Truro Food Festival has promised that the chef line-up at this year’s event will be a 50/50 split of male and female chefs.
Organisers have also announced that superstar chef Jack Stein – Rick’s son – and MasterChef 2019 winner Irini Tzortzoglou have been signed up to headline the event.
The inaugural Truro Food Festival takes place on the weekend of September 27.
Lee Bater, festival director, added: “We’re thrilled to have Jack and Irini headlining our inaugural year and we look forward to announcing the rest of our 50/50 chef line-up very soon.
“We believe that this is the first time a pledge to welcome equal numbers of female and male chefs to the stage has been made by a food festival and we’re strongly behind that equality of opportunity in our programming.”
Truro Food Festival will be a city-wide celebration of Cornish food and drink with a vibrant programme of daytime events and evening entertainment centred around Lemon Quay and Boscawen Street, with a restaurant trail and pop-up workshops across the city.
Daytime content will include celebrity and local chefs’ demonstrations, gourmet street food stalls, family fun, live music and the Cornish Food Hall showcasing the best Cornish produce.
The evenings will bring plenty of live music, plus an array of Cornish beers and ciders. The festival will also be organising a charity dinner with profits donated to the Trussell Trust, a charity that aims to end hunger and poverty in the UK.
Tzortzoglou was crowned winner of MasterChef 2019.
Throughout the competition she successfully used a variety of traditional Greek ingredients in dishes, consistently impressing the judges as well as guest chefs such as Raymond Blanc and Michel Roux Jr.
In the competition final, her take on classic Greek dishes elevated to a new level in her uniquely playful style which won over the judges, John Torode and Gregg Wallace, and she was crowned the popular winner.
Born on the island of Crete, Tzortzoglou’s early memories consist of a scarcity of luxuries but an abundance of fresh, homegrown food in a loving home full of people. At the age of 20, she started working in her uncle’s hotel on Crete.
In 1980, she came to London where for the next 30 years worked in banking, studied for professional qualifications and later for a History of Art degree. In 2010 she moved with her husband John to the village of Carmel in Cumbria and found great appreciation of food, cooking and entertainment there.
The focus is on quality and freshness of produce – themes reminiscent of Tzortzoglou’s upbringing. In 2018 she decided to enter MasterChef, driven by the desire to show case Greek produce, to inspire the young and encourage the old to pursue their own dreams.
She said: “I’m a firm believer in fantastic ingredients and Cornwall is a place that certainly has those in abundance. I’m very excited to come and try some of the local produce and use it to create Greek dishes that everyone can try cooking at home.”
Born in Cornwall, Stein began his career in the hospitality industry as a kitchen porter at The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, owned by his parents.
At 16 he moved to front of house where he stayed throughout his education. In 2003 he returned to the Seafood Restaurant as commis chef before taking up the position of sous chef at Rick Stein’s Café.
Stein has travelled extensively, notably working at Le Regelade in Paris and Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Australia before exploring the Far East and Japan. Now chef director across the Rick Stein Group, his TV profile is rising fast.
In the first half of 2019 he filmed the second series of Born to Cook and a series with his brother called Wine, Dine, Stein in South Africa. He’s also filmed Inside the Box, which is scheduled to transmit on the Good Food channel later this year. In 2018, he released his debut cook book, World on a Plate, inspired by his global travels.
He said: “I’m delighted to be headlining the first ever Truro Food Festival with Irini, a city-wide celebration of the amazing food and drink that is produced across Cornwall.
“For my Chef’s Theatre demo, in collaboration with St Austell Brewery, I’ll be cooking a series of dishes that pair perfectly with a variety of Cornish beers. From clean, crisp and refreshing Korev to the big, bold and hoppy taste of Proper Job, I’ll be showing festival goers how to create the ideal flavour matches for their favourite beers when cooking at home.”
Stein has recently renewed his partnership with Chef’s Theatre sponsor, St Austell Brewery. As an ambassador for the brewer’s core brands including flagship, Tribute Pale Ale, the chef will be developing a collection of food matches to complement the taste notes of each beer.
Find more details and latest news at trurofoodfestival.com or follow the event on Facebook or Instagram @trurofoodfestival