Chef Demonstrations

No need to book - just turn up and bag a spot.

There will be a series of free chef demonstations at the Northampton Winter Food Festival, a line-up of fabulous cooks who will be sharing their skills throughout the weekend. The demonstrations take place hourly and are free. 

All the chefs will wear microphones and the demonstrations will be shown on large TV screens so you can see everything close up. The chefs will concentrate on using fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal produce to prepare their signature dishes.

Katie Johnson from Wot’s Cooking will host the demo stage. Katie is a farmer turned broadcaster and writer, who worked as a presenter and producer for the BBC for 15 years.

Below is the schedule for 2018. 


11am: Dean Hoddle

Head chef at Silverstone Circuit

Dean Hoddle is a local food legend. Since arriving at Silverstone Circuit two years ago, Dean has gone out of his way to find local producers and include them in the circuit's menus, very often working in tandem with the makers to produce exclusive lines for the track. Cheese, chutney, beer - you name it, he has sought it out to treat his customers. Dean, who is responsible for all of the onsite catering at Silverstone including race days and British Grand Prix, has also partnered with Northampton College to help develop the new generation of chefs in the county.

Before arriving at Silverstone, Dean was a freelance chef for six years, working at a string of high profile events and venues – the Ryder Cup, Lords, the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary at Somerset House, The V&A and The Natural History Museum. 

Dean relishes new challenges and in the summer he graced our TV screens as one of the contestants in the professional series of The Great British Bake Off. He will be demonstrating twice over the weekend with a second slot at 2pm on Sunday and will reveal the secrets of the lemon tart he made on Bake Off.

Noon: Kwoklyn Wan

Chinese cook and founder of

Kwoklyn Wan is set to take the world of Chinese cookery by storm when his new book launches in January, set to coincide with the Chinese New Year. Entitled the Chinese Takeaway Cookbook, it features recipes for everyone’s favourite takeaway dishes and a guide for all the ingredients you’ll need. At the same time, Kwoklyn will launch an online cookery school where subscribers will be able to see him cook each of the dishes and follow him step-by-step along the way.

Kwoklyn grew up among the clamour of the Chinese kitchen. His grandfather and father were both restaurateurs and he and his brother Gok – the fashion guru who found fame with his hit TV show ‘How to Look Good Naked’ – played among the tables and chairs. Following a high-flying career as a martial arts teacher, Kwoklyn returned to his first love for cooking in 2015 when he launched his cookery website He took to social media to promote it and hasn’t looked back. Earlier this year, he and his brother Gok appeared on ITV’s This Morning preparing a feast for presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

Kwoklyn will demonstrate two different dishes each day: crispy, shredded, chilli beef and pork stuffed aubergines with oyster sauce.


Kwoklyn Wan

1pm: Carmela Sereno Hayes 

Carmela’s Kitchen in Northampton

Northampton’s Queen of Italian cuisine, Carmela will demonstrate how to cook spinach chnefflene with a Fontina and Parma ham sauce. If you’ve never heard of chnefflene, think spaetzle dumplings – it’s a delicious, warming Autumnal dish; a hug in a bowl.

Born in Bedford to Italian parents who settled in the UK in the late 1950s, Carmela grew up at the apron strings of her mother and grandmother, and is an evangelist for traditional Italian cooking.

A mother of four, she is recognised as a pastaia (a specialist pasta maker) and is the author of two cookery books - 'Southern Italian Family Cooking' and ‘A Passion of Pasta. She is currently researching and writing her third book.

Carmela's mantra is to cook simple, inexpensive, flavoursome food with good quality seasonal ingredients, in keeping with the ‘Cucina Povera’ cooking style of the Italian south, which she teaches in her classes and workshops.

Carmela has recently launched a range of frozen, ready-made meals which are exclusively available from the Italian shop in Northampton, where Carmela hosts her regular sell-out supper clubs.

2pm: Richard Walker

Head chef at Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa

Head chef at Fawsley Hall

Northampton-born Richard Walker is the culinary mastermind behind the sumptuous creations enjoyed by guests at Fawsley Hall, the Elizabethan mansion in west Northamptonshire which is now an award-wining country hotel and part of the Handpicked Hotels stable. 

Richard has been head chef at Fawsley for the past four years and in that time has twice been named as the Carlsberg Northamptonshire Chef of the Year. He has been a chef for 27 years and trained at Northampton College, honing his skills at various hotels, including Hendon Hall in north London and Flitwick Manor in Bedfordshire where he worked under the watchful eye of Duncan Poyser. Since arriving at Fawsley, he has created a modern British menu with classic overtones using fresh, locally sourced and seasonal produce wherever possible. He and wife Sarah, who is in charge of afternoon teas at the hotel, have two young sons.

Richard will cook a classic - loin of venison, fondant potato, haggis, celeriac and beetroot in a red wine sauce.



Kwoklyn Wan

Chinese cook and founder of


11am: Safia Ali

Founder, Saf's Kitchen in Milton Keynes

Safia was a mum who loved to cook. Her food was so good, her friends and family told her they would happily pay to eat it. She was so generous, she often fed the neighbours too. And they joined the chorus urging her to go it alone. But it wasn’t until her second child arrived that Safia took the plunge. Juggling full-time work with a new baby provided the spark. Saf’s Kitchen was born, offering home-cooked Punjabi street food.

It launched in 2015 and Safia started doing small events in MK. In 2016, she took on her first big event – the Lantern Festival in Wolverton – and since then she has gone from strength to strength. In 2017 she was named Street Food Vendor of the Year in the MK Food and Leisure Awards and in June this year her husband Ishraz quit his job as a civil servant to join the business full time. As well as amazing Punjabi street food, Saf’s Kitchen now does outside catering for weddings, pop-up restaurants and offers cookery classes for people new to Indian cookery and more experienced hands.

Safia will be making spinach and spring green pakoras and if you like what you see you can tuck into some at her award-winning Punjabi street food stall.


Noon: Kwoklyn Wan

Chinese cook and founder of

1pm: Shane Clarke

Epic Pubs

Shane has worked in hospitality since the age of 16, starting out at the Swan in Salford before heading up The Knife & Cleaver in Houghton Conquest, The Legstraps in Wootton and The Swan in Milton Keynes Village. He was named Carlsberg Northamptonshire Chef of the Year while working at 185 Watling Street in Towcester and now runs two kitchens as Senior Head Chef at The Anchor Aspley Guise and The Wheatsheaf Bow Brickhill. As part of this role, he oversees the development of al the menus across the Epic Pubs estate.

Shane has also twice won Chef of the Year at both the MK Food & Leisure Awards, recognition of his keen eye for detail and the way he coaches his teams to take pride in the food that they serve. He and his brother, Aaron, also organise pop-up restaurant dinner parties. Outside of work Shane maintains his passion for food and drink as he enjoys eating out, good wines, foraging for ingredients and even has green fingers as he looks after his own orchard.  When he finally downs the cooking utensils, he can be found snowboarding and spending time with his son, Teddy and dog, Buddy.

Shane will make roasted Guinea Fowl with a leg ravioli and autumn vegertables with sage.

2pm: Dean Hoddle

Head chef at Silverstone Circuit


Kwoklyn Wan

Chinese cook and founder of

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