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‘Trout n' about’, ‘Kill and Cure’ and ‘Run Rabbit Run!’ take to the stage at Craft Guild of Chef

The Craft Guild of Chefs counts down to its eighth annual Universal Cookery & Food

Festival (UCFF). With one week to go, the team are excited about hosting another fun and inspirational event.

Ian Nottage, Craft Guild of Chefs UCFF chef director says:

“As we fast approach UCFF 2019 we are all hugely excited and really pleased with how the festival is shaping up. We have a great line up of chefs, speakers and industry experts taking to the 2 stages and tackling the issues and topics of the moment affecting our industry. I am particularly proud of the number of female representatives we have speaking from all walks of foodservice life to bring their thoughts, ideas and perspective across a range of subjects.”

The unique event will take place at Bottom Farm, home to Farrington Oils in Northamptonshire, on Tuesday 25th June 2019.

Established in 2012, UCFF was the brainchild of Lee Maycock, Ian Nottage and John Feeney during their time as Craft Guild of Chefs committee members. Designed by chefs, for chefs, this year’s UCFF is back with more interesting and exciting topics on its main stage and game stage. It is an excellent opportunity for foodservice professionals to gather and listen to thoughts and experiences from great chefs, industry experts, producers, suppliers, growers and thought leaders.

Lee Maycock, Craft Guild of Chefs UCFF chef director comments:

“Now in our eighth year, we will again be bringing together farmers, growers, suppliers and chefs to support the link from field to fork. This year’s UCFF will discuss key topics for 2019/2020 such as crowdfunding, Brexit, single-use plastic, female chefs, sustainable and seasonal food, and will be showcasing local food heroes.”

He adds, “We also have a strong wild game element. This year, we have an additional game cookery demonstration stage, clay pigeon shooting, falconry and the support from BASC (British Association for Shooting & Conservation) for a second year. Additionally, we will be supporting a local charity called Faraway and will collaborate with Fruitful Abundance to contribute food donations.”

Nottage says, “This is particularly relevant this year as we have a big focus on game and this will give the festival-goers first-hand experience of shooting a shotgun and learn from the experts at BASC how they can get into shooting and conservation and the importance of countryside stewardship and maintenance and how sustainable game is.

This year, we have also gone back even further into how wild food was sourced and will have a display of hunting hawks and an expert commentary from CJ’s birds of prey into how these beautiful birds were used historically to provide meat for the table.”

Focussing on the theme ‘From the Land’, the main stage will focus on seven main feature topics comprising of; Standing out from the crowd, Mum’s in the kitchen, Plastic population, Shooting stars, Local heroes, From the land and The b word! what next? The main stage will be hosted by BBC Radio presenter Nigel Barden.

The game stage will present fun and attention-grabbing topics comprising Stop the Pigeon!, Kill and Cure, Trout n' about, Run Rabbit Run!, The Buck Stops here!, and The Pheasant Pluckers Fun. During these sessions, visitors can expect to see speakers including Darron Smith, director and executive chef at The Legstraps and the Horse & Jockey. He will be prepping wood pigeon shot over peas. Rich Summers butchery/charcuterie specialist and tutor from Summers Butchery Services will be making venison salami from scratch, and Jose Souto, senior chef lecturer in culinary arts at Westminster Kingsway College will be skinning and butchering a full deer. Additionally, Ralph Skripek 'The Wild Chef' from The Butler's Pantry (Derby) Limited will be on stage cooking a shot rabbit 'Smoked rabbit and asparagus ragu on tagliatelle pasta, with a Stilton and Porchini mushroom sauce'.

Skripek comments:

“I am delighted to be exhibiting on stage at the upcoming UCFF. At a time when cookery programmes and celebrity chefs have a great influence on the general public, we as professionals can influence the use of game, and make it more acceptable as an everyday meat.”

He adds, “I am proud to support the Craft Guild of Chefs at this event, their aims and objectives to the hospitality industry are support, education and training, and in return giving chefs the recognition that they deserve in an ever-changing and sometimes challenging industry. Cooking is not just a job, it's a passion, and we need to support and encourage the next generation of chefs.”

Visitors can book a place on the farm and factory tours. A true field-to-bottle experience, the Farrington’s Mellow Yellow farm tour will begin in a rapeseed field on Bottom Farm, to Farrington’s production facility where attendees will see the cold pressing method used to produce the oil.

With the Guild’s passion in inspiring and introducing talented young chefs to the industry, they have collaborated with The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) to host one of their study tours at the event, which will run from 24th - 26th June 2019. The unique event offers head chefs, catering managers and development chefs the opportunity to experience several established and upcoming trends, network with chefs from commercial restaurants and ultimately, take away ideas back to their institutions.

The Universal Cookery & Food Festival opens at 7:45 am with a 50-strong supplier exhibition. The festival commences from 9am-5pm. This will be followed by a BBQ cook-off, dinner and band, closing at 10 pm.

To see the official programme, including the full list of speakers visit

Tickets are still available and cost just £120+VAT each. This includes food and drink throughout the day (breakfast, lunch and refreshments), along with a BBQ and evening entertainment.

If you are a course leader or lecturer and would like to make a group booking including your students, please call the UCFF team on 01293 854 403.

For more information, including a list of local hotels in the area, please visit

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