Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb welcomes top celebrity chef

Jean-Christophe Novelli will be in Wakefield next month.
Jean-Christophe Novelli will be in Wakefield next month.

Award-winning celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, is joining the line-up for Wakefield’s famous Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb next month.

The three-day festival returns to Wakefield for its 11th year on Friday, February 17 to Sunday, February 19.

Jean-Christophe Novelli is a 5 out of 5 AA Rosette and Michelin award winning chef, who is also dubbed ‘the nation’s favourite French chef’. He will be showcasing his culinary talents at 12.30pm and 2.30pm on Saturday, February 18.

Speaking about the event, Jean-Christophe said: “I am really looking forward to coming to Wakefield to be involved with the Food, Drink and Rhubarb Festival. My demonstrations will be packed with healthy tips, artistic techniques and lots of fun.

“I will be using local produce including Wakefield’s famous Rhubarb.”

He will be joining another celebrity chef, and Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb regular, Rachel Green - star of ITV Yorkshire’s Flying Cook and World on a Plate.

Rachel will be at the festival on Friday, February 17, showing her demonstrations at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Coun Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said: “I’m delighted to welcome Jean-Christophe Novelli to this year’s festival line-up, alongside our own amazing talent from local eateries.

“Jean-Christophe will be a highlight of the cookery demonstrations and I hope many people come along to see him in action.

“The festival is a great opportunity to join the chefs as they share their favourite rhubarb recipes and cook up some tasty treats. And with lots more on offer it’s sure to be a fantastic event for all the family to enjoy.”

This year’s festival also welcomes top local chefs from the Yorkshire area, including Liam Duffy from Iris, Lee Wilkinson from Deli Central, David Greenwood-Haigh from Coeur De Xocolat, Ashley & Ben from Ye Old Sun and many more.

The Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb takes place in Wakefield City centre and runs from 10am – 5pm on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 February, and 10am - 4pm on Sunday 19 February.

Wakefield is part of the Wakefield - Morley - Rothwell rhubarb growing triangle and the plant has played an important part of the local economy for over 150 years.

Wakefield’s famous rhubarb has joined the hallowed ranks of Europe’s protected foods, with the same status as Champagne and Parma Ham.

The festival was established in 2007 and last year attracted more than 125,000 visitors from across the country, with visitors being invited to sample a variety of fine festival foods.

The festival showcases some of the region’s tastiest foods and most talented chefs from across the country, with cookery demonstrations, street food, walks and tours and a deliciously Yorkshire Market combined with street entertainment. More than 40 stalls will be selling a variety of Rhubarb produce from bread, cupcakes, sausages and pies.

To keep up to date with information about this year’s festival, visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/Rhubarb