The King of the Notting Hill Carnival, Norman Jay, has been confirmed as our first guest for The Good Life Experience 2017! Norman Jay MBE is unquestionably one of the most respected and popular DJs in the world today. Co-founder of the legendary Good Times Sound System and London dance music station KISS FM, Jay fostered the ‘Rare Groove’ scene pushing the boundaries of the UK’s emerging club culture. Awarded an MBE for services to deejaying and music, he recently compiled his most eclectic compilation to date, ‘Good Times Skank & Boogie’, and he continues to convert generations of clubbers to the cause, championing new sounds, yet never forgetting his musical roots.
Valentine trained as a portrait painter before putting down the brush to pick up the spoon. Today he is best known for his BBC 'What To Eat Now' TV & Book Series, with a strong focus on robust, flavoursome food. Valentine will be hosting a 45 minute cooking demo featuring his favourite foods and cooking techniques for you to see, smell and -just maybe- taste! He has written for The Times, The Independent, Countryfile, Delicious, Waitrose Food Illustrated and Olive magazine, to name a few. A very keen outdoors man, Valentine can often be found seeking new adventures outside the kitchen and, most likely, fishing.
Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet. His gritty poetry has won the admiration far and wide and his collaboration with New Order in New York's Carnegie Hall in 2014 received five star reviews. Mike's Ode To St. Anthony, a poem dedicated to the Factory Records boss Tony Wilson and put to classical music by the composer Joe Duddell, went to Number 1 in 3 Official UK charts in August 2015. The video features dozens of dozens of Mike's Manchester friends an colleagues, including Steve Coogan, Christopher Eccleston, Shaun Ryder, Mark Radcliffe, Terry Christian, John Cooper Clarke, Philip Glass, Miranda Sawyer and so many more. Oh and Iggy Pop. We have had it on repeat for months at The Good Life Experience HQ and highly recommend a watch, it's spine-tingling stuff.
Mike has worked in thousands of schools and his books have become schemes of work in educational establishments throughout the UK and his poetry is regularly heard on BBC Radio and TV. He has read his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders units, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes, youth clubs and local pubs. He’s passionate about bringing live poetry to places it wouldn’t normally reach and to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it.
The current shop opened for business a little over six years ago in a building made from Scottish larch. It has subsequently won endless awards including True Taste's Best Farm Shop in Wales two years running and The Countryside Alliance's Butcher Shop of the Year.
The Farm Shop employs over 50 local people and serves thousands of customers each week. The shop is owned by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone who, along with Cerys Matthews and her team, are the creators of The Good Life Experience.
James Greenwood is a veterinary surgeon based in Bristol. Outside of his work life, he has a passion for ceramics and was invited to take part as a contestant on the first series of the hugely popular 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' on BBC2. Since then, James has continued to develop a media profile writing for online platforms, delivering talks and working with various charities. With his passion for animal welfare, veterinary science and an absolute love for dogs - James is currently appearing on the hit new childrens television series 'The Pets Factor', airing on CBBC. James will be returning to the Good Life Experience for the third year in a row, alongside his one eyed labrador called Oliver. Follow James here.
Roger Phillips is a mushroom maestro and one of the most respected foragers in Great Britain. In 1975 his began his life’s major work, photographing an encyclopaedic collection of world plants, with his first book -Wild Flowers of Britain- selling 400,000 copies in the first year! He has since written 20 additional volumes with combined sales of 4.5 million copies worldwide. Roger has also written and presented two major six-part TV series on gardening for BBC & Channel 4.
Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn traveled to America in 2012 – 2013 on a roadtrip of epic proportions to find out ‘what exactly is American bbq?’. Their mission was to attend masterclasses, listen to pearls of wisdom from backyard and competition ‘cuers’ alike and try as much bbq as possible. Their adventures saw them help cook for a rodeo in Houston (50 briskets, 300 chickens and 500 racks of spare rib!) to helping an old mountain man repair his even older drum smoker deep in the Appalachians and being entrusted to spice rub secrets that they have to ‘take to the grave’. They attended masterclasses by competition winning barbecuers and traveled around eating the very best (and sometimes the very worst) barbecue in the world.
