Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival 26th - 28th March 2016 Open Saturday & Sunday



Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival  26th - 28th March 2016 Open Saturday & Sunday 10am - 6pm Monday 10am - 5pm


The best Easter Food Festival

With 30,000 people expected this Easter on the Chester Racecourse, right in the heart of the city, the Chester Food Drink & Lifestyle Festival is the biggest event of its type to take place anywhere in the UK this Easter. Over 150 exhibitors highlight the best the county, region and country has to offer and means that for your, the visitor it is simply a wonderful culinary experience.

Gregg Wallace, Master Chef Supremo and Simon Rimmer of the Channel 4 programme, Sunday Brunch, headline our quality line up of top chefs. They are ably supported by an all star cast of chefs and TV celebrities.

Chester Racecourse, the only racecourse set in the heart of a city is the perfect location for this fun filled family event and with children under 12 free and adults pre paying just £6 for tickets there is no better value family day out this Easter. 



Simon Rimmer, star of Sunday brunch returns to Chester in 2016 as our headline chef. Simon will be appearing on Saturday on our main stage and as always he will play to packed audiences. It is fitting that the the man with two restaurants in Cheshire champions the very best our county has to offer in his great stage shows. He is a staunch supporter of great local produce as anyone who watches his Sunday Channel 4 programme will know. He has had many Cheshire and North Wales guests on his programme and he continues to show how you can cook with the great Cheshire and North West produce.

Simon is one of the UK’s finest chef, entertainers and his Liverpool pub/restaurant, The Elephant, in Woolton has been a huge success since opening just over a year ago with people recognising and appreciating his unique blend of local produce with creative tastes and flavours, providing a new twist on many much loved classics. This in addition to both Earle in Hale and Greens in Didsbury show his true commitment to the Cheshire and North West Restaurant scene. It is great to have him back at Chester.

He not only cooks on the stage he puts on a great show, like no other and if you haven’t seen him live then you are in for a real treat.


The Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival are proud to announce that they have secured MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace for the 2016 showcase event.

Festival boss, Stephen Wundke said “We are simply delighted to welcome  Gregg Wallace back in 2016. We will again be running the Sous Chef Challenge with Gregg as our finalists judge an our Demo stage and I know that everyone enjoyed this last year and it will just get bigger and better.

My special thanks to our sponsors, Allington Hughes and their three year commitment, which we announced last year, without which it would not have been possible to add Gregg to our glittering array of chefs. A line-up that already includes Sunday brunch star Simon Rimmer. I know we say it every year but just wait until you see the full line-up for our 2016 event, we think it is simply a stunning family weekend of fun and Gregg is the icing on our very large cake.”

Allington Hughes Managing Director, Alison Brebner said “We encouraged Stephen and his team to be ambitious with the event and our company is delighted to be associated with chefs and celebrities within the world of Food and Drink that include both Simon Rimmer and Gregg Wallace. I also know that we have some further big announcements coming up in the next few weeks and like our own company this event just seems to be getting bigger and bigger. Personally I can’t wait until Easter, it’s an exciting time ahead.”

The Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival is now in its 15th year and with 30,000 people expected over Easter is the largest event of its type happening anywhere in the UK that weekend. The event features over 150 Food and Drink exhibitors, over 1000 people taking part in CamperFest, a caravan and camping festival that takes place on the Roodee at the same time and this year there is another big announcement due shortly about the upcoming ArtFest featuring artists  from right across the UK.  There really is something for everyone.



West Cheshire College played host to the semi-final of the CH1ChesterBID Sous Chef Challenge as top chefs from across Chester city centre battled it out to reach the final stage of the competition.

Chefs from a range of bars and restaurants were competing for one of four places to cook in the final at the Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival this Easter, which will be judged by Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace.

Chairman of judges and Harthill Cookery School owner, Brian Mellor described the competition as both tense and exciting as he explained: “It’s always exciting when you get young chefs cooking in competitions. They have such energy and brilliant, exciting ideas with their cooking and then we put them under the pressure of both time to produce the dish and being judged against their peers. There were a lot of nerves but mostly some outstanding cooking. I know that Gregg Wallace will be impressed by the standard of our Sous Chefs in the final and if they can control their nerves in front of a packed audience we will be in a for a real battle”

The four finalists are:

Harry Redmayne – Bar Lounge

Harry Redmayne from Barlounge, cooked the most delicate, chicken breast with Cheshire chorizo cream, fondant potato, roast baby carrots and braised spring onions and will cook in Heat 1 at midday

Jack Hughes – The Coach House

Jack Hughes from the Coach House produced a dish of immense quality featuring mint crusted rack of lamb with sweet potato fondant, lamb tagine, aubergine caviar with a chilli and coriander yoghurt who will also be in Heat 1.

Sergio Alonso – Chez Jules

Sergio Alonso of Chez Jules excelled with his dish of hake filled with red pepper and asparagus, lobster gel, pickled romesco and olive oil powder, who will cook in Heat 2 at 3.00pm.

Mike Hodges – Upstairs at the Grill

Mike Hodges of Upstairs at the Grill, pulled off the high risk dish, delivering a Custard Souffle with a rhubarb crumble and sorbet with a Cheshire gin, rhubarb and custard shot, and will also cook in Heat 2.

All four finalists will compete on Sunday 27th March at the Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival in the hope of being crowned the CH1Chester BID Sous Chef Champion.

