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Free Food Festival 2023

July 22 & 23 – This weekend

Our famous free food festival was a huge success 

Check out the highlights:

The most popular food festival in the South West is back to cook up a storm at the historic docks. If you love cooking or simply watching talented TV chefs show you how it’s done – this is a ‘must save’ date for your diary! In an open-air Cookery Theatre in Mariners Square, hosted on both days by chef, TV presenter and author Chris Bavin, live cookery sessions will feature a mouth-watering lineup of celebrity chefs including:


  • Levi Roots, aka the ‘Dragon Slayer’, entrepreneur and chef – 12:30pm & 3:30pm
  • Crystelle Pereira, baker and author, GBBO finalist 2021 – 11:30 & 2:30pm
  • Freya Cox, vegan baker, GBBO 2021 – 10:30am & 1:30pm
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  • Cherish Finden, multi award winning pastry chef and judge on Bake Off – The Professionals – 11:30am & 2:30pm
  • Sandro Farmhouse, GBBO 2022 Finalist – 12:30pm & 3:30pm
  • Janusz Domagala, GBBO, viewers favourite 2022 – 10:30am & 1:30pm
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When is the Food Festival?

Saturday July 22nd 10am-7pm

Sunday July 23rd 10am-5pm

How to get here:

Gloucester Quays is conveniently located for easy access from M5 motorway, simply exit Junction 12.

To find us using Sat Nav, please enter GL1 5SF.

Chef Recipes:

Food lovers will be able to savour:

Over the festival weekend, food lovers will be able to savour:

  • A whole menu of live demos, where great chefs reveal how to make their favourite dishes
  • Over 150 stalls offering a selection of local food, quality produce and artisan crafts
  • Pop-up bars serving a selection of local brews, craft beer, cocktails, Pimm’s and fizz
  • Some of the region’s best street food, including flavours from around the world, veggie, vegan, sweet treats and more.
  • Live music as you soak up the atmosphere in Orchard Square
  • And the big part of the festival’s attraction is that it is completely free!

We have fun, free activities to keep the little ones entertained too! All the open-air events, displays and cookery sessions are free, so there are lots of things for visitors to see, do and taste.

There is no need to buy tickets for the chef sessions or the Cookery Theatre, however, places for all events are first come, first served – and they go like hotcakes! So, it’s crucial to get to the festival early. As well as lots of stalls tempting visitors with local food, drink and tasty street food – waterside bars and restaurants like Bill’s, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Côte Brasserie, Portivo Lounge and Coal Kitchen will be serving their own freshly cooked specialities and dishes.

And of course, at top brand stores like Le Creuset, Denby and ProCook, inspired shoppers can take home stylish cookware and accessories at up to 70% off the RRP.

The Gloucester Quays Free Food Festival is an unmissable foodie weekend with plenty of time to take it easy and give in to temptation. 

Music Lineup:


11:30-12:15 Flora Fiora

12:30-13:45 Alex Lleo

14:00-15:00 The Bridge

16:15-17:00 Vince Freeman Duo

17:15-18:15 George Montague

Plus a roaming brass band throughout the day


11:30-12:30 Alex Lleo

12:45-13:30 Leo Live

13:45-14:25 Ola Samba

14:45-15:45 Jamie Knight

Plus a roaming brass band throughout the day

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Children’s Activities:

Join us at Pillar & Lucy Square for some fantastic children’s activities.

Decorate delicious cupcakes topped with edible soil and icing carrots or Grow a Garden – Create your own grow a garden egg box and plant fruit and veg seeds to take home and watch grow!

Plus… taste the magic with our Edible Bubbleologist who will create a cascading volcano of edible bubbles for you to bite right out of the air or take a photo with our roaming stiltwalkers*

*These acts will be moving around the event so everyone can take part in the fun!


Carrot Cupcake Decorating 11am – 1:30pm

Grow a Garden – 1:30pm-4pm


Grow a Garden – 11am-1:30pm

Carrot Cupcake Decorating 1:30pm – 4pm

Roaming Stilt Walkers

11:00AM– 11:30AM, 12:30PM – 1:00PM, 1:30PM – 2:00PM and 3:00PM – 3:30PM

Roaming Edible Bubbleologist

11:45AM – 12:25PM, 2:15PM – 2:55PM and 3:20PM – 4:00PM

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Please note, the Food Festival officially closes at 7pm on Saturday & 5pm on Sunday but will start winding down about an hour before so don’t leave it last minute to arrive or you might miss some of the best bits!

 Market stalls will close at 6pm Saturday and 4pm Sunday. Food vendors will trade until event close.

Meet your host

Chris Bavin - Leading face in food TV



Chris’ interest in fresh produce was inspired by working with growers who supplied wholesale fruit & veg markets. This passion led him to found ‘The Naked Grocer’, one of the first zero packaging, no plastic retail businesses.

Chris first hit on our screens in BBC’s ‘Eat Well For Less’. Since then, he has presented ‘Tomorrow’s Food’, ‘The Truth About Meat’, ‘Food: Truth or Scare’ and ‘Shop Well for the Planet’. He has also appeared as a judge and resident fruit & veg expert on BBC’s ‘Best Home Cook’.