Having experienced all the major State variations, they’re not only confident that they are able to recreate authentic southern style bbq, but are equipped to elevate it to the next level using British produce with unique flavour profiles. In March Samantha and Shauna will open their first restaurant, the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen in a 215 year old Pump House on Barry Waterfront in the Vale of Glamorgan. At The Good Life Experience they will be joining a fantastic line-up of chefs for The Campfire Cooking Sessions. Things are about to get very hot and smokey around here…
Tom Herbert is a fifth generation baker and one half of The Fabulous Baker Brothers. He won Young Baker of the Year as soon as he left baking college and has since harboured the ambition to 'do for bread what Rick Stein has done for fish’. He’s started a baking school, published a couple of books and ‘has lots of floury tricks up his sleeve’. Last year he launched his book Do Wild Baking: Food, Fire and Good Times over our campfire at The Good Life Experience. Tom is back for a fifth year in September to bake sourdough wraps in our Campfire Cooking Sessions.
A chef and food writer, Trine is an enthusiastic advocate for sustainable solutions, organic sourcing and food cooked with love. With her great knowledge of Danish food and food culture, she writes compellingly about her extensive expertise and life experiences in food. Trine’s new project, Hahnemann’s Køkken, a bakery, coffee bar, pastry shop, food store, cookery school and event space has just opened in Copenhagen.
Trine has written ten cookbooks in her native Danish and seven in English: The Scandinavian Cookbook, Scandinavian Christmas, Eat Nordic, Scandinavian Baking, Scandinavian Comfort Food, Open Sandwiches and her latest book Copenhagen Food, all published by Quadrille.
Trine will be cooking up a *sold out* Scandinavian breakfast feast at this year's festival.
Photo by Columbus Leth.
Caught by the River is an arts/nature/culture clash, posting daily at caughtbytheriver.net. It was conceived in 2007 as an online meeting place for pursuits of a distinctly non-digital variety: walking, fishing, looking, thinking. From birdsong and beer to adventure and poetry; life’s small pleasures, in all their many flavours.
The CBTR crew have been running a stage at The Good Life Experience since the very beginning, and return this year with another triumphant line-up. Take a look at what's in store.
Jim Parkyn has over 16 years experience working as a model maker in the world of stop motion and film,television and theatre. With this background in animation, and with the help of his wife Lea, Jim has been inspired to combine the world of theatre and animation and build ' The Scene machine'. A combination of puppet Theatre, animation and Phantasmagoria, this unique contraption will make for a unique interactive experience. Jim and his animation technicians will feed the machine to create a Plasti-Scene before your very eyes and you can be part of it! Make a mini effigy of yourself or let your imagination go wild and make what ever takes your fancy. Give your Masterpiece to one of the technicians who will then feed it in to the machine and it will be added to the evolving scene that captures the magic of The Good Life Experience. From blank canvas to finished film you can take part and even appear in this unusual experience. We can't wait to take part!
Axe & Paddle Bushcraft began back in 2012, when husband and wife team Steven and Kirsty Le Say hosted a Spoon Carving Workshop in a friend’s garden. In the three years since, Steve and Kirsty have opened up our their seaside workshop just outside of Brighton, where they host a number of courses, teaching traditional skills and crafts. Steve also hand makes a range of premium quality lifestyle and traditional adventure gear, which he thoroughly enjoys putting through its paces!
Expanding on their already popular Hazel Bow Making and Spoon Carving workshops, this year Axe & Paddle are bringing together a collective of their crafty friends to offer festival goers of all ages a huge array of hands-on craft workshops and activities. Embrace the chance to get creative, be inspired and even take home something handmade. Head to The Axe & Paddle Craft Collective and find yourself in a village of creativity!
Alex Pole has a lifelong passion for metal work. He trained originally as a jewellery maker, but has been working now as a blacksmith for 25 years. Using both traditional and modern techniques, and local or recycled materials wherever possible, Alex makes bespoke pieces for private clients or designers, as well as developing his own range, Forge Kitchenware. He also runs regular blacksmithing courses from The Forge in Somerset.
Like most country people, Ed Hunt always carries a knife in his pocket. He started making his own knives about seven years ago when a much-loved knife he'd had for many years broke, and he attempted to create something to replace it. Making knives became a passion as Ed experimented with different designs and different materials... and he is now a full-time knife maker, working from his home in Somerset.
