Christchurch Food Festival 2018 is bigger and better than ever!

This year, one of the best foodie events in the UK and Dorset’s most popular foodie event, the Christchurch Food Festival, promises its thousands of visitors an even bigger culinary adventure, right on the water’s edge.


Taking place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018, this gastronomic, free to attend festival celebrates the very best food, drink and culinary expertise Dorset and the nearby New Forest have to offer, in one of the UK’s most picturesque quayside settings. Launched in the millennium, the festival has continued to grow and attract the finest produce and award-winning chefs in the region, making its name as one of Dorset’s most popular foodie events. 

With the festival’s own charity, the Education Trust, focused on promoting healthy eating and cooking skills, the main highlight of the festival takes place in the Demonstration Theatre. This is where TV chefs, award-winning local chefs and some of Dorset’s best-loved brands get hands-on with locally sourced ingredients for all to watch and learn. And for the little ones, the popular Kids’ Kitchen teaches children to cook with fresh and nutritional ingredients in a fun, proactive environment. 


Over 200 stalls offering delicious local delicacies pepper the historic high street before spilling onto the scenic riverside setting of Christchurch Quay, where the experience continues in a hubbub of activity. Live entertainment brings the Victorian bandstand to life, whilst visitors try and buy a plethora of local food and drink, from the naughty but nice Purbeck Ice Cream and Gourmet Grilled Cheese Co., to the sublime Langham Sparkling Wine and Conker Gin, all Dorset born and bred. You’ll also find the fun and friendly Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, and for a spot of delicacy, Dorset Shellfish and Oysters.


This year, the festival welcomes back celebrity TV Chefs and Christchurch Food Festival Ambassadors, Lesley Waters; and MasterChef finalist and entertaining resident chef on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’, Dean Edwards. Guests also include winner of The Apprentice 2016 and founder of Ridiculously Rich, Alana Spencer; and the vegan cupcake extraordinaire and blogger, Ms Cupcake.


Furthermore, Dorset Food & Drink will have a dedicated area within the festival to champion their members and support start-up businesses, showing just how passionate this coastal county is about their produce. 


As one of the longest-established festivals in the UK, the Christchurch Food Festival brings its visitors not only an abundance of beautiful local delicacies, but also jaw-dropping coastal scenery, from the meandering River Avon, to the seven miles of sandy beach. And because of its unique microclimate, the weather’s usually on your side. This is Dorset at its finest, and tastiest. 

To find out more about the festival and full range of events go to or find on Facebook

About Christchurch Food Festival

The Christchurch Food Festival was originally held as an event to celebrate the Millennium in 2000 and has developed as a community event which aims to educate people in healthy eating as well the availability of different foods, where to buy them and how to prepare them. 

Taking place on the 11th and 12th of May 2018 the festival is now seen as one of the best food festivals in the UK. It has attracted a number of celebrity chefs over the years including James Martin, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Brian Turner to name but a few. Well known TV chefs Lesley Waters and Dean Edwards are regulars at the event and are official ambassadors of the festival.

About Dean Edwards

Dean Edwards likable persona and family friendly cooking style has made him a firm favourite on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ since 2010 but he first make his debut on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ in September 2009 where he featured in a weekly cookery slot, creating dishes for the ITV audience. 

Deans' ethos on food is that it should be achievable, simple and above all taste fantastic, after all food doesn't have to be complicated. Dean's inspiration comes from across the globe but always using ingredients familiar to us all. His passion for food is infectious, inspiring home cooks up and down the country to get back into the kitchen.

About Lesley Waters 

A chef and cookery demonstrator, Lesley’s lively personality makes her a popular television cook and, as a regular member of the team of Ready Steady Cook (BBC 2), and This Morning (ITV1), a recognisable household name. Lesley runs her immensely popular cookery school in Dorset and often acts as spokesperson for several large food brands.
She studied French Cuisine for three years at Ealing College, which included time as a chef at the Waldorf Hotel. After competing at Hotel Olympia salon culinaire she won two silver medals and one gold which won her a scholarship to work at the Intercontinental Group in Dusseldorf and Berlin.

She also spent 6 months travelling around New York, Boston and Martha’s Vineyard working in various restaurants until she returned to London.
In 1978 Lesley joined Prue Leith’s Restaurant and was quickly promoted to the position of senior chef. She then worked as a freelance corporate chef and caterer for government officials before joining Leith’s School of Food and Wine as an instructor, rising to head teacher. Here she perfected her cookery demonstration and food photography skills. She often represents British food at international cookery displays, in her original and modern style. She is passionate about seasonal, local food and believes that ‘Good is simple, simple is good’.
She has worked in television since 1989. In addition to this she has written 20 books and has supported the Christchurch Food Festi
val with its work in schools since its inception in the year 2000.

About Alana Spencer


Alana founded her first cake company in 2010, baking delicious chocolates and tray-bakes in a little country kitchen in West Wales. Fast forward to now and after becoming the winner of The Apprentice 2016, with the help of Lord Sugar her company has transformed into Ridiculously Rich by Alana, with an ever-growing team of over 40 brand ambassadors attending foodie events across the United Kingdom, providing luxury hand-made, indulgent treats to cake cravers nationwide.

About Ms Cupcake 

Mellissa Morgan, aka Ms Cupcake, is a vegan baker and chef who prides herself on her ability to transform basic ingredients into vegetarian and vegan masterpieces. Originally from Canada, she describes her baking as classic North American with a British flavour twist.

Mellissa began baking from home when she couldn’t find indulgent bakery goods for vegans in London. She soon realised that it wasn’t just vegans she could cater for, but also those with food allergies or religious dietary requirements. She began to develop gluten free, soya free and even sugar free cakes, and after opening the UK’s first entirely vegan retail bakery in April 2011, she was named the Baking Industry Awards Rising Star of 2011.

In 2015 she secured a deal with Whole Foods Market to stock a range of eight of her cupcake flavours in their UK stores and in 2017 she is expanding the business further with an additional site to support wholesale manufacture.

Mellissa first appeared as an amateur on ITV’s Britain’s Best Dish and has since made appearances on The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Islam TV and Sky News. As a contestant on the ITV show Britain’s Best Bakery she won a whole new set of fans following praise from the judges for her fantastic tasting vegan cakes.

Her remarkable business journey has brought attention from The Independent, The Economist, and she has appeared on BBC Radio4’s Women’s Hour. Mellissa was the first European Representative for the Yelp Small Business Advisory Council (YSBAC) where she advised Yelp on the needs of independent businesses in the UK and abroad, and she wrote a regular column for the British Baker Magazine on running a successful small food business. In 2015 her business was named Dot London Awards’ Best Independent Groceries Retailer.

Mellissa is a passionate speaker and loves to teach others about starting their own businesses when they have little funding or experience. She has spoken at large corporate events, business conferences, trade fairs and festivals. She hosts regular classes and workshops to demystify the new business start-up process in her uniquely vivacious style, and pulls no punches to motivate results from her listeners.

A familiar face at Veg Fest in the UK, Mellissa has also appeared at events including The Good Food and Wine Show in Durban, FoodEx Birmingham, The Bakers Fair and many more.

Limited edition Ms Cupcake silicone bake ware retailed in TK Maxx stores to great success in July 2013.The first Ms Cupcake baking book was published in May 2013 by Square Peg in the UK and is now selling internationally including in South Africa, Germany and France.

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