The UK’s biggest celebrity food and drink festival is heading to Chelmsford for a 3-day weekend event with big name chefs, live theatre and music.

Foodies Festival will be at Hylands Estate for the very first time between Friday 1 and Sunday 3 October, featuring MasterChef and Great British Bake Off champions, music from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and food from around the world.

Masterclasses with MasterChef winners

Cooking masterclasses from chef Alex Webb

Visitors can enjoy a Cake & Bake Theatre, a Drinks Theatre with wine, champagne, beer and cocktails, and catch a masterclass in the Chefs’ Theatre. Essex-born ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ champion Alex Webb won the BBC series in 2020 and he’s looking forward to cooking for a local audience.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be touring around the country with Foodies Festivals this summer, and it’s a pleasure taking part on my home turf too. I’ve been working on lots of delicious new recipes, and I can’t wait to see you all in person and cook live on stage!”

Alex Webb, MasterChef: The Professionals champion 2020

Food and drink from Essex and around the world

More than 150 exhibitors will showcase their produce, providing festivalgoers with an opportunity to sample both the best of Essex, and try a huge selection of delicious food from around the world. Festival director Sue Hitchen says she can’t wait to bring the festival to Chelmsford.

“Hylands Estate is such a beautiful venue with a popular food market. We will be celebrating local produce and giving top Essex chefs an opportunity to cook live in the Chefs’ Theatre. There is such a great foodie scene in Essex, and I know that Foodies will be made very welcome.”

Sue Hitchen, festival director

Music from Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor is performing
Sophie Ellis-Bextor headlines on Saturday

Live music is a big part of Foodies Festival and more than 50 bands and artists will entertain the crowds across the long weekend, including Lady Gaga tribute act Maybe Gaga and Ultimate Coldplay, voted the UK’s best Coldplay tribute band. Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is the festival’s biggest star and she’ll be performing on Saturday.

“I’ve been doing my live-streamed kitchen discos since the first lockdown, but what a joy it will be to finally get out of my kitchen to appear at the biggest food festival of the year! I’m really looking forward to performing live to the Chelmsford audience, and sampling some of the lovely food on offer.”

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, singer

Activities to keep kids entertained

If you’re bringing children to Foodies, there’s plenty to keep kids entertained, including a special cookery school with a teddy bears’ picnic theme, where kids can make simple food to take away. There’s also a funfair, sand art, craft tents, face painting and plenty of other family-friendly areas.

Accompanied children under 12 go free and adult tickets are £19. Weekend tickets are £29. Find out more, including how to book at the Foodies website: and if you prefer to book by phone, call 0844 9951111.

By Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at or on 01245 606984.

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