Alex and Ed will be running demonstrations and workshops throughout the festival. Expect to see a great deal of fire, hot steel and sparks flying at the fully functioning forge set-up with Alex and Ed showing you how to get hands-on with this most ancient of traditional crafts and proving its provenance and rightful place in modern society.
Rowan Woodcraft founder Dave Robson has a passion for woodlands and everything in them. He particularly has a keen interest in greenwood work and traditional crafts. At The Good Life Experience Dave will offer a range of demonstrations of skills and production of green wood craft, from how to split and cleave wood to spoon carving. Dave will give festival goers to the chance to participate in short workshops where they will be able to make their own spatula, butter knife and more, getting to grips with the skills of axemanship.
Margaret Markland worked in the fashion industry for many years, first as a pattern cutter for a couture design house then as a seamstress. She also had clothes shops and worked on tailoring alterations. Now Margaret's main interests are weaving and crochet. She loves all the new types of yarns available especially the hand spun variety, and she is a member of the spinners and weavers guild here in North Wales.
Golden Bear Belts founder Louise Middleton trained in Ceramics at Camberwell School of Art and worked in the fashion industry for over 15 years. She set up Golden Bear Belts in 2009 and sells her collections at Liberty, London and worldwide boutiques. Louise also runs leather crafting workshops and we are thrilled that she will be returning to The Good Life Experience in 2017 with her hugely popular workshops. At the festival Louise will teach the basics of leather crafting and a range of surface decoration methods; how to emboss, stamp, scribe, cut, hand paint and gild. She will run belt workshops for adults, and for children there will be classes to make leather eye patches,wristbands for superheroes and pouches for foraging in the woods.
Based in Derbyshire, Alison and Peter Massey have 17 years of experience offering practical workshops to both adults and children in the arts of mosaics and metal pressing and we are excited that they will be joining us in September to teach their crafts. Festival goers will be able to take home new skills, imaginative ideas and their own hand crafted works of art.
Helen Gittins is a potter, living and working in the Clwydian hills with her wood-fired kiln. Helen and her team of three are bringing three kilns to The Good Life Experience to teach festival goers all about the raku firing technique, a spectacular and dramatic way of firing that produces amazing colours, from metallic coppers and golds to blue and white crackles. The team will have a whole lot of hand thrown pots at the ready that participants can glaze themselves, and some of the workshops will take place after dark, which is quite something to see.
Head Chef at River Cottage, and part of the team for over 10 years, Gill Meller works closely with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and appears regularly on the Channel 4 series. He produces recipe videos for the River Cottage food-tube channel and teaches both at the River Cottage Cookery School and internationally. A contributor to the Guardian, Waitrose Food, Delicious, and BBC Countryfile Magazine, to name but a few, he is also Country Living’s food columnist and his book Gather was named one of The Telegraph's Top 100 Books in 2016.
From a life of 'doing' in the world of advertising to a life of 'being' as a yoga and mindfulness teacher, Michael Townsend now works on the integration of both. His business, Stillworks, coaches individuals, teams and organisations on Mindful Productivity, Mindfulness and Yoga. He is also co-creator of the iPhone app, Breathe Sync, that brings your breathing into sync with your heart to reduce stress and improve focus. He believes the world needs to calm down and we would all get a lot more done if we did. His first book Do Breathe: Calm your mind. Find focus. Get stuff done. is published by The Do Book Company.
Gail Bryson is a textile, graphic and product designer. She specialises in simple and graphic prints that complement a wide range of home styles. Trained at Edinburgh College of Art, she developed her design skills at The Conran Shop and The Nest before subsequently becoming co-founder and creative director of Bryson Loxley. Amongst her clients there are John Lewis and Jamie Oliver. She has also collaborated individually with Pedlars and Future and Found on a wide range of projects over the years. Gail is a firm believer that good design will always last the test of time. Her products are designed to last both in design and manufacture, and are hand-printed and hand-sewn in London. Ultimately, her aim is to create things that can passed down through the generations, like the collection of linen she has inherited from her own family. Colour also plays a big part in Gail’s work. Combinations are dreamed up from photographs taken on her travels and provide inspiration back in her studio. In 2017 Gail will join Makers' Row offering screen printing workshops at The Good Life Experience.