Emily Ghazarain, Events Manager for CH1Chester BID, said: “The judges commented on the extremely high standard produced by all the contestants, which just highlights how vibrant and exciting the restaurant scene is in Chester with so many talented young chefs. Our congratulations go to the four finalists and we look forward to crowning our champion after what is sure to be a hotly contested final.”


Sausage Finalists Revealed

After more than four hours of tasting sausages from 20 different butchers from across Cheshire and North Wales judges have revealed their finalists for the NoWFOOD, Chester Food and Drink Festival Sausage Competition.

Chairman of Judges and 3 times previous winner of this competition as well as UK National Sausage Champion, Steve Vaughan of Vaughans Butchers in Penyfford said “This is the hottest competition yet with the standard of Sausage making in both the plain and flavoured category of the highest calibre anywhere in the world. When it comes to making sausages we, in Cheshire and North wales bow to no one as our results nationally show. This is a rigorous blind tasting with 10 judges and the three finalists in each category now have their work cut out to be named the 2016 Champion at the festival”.

The NoWFOOD Centre at the University of Chester, with its “state of the art” cooking facilities provided the perfect venue for the final judging to come up with the three finalists in each division.

The 3 finalists in the Plain Sausage Category are :

The Hollies of Tarporley

Oakbank Farm – Backford

Edge Butchers – Handbridge

And the three finalists in the Flavoured sausage category are:

Cottom Foods of Widnes with their Cracked Black Pepper Sausage

David Joinson of Chester Market with his Pork & Jalapeno flavoured Sausage

Pen y Lan Pork of Pen y Lan with their Moroccan flavoured Sausage.

Sausages were judged on their appearance, texture and finally taste with marks awarded by all the judges.

The finalists will be judged by the first 40 people who turn up at the Food and Drink Festival Demo Kitchen on Sunday 27th March at 10.00am to see the sausage final where marks will again be awarded to discover the Plain Pork Sausage Champion, the Flavoured Sausage Champion and then the overall NoWFOOD Sausage of the Festival 2016.



Free Childrens Cooking Classes

For the last 5 years the Academy of Culinary Arts team have provided free cooking classes for the children who have come to the Chester Food Drink & Lifestyle Festival. James Holden, the Northern Director and his team of chefs last year taught over 900 children in three days in a series of sessions through out the day.

Each session lasts 40 minutes and during that time, children of all ages get a sensory guide to food with tastes, smells and colours. They then learn the various techniques for basic cooking and many help prepare a dish.

Small children enjoy doing this with their parents and the older ones love the chance to get in the kitchen and create something special. We believe this connection between the children and food is a vital component of every child’s food education.

These classes get very busy so book on the day early to ensure your child gets the opportunity.




Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival



Camp on site at CamperFest

This event was started some 6 years ago now and has grown to be one of the most popular Easter destinations in the country – and rightly so.

Where else can you camp in the most beautiful surroundings of the Chester Racecourse on the banks of the River Dee, right in the heart of the city.

Surely this is every campers dream. All the facilities you expect, camping on the lush outfields of the racecourse, with free daily admission to the biggest food and drink festival in the UK this Easter.

We welcome campervans, caravans, motor homes and tents to this annual Festival of camping and know that you and your family will simply love your Easter away with us here in Chester. So get the van cleaned up, the tent dusted down and the sleeping bags out.

For more information about Camperfest go to the web page and then click to book your place at Camperfest 2016. It’s a very special occasion at a very special event.


Chester Racecourse, Grey Friars, Chester

Contact Us

Festival Co-ordinator

Kym Moreton

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 01244 405 615

Press & Sponsorship Contact

Stephen Wundke

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 01244 405 621


Chester Railway Station

1st Floor, West Wing Offices




How to get here


The Chester Food, Drink is conveniently located close to the M53, M56, M6 and A483, providing excellent links from Liverpool, Manchester, North Wales and the south of England. The Racecourse is signed from all the major routes into Chester.Enter the Postcode CH1 2LY into your satellite navigation system or directions finder.


Chester Train Station is located a 20-30 minute walk from the festival through the picturesque Chester city centre.

A circular bus service runs every 6 minutes between the station & the Chester City Centre.



ArtFestArt for All


For the first time in 2015 we brought you more than just art. We brought you the opportunity to find out just how to create fabulous art and how to be inspired by some of the UK’s leading Artists.

This year, we have 35 members of Chester’s Grosvenor Art Society at Artfest, showing and sharing their skills. Watch them create brand new artworks in oils, watercolours, acrylics, pastels and pencils. We also have Sculptors, Printmakers, Textiles and Jewellery.


ArtFest is all about showing you just how much fun art can be; we want you to enjoy finding out more about the visual pleasures art can create.

Talk to the artists about how they got involved, what their influences are, how to get started and how to develop your own inimitable style.


So take your time in our very own Art Gallery, sit and sip on a coffee while you take it all in.

Look through the artists’ work, find something you like and enjoy, whether that be an original artwork, a signed print or simply a handmade card. There is something for every budget at ArtFest.

With so much to see and do you will really enjoy having your senses awakened. Firstly the joy of taste and smell with our Food and Drink exhibitors and then the excitement of sight at ArtFest. Book your ticket now to enjoy a fabulous weekend this Easter.


Additional information please visit  website