7th & 8th September 2024
Weymouth Peninsula

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Big Chef, Little Chef, Burnt Chef

Chef Line up, Children’s Cookery School and The Burnt Chef Project at SEAFEAST 2022

A big focus for the award-winning Dorset Seafood Festival, held at Weymouth peninsula on the 10th and 11th September are the chefs.  The Festival has always championed brilliant chefs and many indicate that their passion for cooking started at a young age. A new feature at last year’s Festival was ‘School of Fish’ a pop-up cookery school for children and the team are delighted to bring this back for 2022.  Places can be pre-booked for FREE. 

Simon Gray commented: “The programme is designed to help children learn how to cook and enjoy fish as part of a balanced diet.  As before, there will be around 8 sessions per day and children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. I highly recommend pre-booking as so many children missed out last year due to its popularity! Depending on age, participants will learn how to prepare anything from mussels to mackerel. Thanks to the Food Teachers Centre supported by the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust for this wonderful opportunity.”

The Festival is also proud to be highlighting The Burnt Chef Project, a registered non-profit set up with the sole intention of eradicating the mental health stigma within hospitality sectors. We are constantly reminded that mental health is just not talked about enough and that people feel that they can’t reach out. The Burnt Chef Project was set up in 2019, specifically to support the hospitality trade. Long antisocial hours, tough environmental conditions and pressures to perform are just some of the issues that hospitality professionals are fighting against on a daily basis. James Burger and Matt Budden are two of The Burnt Chef Ambassadors and SEAFEAST is delighted to welcome them both to the Festival this year. The pair shall be demoing on stage together with a Ready Steady Cook style show! James, head chef at Butcombe Brewery, made his debut at the Festival last year and we are delighted to have him back. Matt Budden has been involved with the Festival for many years and is the Executive Head Chef at Schpoons & Forx in Bournemouth. Matt and James shall be treating us to a cook off whilst telling us all about The Burnt Chef Project.

Kris Hall, Founder of The Burnt Chef Project commented: “We’re thrilled to have been invited to join the incredible team down at SEAFEAST this year, educating those outside the industry about some of the difficulties hospitality professions face is just part of paving the way for a healthier and more sustainable place of work. Our Ambassadors play a very important role in the work we do here at The Burnt Chef Project and we’re looking forward to spreading awareness and challenging the stigma of mental health within the SEAFEAST community. I’m sure the very talented James and Matt  will certainly give you a cook off to remember!”

  • Mitch Tonks, who opened his seafood restaurant, Rockfish in Weymouth a few years ago, will be joined on stage by Mark Hix, celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer
  • Nigel Bloxham from the award-winning The Crab House Café
  • Mike Naidoo of Catch at the Old Fish Market 
  • Harriet Mansell of Robin Wylde in Lyme Regis and she also appeared in Great British Menu in 2020
  • Mark Woodhouse family Director of Hall & Woodhouse will be hosting a Badger Beer and cheese pairing tutorial
  • Susy Atkins award-winning drinks columnist for The Sunday Telegraph and Stella magazine hosting a wine tasting session with Dorset English Sparkling Wines, Bride Valley, Furleigh Estate and Langham
  • Duncan Lucas is the king of filleting 
  • Gus Caslake is our compere on The Bay Stage
  • Steven Lamb is the presenter on The Harbour Stage 
  • Richard Stokes Is part of Fin Boys, with a fish butchery and restaurant in Cambridge. Miraval Wines will be on stage with Richard with a Seafood Pairing Master Class and Tasting Session
  • Matt Budden is Executive Head Chef at Schpoons & Forx, part of the Hilton Bournemouth. The Burnt Chef Ambassador
  • Caroline Drever – Caroline heads up the shore side operation of Dorset Shellfish. 
  • James Burger – Head Chef at Butcombe Brewery in the New Forest. The Burnt Chef Ambassador
  • Christian Ørner Private Chef at SALT Cø

The Festival is one of the most celebrated weekends in Weymouth’s event calendar and helps to raise money for The Fishermen’s Mission; the only fishermen’s charity that provides emergency support alongside practical and emotional care.


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