© 2019 Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival

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1st & 2nd June 2019, Lymington Road, Highcliffe

Meet the Chefs

Rosemary Shrager's professional career includes working under Pierre Hoffmann at the internationally famous Tante Claire restaurant in London and also a period working for Jean-Christophe Novelli. Rosemary began running her own cookery courses at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle and Swinton Park before opening a cookery school in Tunbridge Wells in 2013.

Her greatest joy in all her teaching is to inspire her students by sharing her own passion for food, equipping them with the knowledge of techniques and the confidence to use them to enjoy and experiment with their cooking.


Rosemary endeared herself to the nation when she took part in I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, where she proved she could cook just about anything, anywhere. She regularly appears on popular television series The Real Marigold Hotel, and, in 2017, was a much- loved judge on The Big Family Cooking Showdown. Rosemary regularly demonstrates and teaches her skills at shows and events across the country and abroad.


Her latest book - Rosemary Shrager's Cookery Course was published in Oct 2018.

Recipes Taken from Rosemary Shrager's Cookery Course, published by BBC Books.

Sarah is an award-winning Indian food expert, TV chef and food columnist who is passionate about sharing the joys of Indian cuisine – whether through TV, radio or print media, live cooking demonstrations, social media or bespoke teaching. Named the youngest Asian woman to run a restaurant at the age of just 20, Sarah went on to capture the delights of Indian cuisine through her recipes which have featured in print and online publications locally, nationally and internationally including The Sun, The Telegraph and iNews and she also regularly contributes for publications in Cypress and India. Sarah was part of a Channel 4 reality cooking show in 2016, where she worked alongside celebrity chefs Prue Leith CBE, Michael Caines MBE and Raymond Blanc. Recognised as an inspirational and motivational speaker Sarah has spoken at numerous events including The Chartered Management Institute, the Federation of Small Businesses for London, the Elite Business Women’s Network as well as Bournemouth University, various educational institutions and Entrepreneur events. Sarah has also presented and hosted various award ceremonies. Sarah is the recipient of multiple awards including National winner of The Venus Influential Woman of the Year 2018 (sponsored by Mercedes-Benz). She is currently Lead Ambassador for the Venus Awards. Sarah was a finalists in Tommy Miah’s International Indian Chef of the Year competition 2017 and 2018where shows presented with her award from HRH The Princess Royal. Sarah has also won New Kid on the Block in the UK Small Awards, launched in 2017 to recognise the achievements of small businesses in the UK. Sarah has appeared in the British Bangladeshi Who’s Who guide for 2017 and 2018, and was given a standing ovation by the Bangladesh Catering Association for her contribution to The Asian catering industry. A brand new category within the Special Recognition Awards of "Personality of the Year" was introduced in November 2018 by Mr Yawar Khan, Chairman and Founder of Asian Curry Awards. Sarah reached the BBPI British Asian Powerlist 2018and more recently the F:Entrepreneur #ialso 100 List. The mum of four was appointed as the National Lead for Women in Catering for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which commences in January 2019 through to 31 December 2019. Sarah is Brand Ambassador for UK Nepal Friendship Society, The Venus Awards and Mishwar Clothing. She is a Lead Juror for Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards, (DEMA), Judge with the students Union's Bournemouth University Black and Ethnic Minority Awards (BME Awards) and more recently, Sarah was headhunted to be Judge for The World Food Innovation Awards(WFIA) which is globally recognised and takes place in March 2019 in London ExCel.


Neal Jepson has worked for 18 years in the restaurant industry, following a classical training with the Academy of Culinary Arts in London. He furthered his career abroad in France, Portugal and Sardinia, and has now been working for the Jetty Group for 3 years! Neal loves the fact that the Harbour group use locally sourced ingredients and fresh fish from the South coast. Neal is now head chef at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel.


Miss Witt is a world class chocolatier, teacher, demonstrator and judge.

Kerry Witt grew up in the New Forest, Hampshire, spending her childhood making sweet treats for friends and family. Her career started early by winning school cake competitions.  Age 16 she trained at Brockenhurst and subsequently Southampton City College studying Level 2 & 3 in Hospitality and Patisserie. In 1997 Miss Witt received the acclaimed title of ‘Student Chef of the Year’ for patisserie at Southampton City College. During this period, she worked as a pastry chef at Le Poussin for Michelin star chef Alex Aitken. 

Following this she worked as a Pastry Chef at Bluebird, Chelsea and Carey’s Manor, Brockenhurst to name a few, before setting up Chocolate by Miss Witt in 2012.

Miss Witt has received World Academy of Chocolate Awards since 2015 and continues to be recognised to this day. She is respected in the fine chocolate industry, being a member of the judging panel at the Academy of Chocolate Awards, and a judge at Wessex Salon Culinaire competitions.

Miss Witt makes bespoke chocolates for her clients including several 4-star hotels.  She is respected within the bar and drink industry, designing chocolates to go with cocktails.  In 2015 she collaborated with The Library Cocktail Bar in Southbourne (part of the Larder House restaurant) to create a chocolate glass with flavours of a cocktail for bartender Harry King. This was for his entry into the UK world class cocktail competition. Harry was ranked one of top 50 bartenders in the UK and has developed chocolates for Pothercary Gin.

Miss Witt takes part on the demo stage at food festivals across the south, and works with Rhinefield House Hotel to entertain corporate clients, which has led further demonstrations in Spain. Miss Witt regular appears on BBC Radio Solent as the Chocolate Expert on ‘The Kitchen Garden lunch time show.’


