Meet the Chefs

Introducing the Cookery Theatre Chefs

At this year’s Food Festival 2018 we have an amazing array of chefs from local pubs and restaurants, who will be demonstrating their skills in our Cookery Theatre.

Gill Mellor - Chef - River Cottage






Gill Meller, River Cottage
 Guest Chef at this year’s event is Gill Meller of River Cottage fame. Gill is a chef, food writer, author, food stylist and cookery teacher who has been a part of the River Cottage team for 11 years. Working closely with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Gill has been a major part of all of the activities and development at River Cottage, including sourcing the ethically-produced and sustainable food as well as defining the principles, ethic and style of the food. Gill teaches at the River Cottage Cookery School; his food is humble and un-showy, yet inspiring, spell-bindingly beautiful, and truly delicious. Gill will be holding one-hour cookery demonstrations in the Cookery Theatre on Saturday and Sunday.

Giles Thompson, Earl of March
Giles moved to Danesfield House, Buckinghamshire, as Executive Chef in 1996 where he achieved two AA rosettes and an RAC restaurant award almost immediately for classical cuisine with a contemporary twist. He joined the Ritz as Executive Chef in 1997 where he combined traditional and modern styles to present dishes that fulfilled the customer’s highest expectations.  Giles subsequently took over The Earl of March in Lavant in July 2007.

Hilary Knight, Sussex Food Network
Having had a career in product development, recipe book writing and editing and more recently with small artisan Sussex producers to help bring their products to market, Hilary is a ‘Foodie’ through and through.

Jean de Rien, The Dining Room
The UK’s only singing chef, who has been cooking for over 30 years, winning awards and accolades with his other businesses Vice Puddings, Not So Secret Suppers and Sundowners. Jean has a passion for good food – he champions quality local food production, sitting on the executive of the Worthing Adur Chamber of Commerce Industry and regularly organising events to showcase what’s on offer from Worthing and the local area.

Michael di Bella, The Dean Inn
Michael is the Head Chef at the Dean Inn, he won the National HIT Masterchef award in 2016 and was a finalist for the Pub Chef of the Year 2018 award. Michael takes pride in sourcing his food

Simon Goodman, Duke of Cumberland
Every year, The Good Food Guide team award ‘Editors’ choice Awards’ to eateries who they feel deserve the highest recognition. In 2012 The Duke won this prestigious award! Simon Goodman, head chef and owner of the Duke of Cumberland, was named UK Pub Chef of the Year 2010, he was also named winner of the ‘roast’ category.

William Jack, The Richmond Arms
William Jack has owned the Richmond Arms in West Ashling for four and a half years with his wife Emma. Previously he was a personal chef to Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve, which gave him the opportunity to travel all over Europe exposing him to different cultures and ingredients. He opened the doors of the Richmond Arms in January 2011. In 2013 he opened up his pizza restaurant called ‘WoodFired’ the concept won Business Innovation of the Year in the PMA’s Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2015. He has won a number of awards, including best new entry in the Good Food Guide’s Editors’ Awards 2014.

Return to the Food Festival event page here.