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10th & 11th June 2023, Recreation Ground, Lymington Road, Highcliffe

Meet the Chefs

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Cyrus Todiwala  OBE
Chef's Theatre - 12.00pm - Sunday 11th June
Chef's Theatre -   3.00pm - Sunday 11th June (with Kevin Brown)
Cyrus is arguably London’s most celebrated Indian chef. He co-owns Café Spice Namaste and was appointed an OBE for his services to the hospitality industry. He will be demonstrating his unique style of blending traditional Indian techniques and flavours with more unusual ingredients.

Mumbai born Cyrus regularly appears on James Martin Saturday cooking show and Saturday Kitchen. He is also known for his community work which includes working with the NHS creating ethnic menus for hospitals and teaming up with the London East training Enterprise Council to open an Asian and oriental cooking school. 
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James Golding
Chef  Director of the Pig Group of Hotels 
Chef's Theatre -   11:30am - Saurday 10th June (with Lesley Waters)

Christchurch born chef James is becoming a TV personality with regular slots on Channel 4’s Sunday brunch and was the featured chef on Fred Sirex’s

‘Remarkable Places to Eat’ with Chris Bavin when they visited the New Forest. He has done multiple cooking features on BBC’s Country File and other programmes and has regular slots on Radio Solent and hosts the Maple Syrup from Canada Sustainability Podcast. He has overseen the development of the seven Pig Group of hotels and is responsible for developing their menus, which often involves foraging for wild food. James has written two books ‘The Wild Cook’ and ‘The PIG book all my own recipes’.

He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and is a regular judge at leading food awards.

Lesley Waters
TV chef and author 

A recognisable household name Lesley now runs her immensely popular cookery school in Shaftesbury in north Dorset and is also a guest lecturer at Bere Farm Cookery school.


She is a recognisable spokesman for several large food brands. She was a regular part of the team of Ready Steady Cook (BBC2) and This Morning (ITV).

She has written 20 cookery books.

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Eduardo Sepulveda Lemus
Mental Lentil

Until the pandemic Eduardo and his wife Amber were running a vegan restaurant in Chile which was popular with tourists and locals alike. Sadly due to the long-lasting quarantines they had to close the business and chose to start a life here in Christchurch. They are now setting up our new project, Mental Lentil Ltd., bringing delicious plant-based recipes to the south coast, serving the public from a converted horse box trailer which they will be promoting at the festival.

Colin Nash
Proprietor of the Lamb at Winkton

Colin is renowned for his relentless pursuit of innovation in his kitchen, with over 30 years’ experience and has recently taken over running the Lamb at Winkton. One of the most exciting chefs in Dorset, winning many awards. He trained at Bournemouth and Poole catering college. This led him to Langan’s Brasserie in the heart of London, his first taste of pressure in a busy kitchen. He prides himself on fresh local and seasonal produce and is looking forward to showcasing his new menus from the Lamb.

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Alex Aitken
The Jetty and Harbour Hotels

Alex opened his first restaurant, Le Poussin, in 1983. His culinary journey began on the seas, where he worked as a trawlerman, giving him unparalleled knowledge of fish and seafood and how to make the most of the ocean’s bounty. Championing simple, seasonal and local produce from the very beginning. Alex has received multiple awards and accolades to support this philosophy


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Kevin Brown
Head Chef at the Lord Bute Restaurant

Kevin trained at Bournemouth and Poole College and spent part of his training at the Michelin starred restaurant Hotel Alexander in the south of France. He later returned to England to work in the kitchens at the prestigious Dorchester Hotel under the watchful eye of the acclaimed Anton Mosimann as a chef de partie. He ran the very popular Mrs T’s supper rooms in Westbourne for 10 years before joining the Lord Bute. His cooking is highly regarded and he has achieved two AA rosettes for his delicious food.

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Loic Gratadoux
The Frenchman in the Kitchen

Loic trained in France and worked for some of the most prestigious restaurants.  He became Head Chef at Christchurch Harbour Hotel and later moved to be Head Chef at the Harbour Heights Hotel in Poole.  Wanting to spend more time with his two young boys he set up his fine dining business where he will not only prepare delicious food but also wash up

Luke Mathews
Executive Head Chef, Chewon Glen Hotel and Spa

Luke has been at the multi-award winning Chewton Glen since 1993. He is a local man and after finishing his apprenticeship, aged 20 he had a brief sojourn at Chewton Glen with Pierre Chevillard. He later worked in the Channel Islands and France and was sous chef at the Hotel Les Bories in Cordes before moving back to Bishopstow House in Warminster. Luke and has appeared on Saturday Kitchen and is a fomer ‘Hampshire Chef of the Year’.

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Will Firmin
Head Chef at Crow Spotter

Will Firmin founded Crow Spotter in 2020 with his brother, George, and was later joined by co-owner and best friend, Mark. The boys started with a pop-up coffee shop in The Saxon Bar in Christchurch, and later opened a café at The Retreat in the New Forest. Will puts a lot of emphasis on healthy, organic and seasonal food. Hearty and filling 'comfort food' with 'cheffy' touches learnt in the professional kitchens of Offbeet, the small but perfectly formed plant-based menu at Crow Spotter has been thoughtfully put together to showcase hyper-local produce and his own unique flair.

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Ismael Pajaro
Area Chef Brasserie Blanc

Ismael has been working in hospitality for 25 years. He comes from Spain and has worked for many different hotels and restaurants from 5* Paradores Spain, 5* Melia Hotels. He came to the UK in 2012 and has spent the last 11 Years at Brasserie Blanc, The White Brasserie Company, and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, working for Chefs Clive Fretwell, Raymond Blanc, Gary Jones and Benoit Blin. For the past four years he has been Area Chef for Brasserie Blanc Company, where he looks after six restaurants across the South of the UK including BB Chichester, BB Winchester, BB Portsmouth, The Britannia Parkstone, BB Bournemouth and of course The Oaks Highcliffe.

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Christian Ørner
SALT Cø. Private Chef and Chocolatier

Christian specialises in creating bespoke 7 course tasting menus and coming to you to cook, serve AND do the washing up as well. Focusing mainly on European and Scandinavian cuisines to incorporate his heritage. He has been running SALT Cø. for 6 years, but has been a chef for nearly 18 years working in the best local hotels and restaurants and hotels, including two with one Michelin stars, a 50m Sailing Ship, a Cruise Ship and a 125m Luxury Mega yacht! Christian has just been selected to join the England National Culinary Team with plans to be part of the team going to the Culinary World Cup in February 2024.

Peter Axworthy
Founder and Executive chef at OFFBEET

Peter founded OFFBEET almost a decade ago. From humble beginnings as a small cafe, the OFFBEET brand has grown and established itself as a benchmark and innovator of plant-based food. It now comprises a fully licensed bar and restaurant serving plant-based fine dining and exquisite cocktails, a cookery school offering relaxed and informative lessons for cooks of all levels, and the newest OFFBEET venue opened in Southsea, Portsmouth in Spring this year. Peter, while formally trained at Ashburton Cookery School, is mostly self taught. He has a borderline obsession for perfecting dishes and is currently striving for Michelin accolade.

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Russell Murphy
Russell’s Plaice, Sea Corner

Russell is a local fisherman and member of the RNLI crew at Mudeford Quay where he keeps his fishing boat. He went to Arnewood school in New Milton and has been a commercial fisherman since he left at 16. He started Russell’s Plaice in 2013 and now runs a stall in Waterford Road, Highcliffe every Saturday morning selling sustainable fresh fish and shellfish, most of which is caught by him and his crew.

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