Having opened his first restaurant, Le Poussin, in 1983, Alex taught himself to cook – a fact that Gordon Ramsay noted when he named Le Poussin one of his top 11 favourite places to eat in The Times.

Alex’s 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.


As Chef Patron for The Jetty, Alex is committed to creating menus that showcase the region’s finest flavours: “I started my career as a trawlerman,” he says, “and this ‘raw’ fishing experience proved invaluable and a culinary asset during my career as a chef. I spent twenty-five years cooking within the New Forest, including many years running my own highly-acclaimed restaurant, Le Poussin in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, which led to my Michelin Star in 1995. And now I am at The Jetty in Christchurch, celebrating over 30 years in the business, and producing the locally-sourced sustainable food I love, for you all to enjoy with me!”


Colin Nash is renowned for his relentless pursuit of innovation in his kitchen, with over 30 years’ experience. One of the most exciting chefs in Dorset, winning many awards for the Three Tuns over his 12 years in the kitchen.


His career began at the young age of 13 helping in Mum in local restaurants in Christchurch. After school, he wasted no time in enrolling in 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. As this years went by he developed a passion and understanding of what he wanted to achieve. He prides himself on fresh local and seasonal produce and likes to add an occasional twist. ‘A good meal is like a good movie exciting you along the way, he quotes.’



Luke Phillips is a Chewton Glen home grown talent and has risen through the ranks of the kitchen to Sous Chef. Luke trained at nearby Bournemouth & Poole College on a three-year Advanced Specialised Chef Apprenticeship. He shot to fame last year when he took part in BBC’s MasterChef – The Professionals. His intention was to push himself and see just how far he could go. He reached the semi-finals, a result he is immensely proud of (not to mention his family and mentors). However, fame has not altered his love of being part of the kitchen brigade at Chewton Glen: “There’s never a dull moment, it’s just great to work in a friendly environment where young chefs can learn and develop their skills”


Chris had always wanted to be a chef for as long as he can remember. His passion was fuelled by spending days after school at his mum’s café in Boscombe and baking with her at home. He began his career by studying at Bournemouth & Poole College. Afterwards he moved to Jersey to get his first experience of Michelin star cooking at “Longueville Manor”. Whilst he was there he was thrilled to win Jersey young Chef of the Year. Several years later a move to London was imminent. He spent his time working at the “Square Restaurant” under the tutorage of Phillip Howard. Chris still proudly states that these 4 years were pivotal in his love and understanding of food.

As well as a love of food, Chris also wanted to travel and decided to venture abroad. He worked at some of the finest resorts / hotels around the world including Pastry Chef at “Lizard Island Lodge” in Australia, Executive Sous Chef at “Cobblers Cove Hotel” in Barbados, Chef de Cuisines at “Anassa” in Cyprus, Executive Chef at “Atlantis” on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and then returning to Cyprus as Executive Chef at the “Capo Bay Hotel”

Chris returned to his hometown of Christchurch a few years ago and is Currently an Executive Chef for Hoburne Group. When asked about his role at the group, he said “I’m so enthused to be a part of Hoburne and to help achieve their goal of becoming national leaders in the holiday park sector.


Executive Head Chef of the Mill at Gordleton

Ian trained at Solihull College before working in several Midlands restaurants. He later moved south and joined the Kings Hotel in Christchurch as head chef and worked with the esteemed chef Alex Aitken to develop a menu of quality using seasonal local food, all sourced from within 15 miles. The popularity and quality his food won the hotel the Michelin Gourmand award, the only one in Dorset at that time. After leaving the hotel he has been head chef at Burley Manor Hotel and also the New Park Manor in Brockenhurst. He was later appointed as Executive Head Chef of the Urban Guild group of restaurants and now heads up the team at the delightful Gordleton Mill hotel and restaurant near Lymington. Ian’s delightful personality fills the room with enthusiasm and passion for creating wonderful food.

Reproduced by kind permission of New Milton Advertiser

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. Prior to that he was involved with various local angling competitions and even graced the front pages of a few of the UK fishing magazines!

He started Russell’s Plaice in 2013, with a small fish stall outside Dave’s fruit and veg shop in Highcliffe. Later that year he moved to the old ice cream parlour outside the Paddle restaurant. He is there every Saturday morning selling sustainable fresh fish and shellfish, most of which is caught by him and his crew.

Russell will be specialising in dressed crabs, lobsters, cockles, whelks and jellied eels for the Festival.


Young Shoo Shin originally from Seoul South Korea. She came to Bournemouth in 2003 to study English and to broaden her art career. She got married and settled in the New Forest and is an active artist and foodie. Her mum was a great cook and showed her at an early age how to prepare and enjoy cooking food. From this she developed her own methods and has grown to love telling people about Korean cuisine. Within the last few years she has successfully managed the planning and operating of Korean "pop up restaurants" in her local village enabling her to introduce Korean cuisine to a new audience. 


Joey works at Christchurch Harbour Hotel as sous chef and is a highly experienced, versatile and passionate chef with a wide range of acquired skills, that has enabled him to reach every goal he has set. He has gained the best traits from all his teachers and mentors, who have included names such as Nathan Outlaw and Alex Aitken. He has used his experience to become a natural leader who can inspire young chefs, and train a dedicated team ready for any challenge that crosses their path.


This year we welcome the team from Brasserie Blanc in Bournemouth to our Artisan's cookery theatre. Later this summer the company will be opening a new brasserie pub called "The Oaks" in Highcliffe on the site of the old Galleon public house. The picture shows Bournemouth General manager Reg Pielesz and Regional Head Chef Ismael who will be demonstrating their menus at the Highcliffe Food and Arts Festival at 12.30pm on Sunday 2 June.