Britain’s favourite Frenchman Chef Raymond Blanc, Masterchef’s celebrity grocer Gregg Wallace and River Cottage’s Mark Diacono are three of the high profile names headlining the Festival Theatre supported by the Heritage Horticultural Skills Scheme (HHSS) at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May.
Foodies from across the country are expected to descend on the Three Counties Showground overlooking the picturesque Malvern Hills for one of the most anticipated events of 2015.
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival – one of the UK’s first major garden shows of the season - will this year again combine the forces of food and gardening. The Festival Green supported by Worcester Bosch Group will be bursting with everything a garden and food enthusiast could hope for. A grand Festival Food & Drink Pavilion located in the heart of the Showground will be jam-packed with artisan food and drink from across the world together with a star studded line up of high profile foodies.
Chef Patron of Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and president of The Sustainable Restaurant Association Raymond Blanc will be headlining the Festival Theatre sponsored by HHSS on Thursday. Raymond will be talking about his passion for food and gardening and his large collection of heritage varieties housed at his two Michelin starred restaurant and hotel. His new series based on his love of heritage varieties, Kew on a Plate, launched on BBC Two on March 16th.
Raymond Blanc said when talking of his appearance at RHS Malvern: “I love the fact that RHS Malvern Spring Festival combines two of my great passions, food and gardening. There is no denying that beautiful produce creates beautiful food and we should use our gardens as the freshest larder we could have. There is such satisfaction to be gained from growing your own food and teaching our children about where our food comes from. I am really looking forward to the festival.”
Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace and River Cottage’s Mark Diacono will also be taking to the Festival Theatre stage to entertain food lovers over the course of the show. Both have a unique insight into the world of food and gardening. Gregg as an ex-grocer understands the importance of the journey from field to fork and Mark is both a gardener and Chef.
Gregg Wallace said of his appearance at the festival: “I’m thrilled to be involved with this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival, as an ex-grocer I know that there is an undeniable link between good produce and good food. If you start with quality ingredients you’re on to a winner straight away. The growth and harvest of our produce is so important. I love the partnership that RHS Malvern Spring Festival has created between gardening and food and I am really looking forward to experiencing what’s in store.”
Heading up the homegrown talent is Cotswold Chef, Rob Rees MBE. A true food hero for Great Britain, he balances his work as a social entrepreneur with being a campaigner, food columnist, writer and Chef. Rob will preside over the Kitchen Garden Hub, which is in association with Everhot. Located in the Festival Food & Drink Pavilion, the Kitchen Garden Hub has been dressed by Villaggio Verde to resemble a Market Square, lined with Olive trees and herbs. New for 2015, the Hub is the perfect setting for dedicated foodies to get their cooking fix. Rob will host high profile chefs and gardeners in the kitchen as well as hold demonstrations and interviews with exhibitors and producers. Visitors to the Kitchen Garden Hub include Otter Farm’s Mark Diacono, BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Joe Swift, the nation’s favourite grocer, Gregg Wallace, BBC Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins and passionate forager Liz Knight.
Tying in with its links as one of the UK’s top garden shows, the Food Festival at RHS Malvern Spring Festival will have a whole pavilion dedicated to growing your own. The Get Going Get Growing arena will explore the supply chain between artisan food producers and the source of their ingredients will be laid bare and celebrated. Festival visitors will also be able to learn more about growing their own produce in the workshops held by The One Show’s Christine Walkden and Great British Allotment Challenge’s Jim Buttress.
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival will take place from Thursday May 7 until Sunday May 10. Tickets are now on sale. Advanced tickets are priced from £15 for RHS and Three Counties members and from £16 for non-members. Tickets are available on the gate from £19. For information on ticket prices and celebrity appearances please visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk or call 01684 230128.