7th & 8th September 2024
Weymouth Peninsula

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The Chef's Theatre

Always a festival highlight, we’re thrilled to welcome some of the region’s top chefs and culinary experts to our two demonstration stages, for a masterclass in seafood cookery.

Want to know how to pan fry the perfect scallop, dress a crab, make a silky smooth bisque or create an irresistible seafood pasta? We know someone who knows. Just watch this space.

This year’s menu of delicious chefs and experts is growing fast. We’ll keep updating this page but you can also register now or follow the Festival on Facebook, Instagram or X (formerly Twitter) for all the latest news about our Chefs Theatre.

Steven Lamb

Steven returns as compere for the Festival. He is a curing and smoking expert, teacher, presenter, culinary consultant and award-winning author. After a background in media, Steven’s food career began nearly 20 years ago when he joined Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage team, regularly appearing in the TV series and being instrumental in establishing the internationally acclaimed cookery school.

Mike Naidoo

Executive Chef at Weymouth’s Michelin-listed Catch at the Old Fish Market, Mike is the talk of the town following Giles Coren’s recent review in The Times, calling Catch ‘the best restaurant in the world’! Mike’s flair for creating exceptional dishes and his passion for incorporating the finest, freshest local and seasonal ingredients has landed him and Catch in a series of magazines and television shows, most recently Great British Menu.

Benjamin Palmer

Award-winning chef Benjamin Palmer returned to his home town of Looe to open The Sardine Factory in July 2018. His passion for the kitchen has won him a number of accolades, including reaching the quarter finals of Masterchef: The Professionals and the Great British Menu banquet. Ben and his team received a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2019 and have retained it since.

Nigel Bloxham

Festival regular, Nigel Bloxham is Chef Proprietor of Weymouth’s famous Crab House Café, as well as Billy Winters Bar & Diner. Nigel is a top chef and author and knows a thing or two about seafood! He also owns a successful Oyster Farm at the Fleet. He’ll be on stage both Saturday and Sunday and looks forward to sharing his knowledge and passion with you.

Susy Atkins

Susy is an award-winning wine writer & presenter, a weekly online columnist for The Telegraph and Wine Editor of Delicious Magazine. Susy loves the Dorset Seafood Festival and we have been lucky enough to have had her support for many years. She will be running a wine tasting session on the stage on each day, accompanied by Will Perkins, Head Winemaker at Louis Pommery England’s Pinglestone Estate. Make sure to grab your seat and glass! 

Philippa Davis

Chef and food writer, Philippa grew up with her extended family on a small farm in rural Dorset.  She moved to London and worked at Michelin starred The River Café and Moro before setting up the award winning café, Mudchute Kitchen, on London’s largest city farm. For the last 12 years she has worked internationally as a private chef, appearing regularly on TV, and writing for BBC Food, The Field, House & Garden and Dorset magazines. You can follow her foodie adventures on @philippa-davis.food.

Charlie Jeffreys

Hailing from Dorset, Charlie has been a finalist of Masterchef: The Professionals and is looking forward to returning to the Festival. Charlie is currently living in Dorset and working on something very special! A keen supporter of all things fish, Charlie will be showcasing a fantastic dish using (depending on what the boats bring in) red mullet.

Kasae Fraser

A 2023 MasterChef finalist, Kasae is Australian born, but has worked as a chef in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, including Michelin star restaurants Operakallaren and Oaxen Krog. She now lives in the UK where she takes inspiration from a wide background of ingredients and styles, and currently works with her partner, Vincent Gatay, hosting private dining and supper clubs with Our Table.

James Mearing

Executive Chef at the Summer Lodge Country Hotel & Restaurant, After starting out as a teacher, James became a chef a little later in his career, at a local restaurant in East Coker before building his experience in various high-quality kitchens, including The Wild Rabbit. Working as Senior Sous Chef alongside Dan Moon, he was fundamental in achieving three Rosettes at The Gainsborough Bath Spa.

Angus Cowan

An experienced chef with a pedigree in some of London’s most loved restaurants, Angus, alongside his partner, Charlotte, is the founder of Sea Sisters. Born during lockdown, the company became the first new business to can fish in England since the 1940s. Based in Bridport, Seas Sisters is about quality British seafood, clear provenance and creating original ideas with maximum flavour. Angus will be showing you some delicious recipes ideas you can create using Sea Sisters cans.

Gus Caslake

Southwest Regional Manager at Seafish and fishing authority, Gus is compère and king of The Bay Stage. He’s been in the seafood industry for nearly 40 years and knows pretty much everything there is to know about fish and shellfish. The Festival team relies on him heavily to keep us up to date with the latest news about sustainability and responsibly sourced seafood.

Ian Hewitt

Ian’s background stretches from fine private dining to making a splash catering for the UK Olympic Sailing team. These days he shares his passion for cooking by teaching Food Technology to younger generations.

Duncan Lucas

The king of filleting, helping to raise thousands for The Fishermen’s Mission with his extraordinary fish auctions. Duncan is a passionate seafood preparation demonstrator with over 40 years’ experience in the industry, regularly travelling the world to widen his expertise. Catch Duncan across both stages on both days.

Ashley Perry

Catering Skills Lead & Avenue Manager at Weymouth College, Ashley has worked in kitchens across the globe. He’s no stranger to the demo stage and will be joined this year by Weymouth College students creating their own seafood dishes. Come and give these upcoming chefs your support! You’ll also find Ashley leading the FREE School of Fish Kids Cookery Workshops.

Louise Perry-Warne

Louise is chef and owner of Flames and Feasts, cooking for private functions and pop-up feasts across the South West. Her events are built around the open fire cookery celebrating local produce, botanicals and fauna from field, to hedgerow, to the seas, and onto the fires before touching the plate.

Mark Woodhouse

Mark, a firm favourite at the Festival, is a family Director of Hall & Woodhouse, the famous Dorset brewery and this year’s Festival sponsor. Mark will be hosting fun and informative Badger Beer and cheese pairing tutorials, featuring Fropical Ferret; treasured returning peachy classic Golden Glory; the popular Golden Champion; and Twice Tangled. Cheers!

Register now or follow the Festival on Facebook, Instagram or X (formerly Twitter) for all the latest news about our Chefs Theatre.

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