Shropshire Star

Ludlow Food Festival line-up announced

There are just three weeks to go until a world-famous celebration of all things food returns to Ludlow.

Bake Off star Howard Middleton

Some big names in the world of food and drink have been announced to bring their craft to the Ludlow Food Festival, which will be staged in the grounds of Ludlow Castle – with extra events and attractions at various venues in the surrounding town – on September 8, 9 and 10.

Today its is common for county towns to have their own food festival showcasing local produce alongside celebrity chefs, but Ludlow was among the pioneers of such events, first putting on its festival in 1995.

It soon gained a reputation across the UK and beyond and became the model for others to mimic.

Ashley Palmer-Watts of Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck

This year will see Heston Blumenthal's right hand man Ashley Palmer-Watts make an appearance, as well as not one, but three faces from the former BBC hit show Great British Bake Off.

There will also be a Masterchef Professionals winner, a star the Great British Menu, and more than on Michelin-starred chef.

A festival spokesman said: "There will be some fresh new names, chefs at the very top of their game and a real treat for baking fans.

"Joining local chef and host Marcus Bean on stage on September 8 will be Ashley Palmer-Watts, group executive head chef for the Fat Duck group. Ashley currently heads up the kitchen at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park.

"Also, taking to the stage that day will be Chantelle Nicholson, chef patron at Tredwell’s in London’s Covent Garden and group operations director at Marcus Wareing Restaurants.

"This year, you'll get the chance to get up close and personal with three of the most popular bakers who have graced the tent in the Great British Bake Off.

"From last year is Val Stones, whose departing speech was voted the best Bake Off moment ever according to a Radio Times online poll.

"From 2015, we have the lady who demonstrated to the nation how a creme brulee's bottom should wobble, Sandy Docherty, and a familiar face at Ludlow, Howard Middleton, who had the last word on the final ever Bake Off to be broadcast on the BBC last Christmas. Howard's book Delicious Gluten Free Baking will also be available for book signing at the festival

"They will be giving hands-on interactive masterclasses which are guaranteed to bring a smile. You do not need to pre-book these, simply drop in and get baking.

"Val will be with us Friday and Saturday, Sandy Saturday and Sunday and Howard all three days."

On September 9 Masterchef Professionals winner Mark Stinchcombe and Great British Menu star Sue Stinchcombe will return to the festival, with Radio 4's 'Best Street Food Winners' Hang Fire Smokehouse, vegan chef Lee Watson and allotment supremo Pete Lawrence.

September 10 will see Michelin-starred chefs Shaun Hill and Brad Carter take to the stage as well as Great British Menu favourite Richard Bainbridge and Radio 2's 'Allotment Doctor', Terry Walton.