Mike and Nia of Rural Kind are designers and makers of simple, functional, and durable carry goods. Their story began with a desire to create objects by hand, using simple techniques and traditional materials, to be closer to the objects in their everyday life. To return to a more sustainable time when quality and craftsmanship were valued over the mass produced and poorly constructed. To know the person who creates the everyday object, and the care and time that is involved in that process. Rural Kind is Mike and Nia's expression of these ideas and a step towards a simpler, more sustainable way of living; producing goods that are well made, thoughtfully designed, and that are built to last. Their goods are designed and made in a small workshop in rural Wales, and at the core of their designs is a love of simple clean lines, considered detailing, and (above all else), functionality. When not designing and making, they can be found exploring the wild hills and valleys of Wales with dogs in tow, or otherwise (mostly) reading, eating vegetables, and stargazing.
Michael May never wanted to be a knife maker. After leaving music college he ended up working in cutlery factory, as was the family tradition. After working in various departments he ended up in the pen and pocket workshop where he remained for three years before leaving to study history at university. Two degrees later he was back making knives. Under Keith Moorby, Michael learned how to make knives to the highest standard, and it was then he realised that this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Over the years, more and more people would ask Michael to make a knife for them as they were impressed at the high level of craftsmanship. He found a workshop at the historic Portland Works, where Harry Brearley developed stainless steel for the use of cutlery over 100 years ago. When it was time for respected knife maker and well know Sheffield character Trevor Ablett retired, Michael bought all his tools, continuing his work and following his traditional patterns that Sheffield is famous for. Each knife Michael makes is crafted to the highest standard, and can quite literally be made with his blood, sweat, and tears. Since learning his trade, Michael feels a responsibility to continue with the skills and crafts that made Sheffield famous.
You may have come across Cambrian Mountains Wool in our Market Place in 2016 with their wonderful Welsh wool. This year we are thrilled that the team will be back, this time on Makers' Row, showcasing both the wool and the makers, offering hands on workshops such as wet felt making and botanical printing onto wool fabric.
Vic Phillips is one half of SingleMaltTeapot along with fiance Samantha Wheeler. During their pursuit of their own take on The Good Life Vic can generally be found with an axe or knife in hand and wood chippings gathering at his feet. Working with sections of wood that would otherwise find themselves as scrap he designs and carves spoons, knives and other items for the home that combine traditional techniques with contemporary styling. Guided by the slopes and curves of the grain he looks to continue the narrative of something that has grown over potentially hundreds of years that may otherwise have reached it’s final chapter. At the festival we look forward to Vic's spoon carving workshops where he will teach several different cutting techniques, giving you the chance to take away your own hand hewn cooking spoon.
Andrew Ziminiski trained as a cathedral stonemason and conservator and works as part of a continuing cultural tradition that stretches back into the prehistory of the English West Country. His business Minerva is based in Frome and, with his business partner Andrew, for the past 25 years he has worked to repair ancient churches, stone bridges and monuments around the counties of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset, and his book 'Journeyman' is soon to be published.
Inspired by the blues, four years ago Brian Dodd went back to basics and began making his own guitars out of anything he could get his hands on that would resonate or vibrate, from wooden crates to skateboards to axe handles. Fast forward to today and Brian's hobbie has become a successful cottage industry. Brian is part of a huge community of craftspeople making these guitars which which hark back to the Cigar box guitars of Depression Era America, and he will be building guitars over the course of the weekend at The Good Life Experience.
All the Fun of the Fair. Think high end haberdashery, homespun homewares, and a craft cupboard of delights. A curated sweetie shop of cheery, crafty and charming items. Well known for quirky knitted items from tea cosies to cacti. Knitted pumpkins may be found at the festival.. Crafting experts ATFOTF are bringing their crafty cheer to The Good Life Experience with arm knitting workshop. Just turn up with your arms at the ready and learn this fun, alternative way of knitting. It's fast and fun, and participants will be knitting welly warmers and scarfs in no time. Queen of pompoms ATFOTF's Buzz Stokes will also run sessions on how to make pompoms from teeny to gigantic. Gadgets, gizmos, books, gifts and supplies to make all things crafty will be available on their festival stall, as will be wool..
Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, food writer, campaigner, and author of The Natural Cook. Tom worked with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as a course leader, cook and food stylist on the River Cottage TV series. Tom also writes for various publications including the Guardian. Tom runs Forgotten Feast a campaign promoting sustainable food through dining and celebration. Forgotten Feast creates banquets with food waste and/or topical ingredients. Working closely with charitable organisations including Slow Food, FareShare and Action Against Hunger, Tom highlights important concerns in the food industry. Tom founded his festival cafe Poco in 2004 which has now grown into two tapas restaurants located in Bristol and London. In its opening year Poco London was awarded the most Sustainable Restaurant of the Year at the Food Made Good Awards. Poco follows Tom’s Root to Fruit Eating philosophy, is 100% seasonal, and 95% waste free, recycling and composting everything.
Mike Keen lives in the beautiful Suffolk countryside and is the owner and executive chef of Ipswich food pub The Brewery Tap and Cult Cafe on the town’s waterside. Born in Colchester but brought up in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, Mike got a taste for exotic flavours and adventurous cooking at an early age. He has explored the cuisines of four continents, working in restaurants, on cruise ships and in cocktail bars, as a chef, troubleshooter, barman, waiter and delicatessen owner. After many years abroad Mike brought his family home to Suffolk in 2008, working at Jimmy’s Farm of TV fame and as head chef at the Anchor in Walberswick, before taking on the Brewery Tap freehouse in 2009.
Claire Thomson is a chef and has been for well over a decade. She loves the fast and furious pace of cooking during a busy night at the stoves. However, she now has three brilliant kids and the motivation to fill these three little tummys with nutritional, delicious and exciting food is Claire's primary concern. Cooking in a restaurant for people interested in what’s on their plate and what’s more, are paying for it, couldn’t be more different to cooking at 5pm for hungry fractious children. In fact she find the 5pm slot a lot more demanding. It’s not called the witching hour for nothing. Claire has published 5 O'Clock Apron: Inspiring Recipes for Children, the National Trust Family Cook Book and most recently the much celebrated Art of the Larder: Good Food from Your Storecupboard, Every Day. Listen to Claire talking to Cerys about her latest book here.
Mark Parr -AKA Lord Logs- is founder of The London Log Company, which supplies some of the best restaurants in London with logs, charcoal and woodchip. Mark is passionate about cooking and food, and talks of wood as another ingredient in the dish. He is often on hand and in the thick of it of the restaurant and event industry and has worked with the greats; Francis Mallman, Niklas Ekstedt and Yotam Ottelenghi, to name a few.
The With Love Project started as a idea to find and document a small number of people who produce things with a passion and purpose. Asking one single question along the way... "Why do you do what you do?” Photographer Rob Evans and brand designer/art director Chris Roberts set out to meet 5 people and produce a small book of the people they met. Nearly 40 makers, producers and manufacturers later they managed to finish the book, they've also created a film and documented all their visits on their website. They are constantly searching for new stories, new people who truly love what they do to document and work with. Don't miss Chris and Rob's talk The Importance of Side Projects at The Good Life Experience.
Vocal leaders James Sills & Dom Stichbury are a dynamic duo who are on a mission to get more people singing! Their approach is fun, relaxed and inclusive, teaching everything by ear with no previous experience or music reading skills necessary. They run a number of open-access choirs and are in demand as workshop leaders across the UK, teaching their own arrangements of traditional and contemporary material. Sills and Stich have delivered projects for a number of organisations and charities including the BBC, NHS and Choir With No Name. They made their TGLE debut in 2017, mobilising hundreds of people to join together in song in the Freedom Ale House. Sills & Stich are also members of international a cappella troupe, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, with whom they have performed around the world. Come experience the joy of singing with Sills and Stich! Twitter @domstich @jsillsmusic.
Fancy joining a choir? This is a call out to the more elusive of the hollering species; singing lads and dads. A smaller, more fisherman/ shanty affair, again in the safe hands of Sills and Stitch, when the odd jar of (medicinal) ale is optional.
We’re welcoming everyone who fancies singing in harmony to get together this year to form a choir of epic proportion, under the tutelage of legendary musical directors Sills and Stitch (more on them below). Rehearsals -not too taxing, all-comers welcome- will take place on site in the Freedom Ale House (a spit and sawdust venue new to the festival this year), culminating in a performance on Sunday.
