Lichfield Food Festival’s Jubilee Cake Competition

Simon Smith in his production kitchenCalling all bakers! Bake a celebratory cake in honour of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Lichfield Food Festival, set to overtake the city on 1 and 2 September 2012, is inviting keen bakers to get their wooden spoons at the ready and enter a jubilee inspired cake baking competition.

Taking place on Sunday 2 September in Lichfield’s Guildhall, the event will see home bakers entering their best sponge or fruit cake into the competition.

It can be entered in one of three age categories: under 12 years of age, 12 to 16 years of age, and adults.

The cakes will be judged by two food and cake experts - local master chef Simon Smith, of Historical Cookery and Mayhem fame, and Helen Westwood, confectioner and owner of Sugar Surgeons cake shop.

The pair will have the hard task of tasting and judging all the delicious cakes to pick the winners in the under 12s and 12 to 16s categories.  They will also select three finalists in the adult category, whose cakes will be judged by celebrity chef John Torode – live on stage!

The three finalists will each be given two free tickets to see John Torode’s chef demonstration in the Lichfield Garrick on the same day at 7pm. They will then get to watch the master chef sample their cakes to pick the winner, as part of his show.

Competition judge Simon Smith, the private caterer who runs a production kitchen in Lichfield, said:  “It’s always exciting to judge a competition and see the hours of work a competitor has put in. As a chef, I know we have many ‘foodies’ in Lichfield and it would be great for as many of them as possible to enter this exciting new event. Let’s see those baking skills and have fun!”

The cakes will be judged on their appearance including how they incorporate the jubilee theme, their texture, and, most importantly, on how good they taste.

The top bakers in the under 12s and the 12 to 16s categories will win a family ticket to see the Lichfield Garrick’s Christmas production of Alice in Wonderland and a £20 gift voucher to spend in The Kitchen Shop on Market Street in Lichfield.  These will be presented in the Guildhall at 4.15pm by the Chairman of Lichfield District Council, Ken Humphreys.

As well as the finalists’ two free tickets to see John Torode in action at the Lichfield Garrick at 7pm on Sunday 2 September, the overall top baker in the adult category will win a signed copy of John Torode’s cookbook, Beef, a £20 gift voucher to spend in The Kitchen Shop on Market Street, an exclusive one-to-one kitchen skills two-hour session with Simon Smith, and two bottles of Worth Brothers champagne.

Bakers can enter the competition by filling in a quick online entry form available at The deadline to enter is Wednesday 29 August 2012.

All entrants will be asked to make a minimum £2 donation to the We Love Lichfield Fund.

Baked goods cannot include fresh cream and should be delivered to Lichfield’s Guildhall between 12 noon to 2pm on Sunday 2 September 2012.

For more information, please contact Esther Epstein on 01543 308778 or email

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council - with the help of local chef, Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts.

Read More

Celebrity Chef Nick Nairn joins the line-up at the Lichfield Food Festival

Top chef, Nick Nairn, is gearing up to join celebrity chefs John Torode and Antony Worrall Thompson at Lichfield Food Festival, Staffordshire's newest food and drinks festival, which is taking place at the Lichfield Garrick and across Lichfield City on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September 2012.

John Torode and Antony Worrall Thompson will be presenting cookery demonstrations in the Lichfield Garrick’s Food Theatre, followed by book signings. Nick Nairn will host two free cookery demonstrations on Saturday 1 September at 10am and 12noon at Tippers in Britannia Business Park, Lichfield.

On top of appearances on Ready Steady Cook, Nick took part in the BBC’s Great British Menu, and cooked the main course for The Queen’s official 80th birthday celebration.

Nick Nairn said: “I am really excited to be part of such a prestigious festival. I will be cooking some of my favourite dishes, including a delicious hot raspberry soufflé. One of my passions is sharing the food that I cook and how I cook it and this gives me the perfect opportunity.”

Tickets for John Torode and Antony Worrall Thompson are £25 each or £45 for both. Tickets to see Nick Nairn are free and will be issued on a first come first served basis. To book any of the celebrity chef cookery demonstrations, please call the Lichfield Garrick Box Office on 01543 412121.

Another exciting addition to the weekend festival is a free cookery demonstration in the Lichfield Garrick’s Food Theatre by Adam Bennett, head chef at Simpsons in Birmingham, at 3pm on Sunday 2 September.

Adam will join a number of top local and regional chefs who will be cooking up a storm over the course of the weekend, including the Historical Cookery duo, Simon Smith and Professor Roland Rotherham.

Chef Paul Gilmore of Restaurant Gilmore, master bread maker Duncan Hindley from Hindleys bakery, chef Tommy Ho from the Ruby Chinese Restaurant, and chefs from Ristorante Sorrento, will also take to the stage over the weekend to present cookery demonstrations. The free demonstrations are open to all – just make sure you arrive in good time to secure your free seat.

Foodies are also invited to the Garrick’s Food Studio, where producers will be showcasing regional produce and offering food tastings on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm. Scott O’Hara will also be displaying a selection of his centerpiece sugar sculptures.

The theatre’s Vineyard in the Sky, featuring local wine merchants, Worth Brothers, will offer wine connoisseurs the chance to sample and buy drinks from across the world over the weekend.

The Guildroom in Lichfield’s Guildhall will get everyone in the party spirit with Lichfield Arts’ Best of British Brewing festival, between 11am and 6pm over the festival weekend.

A special Sunday Farmers’ Market will also take place from 10am to 4pm on Lichfield’s Market Square.

Adrian Jackson, Lichfield Garrick's Artistic and Executive Director, commented: “Lichfield’s first ever food festival is set to overtake the city with mouth-watering flavours and aromas. We’re looking forward to all the gorgeous fine dining and drink sampling in what will be a celebration of our fantastic local food and produce.”

The festival will involve venues across the city that will offer a range of delicious fixed price menus for just £10 a person, and tasting notes and offers on drinks as part of an Ale and Wine Trail.

“The weekend is such a celebration of food that it seemed only right to invite Lichfield’s wealth of restaurants and bars to get involved,” added Adrian.

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council - with the help of local chef, Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts.

To find out more about Lichfield Food Festival, please visit

Read More

Lichfield Food is announced

The Lichfield Garrick, Visit Lichfield and Lichfield Arts are delighted to announce that Lichfield Food – Staffordshire’s newest and all weather food & drink festival - will take place at the Lichfield Garrick and in Garrick Square on Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 September 2012.

Lichfield Food is set to be a celebration of all things gastronomic. With celebrity chef displays and shows in the Main Auditorium, and over 30 specialist food stalls and cookery demonstrations in the Studio and throughout the building, Lichfield Food is set to be a culinary delight – with something to suit all tastes!

The festival team have also developed a new website to exhibitors and festival goers find out all they need to know about visiting or exhibiting at the newest food festival in Staffordshire!


Read More