Shoppers were in foodie heaven as they enjoyed more than 20 stalls selling treats from bread, cheese, olives, pasta sauces and wine to chocolate, cupcakes and popcorn.
Britain’s Best BBQer Ben Bartlett also provided lots of handy hints and tips as he demonstrated his BBQ skills on the bandstand and there was the chance to take part in workshops from chocolate making and cupcake decorating to sushi and cocktails.
Celebrity chef Lesley Waters, a favourite on This Morning and best known for her 16 years on television programme Ready Steady Cook entertained the crowds as she made mouth-watering dishes on the Aga Rangemaster Cookery Theatre main stage.
Sussex based vegetarian chef John Bayley kicked off the day with a fabulous vegetarian brunch menu before helping the winners of the schools Design a Pizza competition recreate their winning designs live on stage. John also played sous chef to Heart FM’s Toby Anstis, who was a very enthusiastic participant in a Ready Steady Cook challenge. Toby, in Waitrose apron and hat, created spicy salmon fishcakes, potato wedges and salad from his bag of ingredients, with help from Waitrose Bracknell branch cook Lucy Barnes.
All twelve finalists from the Design a Pizza competition held with local schools and groups attended on the day to receive goody bags from Bracknell Town Council Mayor Shelagh Pile. The finalists were:
Years 1 & 2
Niamh Power Age 6 Year 1 The Pines School
George Henson Age 7 Year 2 2nd Bracknell Boys Brigade
Alexander Gleeson Age 7 Year 2 St Michael’s School, Easthampstead
Carli Smurthwaite-James Age 5 Year 1 Holly Spring Infants School
Paige Simpson Age 6 Year 1 The Pines School
Years 3 – 6
Aaron Cox Age 10 Year 5 St Margarets Clitherow Primary
Gino Ferrari Age 10 Year 5 2nd Bracknell Boys Brigade
Sharn Howard Age 10 Year 6 Binfield C of E Primary
Matthew Brancaccio Age 9 Year 4 St Michaels, Easthampstead
Ellie Harrop Age 10 Year 5 Binfield C of E Primary School
Charlotte Mason Age 10 Year 6 Binfield C of E Primary School
Jack Giles Age 11 Year 6 The Pines School
Winner of the competition in the Years 1 and 2 age category was Carli Smurthwaite-James, aged 5, who is in Year 1 at Holly Spring Infant School. Carli’s entry was titled ‘The Holiday Pizza’, which Lesley Waters picked because ‘it was so happy and smiley, and we all need a bit of that this summer!’ In the Years 3-6 category, the winner was Sharn Howard, aged 10, who is a Year 6 pupil at Binfield C of E Primary school. Sharn’s pizza was titled ‘The World in One Pizza’, which had a design where the toppings on the pizza looked like a map of the world. Lesley commented on the design’s uniqueness and the ‘stunning artwork.’ Both winners received an additional goody bag from Waitrose of ingredients, and equipment such as a pizza tray, so that they can create their delicious pizza designs at home.
Rob Morris, General Manager of Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP) said, ‘The event was a huge success. BRP works hard to create events like this that the town can be proud of. It was fantastic to see so many people coming out to support their town and enjoying what Bracknell town centre has to offer.’