We’re working on the menu, but it will be good. Guests and staff alike will be twelve years and under. No adults allowed.
Kate Cronk is an illustrator and calligrapher based in Forest Hill, southeast London. After collecting stationery for a number of years, she founded her own studio Peggy & Kate in the summer of 2014, combining her love of colour, painting and nature. As both Peggy andKate (Peggy is her middle name), she has grown her studio to include prints, notebooks, her own line of sassy greetings cards (‘I can’t even’), custom birthday and wedding invitation suites, and bespoke paintings of houses, people and pets. Seeking both humour and beauty in the everyday, Kate’s projects are also inspired by the places she loves – from the lushness of her family home and plant nursery in Kent, to London’s historic architecture and gardens. Originally trained in weaving at Central St Martins, in her spare time she enjoys, watching the posh dogs in Dulwich Park and, when she can make it to a body of water, floating on a flamingo lilo.
The Paper Moon is an independent screen printing studio run by Laura Kate Chapman and Johanna Wilson. They are multi disciplinary artists and printmakers who collaborate to deliver fun and educational printing workshops for all ages and at a variety of events and locations.
Johanna, who works under the moniker THAT GIRL has been creating designs and illustrations for the music industry and also creates her own art experimental artworks that explore the possibilities of printmaking. She has given print workshops at music festivals such as Liverpool Psychfest, Liverpool Sound City, and Record Store Day.
Laura has been running her own freelance illustration business since 2009- Laura-Kate Draws. Laura has worked on a variety of commission based projects as well as developing her own range of illustrated gift ware products and hosting illustration and print workshops in schools and museums in the North West. Clients have included The RSC, The Library of Birmingham and Walker Gallery.
The Paper Moon will be hosting a range of print demos, drop in ‘print your own’ posters, and adult group classes across the weekend at The Good Life Experience. All activities are fun informal and accessible to all ages.
Ruairi is a percussionist, composer, presenter and educator and music has been a constant in his life, ever since he first picked up a bodhran aged 4. Passionate about the good that drumming can do for both health and well-being, Ruairi will he 'Drumming up a Good Life' at the festival.
Gather Cook Feast is TOAST co-founder Jessica Seaton’s first solo project, combining her love of food, cooking and landscape. It is a book about food as an expression of landscape – a plate that feels like a place. It was recently shortlisted for the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards, and celebrates the connection between the food that we eat and the land on which we live in over 120 simple, seasonal and nourishing recipes.
Author and photographer Marte Marie Forsberg grew up in the countryside in Norway and spent much time in her beloved mother’s kitchen, where she was taught how to cook from scratch, oftentimes with fresh produce from the garden, and how to be creative with food, to never stop exploring and venturing out from the known into new, uncharted food territory. Today she is a published author of the cookbook "The Cottage Kitchen". Marte Marie works as a food and lifestyle photographer for magazine and brands around the world. She also runs regular photography, creative business and cookery workshops and retreats both here in England and across Europe. She is a passionate home cook, steaming up the windows in her English cottage with pots and pans on the stove, and cake baking in the oven.
Juanita Hennessey was taught how to cook from an early age by her mother, an artist and great-granddaughter to the Maltese painter Giuseppe Cali. Her childhood meals where peppered with flavours from the Mediterranean and it was from there she developed her love of experimenting with new and exciting flavours. Juanita reached the final of MasterChef in 2016, wowing the judges, and public, with her creative flair and love of local, seasonal ingredients, especially game. Since then Juanita has focused on food full time and has set up her own private dinning business ‘Fosbury Foodie’ cooking for clients in the comfort of their own home. She is also running a number of successful supper clubs, is a food writer and loves to teach. Her most recent venture The Game Girl brings her enthusiasm for game cookery to life. As part of this she is working with some very exciting organisations to get game back into the everyday British kitchen.
Julius Roberts is a cook, farmer and vegetable gardener who celebrates nature with a deep respect for ingredients, seasonality and animal welfare. His demonstrate will teach festival goers how and when to grow your own.
