Newmarket gears up for popular Food and Drink Festival this weekend

chef and TV presenter Rosemary Shrager

Thousands of food enthusiasts are expected to attend the popular Newmarket Food and Drink Festival this weekend.

Celebrating local and regional food and drink at the Festival’s new venue, the Jockey Club Rooms, the free, family-friendly event, which kicks off on Saturday (11th September), supports local traders and provides a variety of entertainment over the two days.

The Festival opens at 10am each day and finishes at 5pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. Visitors can enjoy the finest cuisine and drink, from freshly prepared street food and independent bars to artisan grocery products and breweries, with over 50 producers showcasing their wares. There is also live entertainment with performances from a host of local bands and musicians including The Hooligans and Flaming June.

Key highlights of the event are undoubtedly the live Cookery Theatre, supported by Corney & Barrow – one of the oldest independent wine merchants in the UK – as celebrity chefs alongside some of the region’s top chefs take to the main stage to showcase their favourite dishes. BBC Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Chris Mann is compering the Cookery Theatre, whilst The Wine Tipster, Neil Phillips, offers his expert advice on wine pairings for each dish prepared on stage.

The celebrity chef line-up appearing in the Cookery Theatre this year includes chef and TV presenter Rosemary Shrager (pictured) and Tristan Welch, a regular on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen and Chef Director at Parker’s Tavern in Cambridge. Both Rosemary and Tristan are currently appearing in ITV’s Cooking with the Stars.

Top regional chefs set to demonstrate their favourite dishes include Mark Abbott, head chef of the 2 Michelin Star restaurant Midsummer House in Cambridge, one of only 11 restaurants in the UK and Ireland to hold two stars and the only one in the region; Adam Spicer, Head Chef at All Saints Hotel, Fornham, Cambridgeshire Chef of the year (2017) and a MasterChef finalist (2019); Steve Angier, Head Chef at The Packhorse Inn; Mark Elvin, Head Chef at the Elveden Estate; and Daniel Perjesi, Head Chef at The Jockey Club Rooms.

Among the stallholders are many of the East of England’s top artisan producers including DJ Wines, who produce wines and liqueurs using local fruits and grapes grown in Suffolk; filled Chocolates, chocolate buttons, chocolate dipped fruit, cakes, tray bakes, and chocolate making kits from Newmarket’s Artistry in Cocoa; several regional award-winners including Hadley’s Ice Cream; Harrison Chocolatiers; Three Counties Field Kitchen – a husband and wife team who use produce from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk; Christmas puddings, plum Puddings, sticky puddings and more from LillyPuds Ltd; and vegan and organic afro-Caribbean food from Mama’s Kitchen, among many, many more! It truly is a regional Festival that caters to all tastes. A full list of exhibitors can be viewed via the Festival website early next week.

Visitors can also enjoy the alfresco dining area and a selection of bars selling prosecco, cocktails or beers – including Gentleman Jim's mobile bar, a finalist in the Cambridge News Food & Drink Awards 2017, and Blush Brothers, a mobile Bar serving local craft beers and organic cocktails from Norwich. For the first time this year, visitors can buy a reusable branded Newmarket Food & Drink Festival pint. The glasses are £3 each and are available from the on-site bars.

The live music stage hosts a sterling line-up of artists and bands performing across a range of genres, including The Hooligans, a family band based in Saffron Walden, who specialise in traditional Irish music. The Hooligans have played at Cambridge’s Big Weekend and the Cambridge Folk Festival; they were hugely popular in 2019 and are sure to get feet tapping. Not to be missed! Also playing is the equally energetic and folky Flaming June, an FATEA Award winner featured on BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing with a new album due out shortly.

Sponsors for the event include Newmarket BID – Love Newmarket, Corney & Barrow, and G’s Fresh. The Festival proudly raises money that goes towards the local charities supported by the Henry Cecil Open Weekend.

Speaking ahead of the event, Anthony Gardiner from G’s Fresh said: “G’s is delighted to continue our involvement in the Newmarket Food and Drink Festival. The Festival makes a welcome return post Covid and is a great opportunity to highlight the healthy fresh produce grown in the East Anglia Fens to our friends and neighbours.”

Live Cookery Theatre Schedule:






11.00 – 11.45am


Daniel Perjesi

Head Chef

The Jockey Club Rooms, Newmarket



Steve Angier

Head Chef

The Packhorse Inn, Moulton





12.00 – 12.45pm


Mark Elvin

Head Chef

Elveden Estate



Tristan Welch

Chef Director

Parker’s Tavern, Cambridge





1.00 – 1.45pm


West Suffolk College


Rosemary Shrager

Chef & TV Presenter







2.00 - 2.45pm


Jake Howells

Senior Sous Chef

Bedford Lodge Hotel



Mark Abbot

Head Chef

Midsummer House, Cambridge






3.00 – 3.45pm


Shoba Aziz

Rays Indian



Adam Spicer

Head Chef

All Saints Hotel, Fornham


NB: all times are subject to change   

For more information about the Festival, visit here.

The Newmarket Food and Drink Festival is supported by the Henry Cecil Open Weekend, which takes place the following weekend in and around Newmarket.

The Festival media partner is BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.  

Keep up to date with the Festival on social media via Facebook: @nktfoodanddrink and Instagram: @nktfoodanddrink

To read more information, click here.