Welcome to Feast with a Chef, which brings great food cooked by Britain’s top chefs to the simple and friendly surroundings of a village hall. We’re lucky enough to have been cooked dinners by a star-studded lineup of chefs including Michael Wignall, Ottolenghi’s head chef Ramael Scully, David Everitt-Matthias, Richard Davies, Emily Watkins, Matt Gillan, MasterChef Pro winner Steven Edwards, John Campbell, Silla Bjerrum, Will Holland and Nathan Outlaw. All have been sellouts. Most feasts have been in Long Ashton near Bristol, but we’ve also run feasts in Abergavenny (as part of the Food Festival) and in Oxford (to launch Ottolenghi’s NOPI Cookbook).
Great food deserves great wines so we ask a local wine expert to select wines of varying prices to match the evening’s menu and we sell them, plus local ciders, beers and juices, at our licensed bar. Scroll down to read what both chefs and diners thought of the overall village hall feast experience.
So what’s cooking in 2017? We’ve a great lineup of feasts to kick off the year – so why not buy tickets to them as Christmas presents for those friends who have everything?
In January, we’ll be banishing the winter blues with a four-course Welsh Winter Feast cooked by Richard Davies, the Bridgend-born head chef at Epicure at Celtic Manor, near Newport, which opened in February 2016. Richard’s illustrious past includes three years working for Gordon Ramsay at his 3-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, spells at The Vineyard in Berkshire (under John Campbell) and at Sawyards in Sussex (where he earned a Michelin star after just five months), and eight years as executive chef at The Manor House, Castle Combe, where he won a Michelin star. Richard has also represented Wales three times on BBC2’s Great British Menu, the third time making it all the way to the banquet with his winning ‘strawberries and cream’ dessert. He will be putting his inimitable stamp on some of the finest ingredients Wales has to offer – and for those of you with a sweet tooth, providing some awesome petits fours to boot!
In February, Feast with a Chef is on the move again. Following the huge success of our Dawn Chorus Feast last April, we’re venturing to the Somerset Levels at dusk to watch starlings forming magnificent murmurations, one of nature’s winter wonders. Guided by bird expert and broadcaster Stephen Moss, we’ll hope to witness the breathtaking spectacle of birds swooping in their thousands before diving down to roost in the reeds. As usual, Feast with a Chef will provide handmade gourmet sustenance, using local Somerset ingredients. Menu: hot soup, a hot pasty and a piece of Somerset apple cake. We’ll meet at a nature reserve on the Avalon Marshes approximately an hour’s drive south of Bristol – joining details will be sent on booking. Numbers are strictly limited so book soon to be sure of a place (please indicate if vegetarian when booking). Sorry, no children under 14.
You may have met Stephen Moss at the Dawn Chorus Feast, for which he was one of the birding leaders. For those who don’t know him, he’s one of the UK’s leading authorities on birds, a broadcaster and television producer, and author of over 30 books on birds and British wildlife. He teaches an MA in Travel & Nature Writing at Bath Spa University, writes a Birdwatch column for The Guardian, and is President of Somerset Wildlife Trust.
Note: Obviously we are working with nature here and nature can be unpredictable. So there’s an extremely slim chance that starlings will not appear, in which case Stephen will talk about the other birds on the Marshes (hence the ‘plus’.) The Feasting bit, however, is definite!
PLEASE NOTE: THE FEB 4TH STARLING FEAST IS FULL – PLEASE EMAIL TO GO ON WAITING LIST.
We’re also planning a feast in March, so watch this space for further details.
WELSH WINTER FEAST
cooked by Richard Davies
Head Chef Epicure, Celtic Manor
Sunday 29th January at 6pm
Long Ashton village hall, Bristol, BS41 9DP
£45 for four courses plus bread, coffee/tea & petits fours
SOUP & STARLINGS PLUS
led by bird expert broadcaster Stephen Moss
Saturdays February 4th & 11th at 3.45pm
4TH FEBRUARY WAITING LIST ONLY
Avalon Marshes, Somerset Levels
£25 for walk and snack supper on the hoof
How to book
Payment through PayPal using the form below will secure you a seat. Your PayPal receipt is your acknowledgement of purchase and is your ticket – no other ticket will be issued. Guests will receive joining instructions one week before a feast. No refunds can be given. If you are vegetarian, please indicate this at time of booking so chef can come prepared – requests on the night cannot be accommodated. (If vegetarian please state if you eat fish). Due to the pop-up nature of the feasts and to keep ticket prices down, we regret chefs cannot make special dishes to suit other dietary requirements. If you’re part of a group please indicate this clearly (stating lead name) so we seat you together. If booking on behalf of others, please give us their email addresses so that they can be sent joining instructions.
What’s been cooking
ABOUT FEAST WITH A CHEF
The idea of Feast with a Chef is to provide top-notch food in a setting that’s friendly, relaxed and affordable – so where better than a village hall? We call it ‘Fine dining without the starch.’ How did it all start? As a food writer I interview a lot of top chefs. Keen to make first-class food available to a wider audience, I asked some I knew if they’d be willing to cook pop-up Feasts in village halls. Happily they agreed, and at Halloween 2013 2-Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall got the ball rolling by cooking a feast for 150 in the village hall in Long Ashton, near Bristol. Since then many more have cooked amazing feasts. If there are chefs you think we should invite – or if you’re a top-drawer chef and fancy cooking for us – do get in touch.
Feast with a Chef, 36 Royal Albert Road, Bristol BS6 7NY
Illustrations by Ann Edwards www.annedwardsart.co.uk
Orwells photography by @StephenPerez70; Nathan Outlaw by Tania Richards; Dawn Chorus Feast by Ingrid Kvale & Tania Richards; Will Holland & Chris Harrod by Phil Chisnall; Scully (NOPI cookbook Feast) by Stuart Ovenden; Matt Gillan (Michaelmas Feast) by Roger Menaldino; John Campbell and Steven Edwards by Chris Speller; Scully and Richard Davies by Ingrid Kvale; Matt Gillan and Silla Bjerrum by Stephanie Chadwick; Emily Watkins by Jeff Hargreaves; Michael Wignall and David Everitt-Matthias by Charlotte Scott