a first-come-first-served basis.


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