Joe Fox joined Petersham Nurseries in 2014 following a career working in some of Britain’s most well respected fine-dining restaurants including HIX, Launceston Place, The Botanist and Soho House. The Petersham kitchen provides a perfect home for Joe who, as a keen forager and slow food advocate, is passionate about locally sourced, sustainably grown food and the natural systems that support that food. Joe and his partner Laura Jean have pioneered Bee Kind And Dine, devoted to pop-up dinners which celebrate locally sourced, sustainably grown food and the natural systems which are vital to produce that food.
Signe Johansen is a Norwegian cook and author of How to Hygge, Scandilicious, Scandilicious Baking and most recently Solo: The Joy of Cooking for One. A longtime whisky enthusiast, she is the co-founder of 'Spirited Women', a project to get more women into whisky and other spirits. Signe trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, worked in several of the UK's top restaurants and went on to do her masters in the anthropology of food at SOAS Food Studies Centre at the University of London. She has appeared on Kirstie's Handmade Christmas, What's Cooking and Sunday Brunch.
Matthew and Iain Pennington are the owners and chefs at award-winning restaurant, The Ethicurean, in Bristol. The restaurant, tucked away in a Victorian walled garden, offers views of the Mendip Hills and artisan food reflecting the brothers’ philosophy of eating seasonal, local and sustainable. For Iain and Matthew, taking produce from farm to fork in a matter of hours, is a serious business. The radius for the majority of their food is within 20 miles. The brothers have learnt a lot about preservation; pickling, curing and fermenting ensure that the restaurant is functional all year around and so that food waste is kept to a minimum. The Penningtons' philosophy and cooking skills have earnt them many accolades over the years including winning The Observer’s Best Ethical Restaurant in 2011 and more recently being named in The UK’s Top 100 Restaurants 2017 in The Sunday Times.
Marcus Bean is a chef, author and presenter, who learned to cook by taking charge of the kitchen in his Shropshire pub, which he opened with his wife Jenny back in 2003. He got straight in the kitchen and taught himself to cook and then went on to win Iron chef UK on Channel 4 back in 2010. Since then Marcus has been a regular chef on ITV’s “This Morning”, has written a cookery book all about chicken, and has become a popular host at the BBC Good Food shows around the country. Marcus and his wife now own and run Brompton Cookery School in Shropshire, part of the National Trust Attingham Estate. At the cookery school Marcus teaches everything from bread making to baking, foraging to butchery. He specialises in using local and seasonal produce from Shropshire and surrounding areas. At the festival he will cook a three course 'Taste of Shropshire' over the campfire, showcasing seasonality and produce local to Shropshire.
Isabella Tree is an award-winning author, travel writer, and manager of the the Knepp Wildland Project, together with her husband Charlie. She is the author of several books, including The Living Goddess and The Bird Man.
Steve Brusatte is a palaeontologist and research fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He studies the anatomy, genealogy, and evolution of dinosaurs and other fossil animals with backbones. Steve’s particular research interests are the origin of dinosaurs and the evolution of birds from carnivorous dinosaurs. He has a PhD from Columbia University and degrees from the University of Chicago and University of Bristol. He has written over 60 scientific papers, published four books (including the coffee table book Dinosaurs and the technical volume Dinosaur Paleobiology), and has described over 10 new species of fossil animals. He has done fieldwork in Britain, China, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and the United States. His research is profiled often in the popular press and he is a 'consultant palaeontologist' on the Walking With Dinosaurs team.
Encyclopedic about good music, Alex Pink brings an eclectic and somewhat nostalgic range of classic greats from Motown to Garage Rock and everything in between. Alex is part of a thriving cultural and music scene in London's Ladbroke Grove and is one of the most recognised and best loved artists in the area. Festival co-founders Cerys and Steve live in the area, and it's the home of our sister business, Pedlars, so we are fiercely proud of this corner of North Kensington, and excited to bring the sounds and vibes of Ladbroke Grove to Flintshire at The Good Life Experience this year.
Dr Ahmed Kazmi is a London based GP and dermatology doctor. He is also an accomplished comedian and cabaret artist having performed sold out, acclaimed shows in a number of prestigious festivals including Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Both his comedy show and cabaret show share the funny side of the medical profession in an uplifting and positive way. Wellbeing is a core value Dr Ahmed Kazmi holds dearly and he is very excited to participate in the Living Well Festival. He can’t wait to perform for you and he promises: no trip to the doctor will be the same again!