As well as being a regular reporter for the BBC’s ‘The One Show’, Chris also presents several property based shows including ‘Wanted: A Simple Life’ and ‘Escape to the Country’. And has shown us his horticultural roots by presenting two series of ‘Britain in Bloom’.

He is also a published author, with two cookbooks to his name, ‘Good Food Sorted’ and ‘Fakeaway’. A regular face at food festivals, Chris hosts and leads informative, fun and entertaining food demos.

Meet your chefs

all info correct at time of publication

Alex Hollywood - Home cook and family food writer

APPEARING: SATURDAY 23 july 11:30 & 14:30

With two popular cookery books under her belt and a devoted following on social media who love her no-fuss approach to cooking, Alex’s quick, simple and delicious food resonates with busy mums everywhere.

She incorporates flavours from her Scandinavian and French heritage, but it was her infectious humour and relatability that led to appearances on numerous programmes from ITV’s ‘This Morning’ and ‘Nadia’s Family Feasts’ to ‘Ainsley’s Food We Love’. In 2015, Alex published her first book ‘My Busy Kitchen’ which was filled with wonderfully accessible family meal recipes. This was followed by the best-selling ‘Cooking Tonight’ in 2017.

joe herd

Joe Hurd - TV chef

APPEARING: SATURDAY 23 july 12:30 & 15:30

Joe’s cooking style is unfussy, accessible and always about the flavour. He’s also passionate about sharing his knowledge of traditional Italian recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques with home cooks.

As a chef, Joe has worked alongside Jamie Oliver, Gennaro Contaldo, Francesco Mazzei and the late, great Antonio Carluccio. He’s a regular guest presenter on BBC 1’s ‘Saturday Kitchen’, on stage at festivals and events across the UK, and has most recently opened V.Botteri – his first Italian grocery & provisions shop at Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire.

Eddie Scott - MasterChef 2022 Champion

APPEARING: SATURDAY 23 july 10:30 & 13:30

Eddie grew up in a family that was very knowledgeable about food. His mother is a great baker and his dad made exciting dishes like Mexican chimichangas. He also used to watch his grandmother on his mother’s side cook amazing Paranthas and his grandfather expertly make Keema.

Eddie loves to cook Punjabi dishes, but his real passion is the great Mughlai cuisine: the historic royal dishes of Old Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad. With a love for classic French and Indian cookery, he likes to experiment with the two cuisines, creating his own fusion of the two foodie cultures.

Since winning MasterChef, Eddie has left his job as a marine pilot and is now turning his love of food into an exciting career. Focussing on taking his cooking to the next level, writing a cookbook and opening his own restaurant. For Eddie, it’s all about sharing the wonderful world of food! 


Jean-Christophe Novelli - Michelin star chef

APPEARING: SUNDAY 24 july 12:30 & 15:30

Following a number of renowned restaurants in London, Cape Town and Normandy, Jean-Christophe’s passion led him to launch his own cookery school, The Novelli Academy, which has grown in popularity ever since its opening.  

Jean-Christophe is famous for his amazing cooking artistry and unique healthy cooking techniques. He’s cooked for Heads of State, Royalty and renowned personalities around the world, hosts private and corporate dinners, and personally runs cookery classes and corporate team-bonding events.

Chef Philli - MasterChef finalist

APPEARING: SUNDAY 24 july 10:30 & 13:30

A cookbook writer, BBC ‘MasterChef’ finalist, not-so-secret food nerd and cat-lover, Chef Philli has a passion for using Asian ingredients to create big flavour meals.

She gained her professional cookery qualifications at the University of West London, while training and learning about different Asian flavours under the Gordon Ramsay group in a Japanese inspired restaurant. She then bought a one-way ticket to travel round Asia and experience the culture and food first-hand. In Tokyo, she staged at world-renowned restaurant Den, before working at Japanese-inspired restaurant Haku in Hong Kong.

Her mission is to get people to try new flavours, such as miso and gochujang – and to make delicious dishes like Sichuan spiced lamb chops, Korean fried chicken burgers and Japanese savoury pancakes.

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matt pritchard

Dirty Vegan Matt Pritchard - TV presenter

APPEARING: SUNDAY 24 july 11:30 & 14:30

Matt’s first cooking series, ‘Dirty Vegan’, premiered on BBC Wales to wide acclaim, coinciding with his vegan cookbook of the same name. The series featured Matt cooking a variety of exciting dishes from a hearty vegan Paella for a women’s rugby team to tasty energy-fuelled meals for school dinners. Matt then published ‘Dirty Vegan: Another Bite’, which was followed by his second series of ‘Dirty Vegan’ TV series, which encouraged the public to try Veganuary and consider a much healthier lifestyle.

As well as being on a mission to prove that plant-based food can be a sustainable lifestyle, Matt is a pro skateboarder and stunt performer.

Music Stage line up

SATURDAY 23 july – 11AM-6PM

Vince Unplugged // Sam Barnfield // John D’Ambrosio // Ola Samba // The Indigos // The Cuginis // Vince Freeman Duo

SUNDAY 24 july – 11AM-5PM

Alex Rainsford // Rob McEwan // The Indigos // Vince Freeman Duo // The Cuginis