Wilderness has led the way in festival dining experiences for the last decade, delivering a line-up of brilliant chefs and exciting dining experiences year after year. This season is no exception as we celebrate young and emerging talent. In a year of unprecedented challenges for hospitality there’s a focus on collaboration, with the festival partnering up chefs from around the country to help them deliver menus that spotlight sustainability, seasonality and a whole range of cuisines and styles. They are joined by returning favourites Robin Gill, Lee Westcott, Merlin Labron-Johnson and Tim Spedding to support and celebrate the UK food scene, from Cornwall to Scotland, via London and the Midlands.
New for 2021 is the addition of the first fully vegetarian and vegan long table banquets, headed up by some of London’s brightest chef talent. The Wilderness Kitchen will see Bubala’s Helen Graham, Robin Gill (Darby’s), Lee Westcott (Pensons, Typing Room) and wild food restaurant Native join forces with Social Pantry to deliver four mouth-watering banquets in four very different styles. This delicious line-up of plant-based menus will deliver a show-stopping feast.
The Chef’s Table is back with innovative menus and an intimate dining experience from outstanding young chefs. Newcomers Jack Croft & Will Murray (Fallow) bring their sustainable low waste cooking to the fields with dishes including their signature cod’s head with sriracha. Mei Mei’s Elizabeth Haigh delivers a fine dining Singaporean inspired menu, while Osip founder Merlin Labron-Johnson’s menu is based on the seasonal fruit and vegetables grown in his own kitchen gardens. Sunday sees Brad Carter of the Michelin-starred Carter’s of Moseley finish things off in style with a menu featuring only British produce and lashings of creativity.
The Opening Night Banquet with Cornwall’s Woodfired Canteen is back for a family friendly feast, featuring Smokestak’s David Carter on the BBQs. Then, continuing our Woodfired and Friends series, Ben Quinn and his team are joined by Tim Spedding (The Clove Club, Coombeshead Farm), Jude Kereama (Kota) and Roberta Hall-McCarron (The Little Chartroom) for a collaboration menu that will be served all weekend.
The fire pit is back, this time hosted by nose-to-tail specialists Flank. The Wilderness Fire Feast will see three guest chefs offering a different take on cooking a whole rump cap each day. Expect Jay Morjaria (JAE @ Untitled) to deliver punchy Korean flavours, Budgie Montoya (Sarap London) to bring authentic Filipino dishes in a ‘proudly in-authentic’ way and Selin Kiazim (Oklava) to impress with her food inspired by her Turkish-Cypriot heritage.
Last but by no means least, The Dining Room returns for 2021 celebrating the London food and drink scene. Our new outdoors dining area features food from Flank, Goodbirds & Club Mexicana, while inside The Cellar wine & cocktail bar offers up not just a great wine list, but an eclectic list of cocktails and other drinks you won’t find elsewhere at the festival. The morning Food Panels are back, hosted by Lisa Markwell (Sunday Times), who’ll chat to our Wilderness chefs on topics ranging from Women in Food to how the restaurant industry is faring post lockdown. Bookable food and wine pairings are led by Nick Gibson (The Drapers Arms) and a team of wine experts and chefs. Desiree & John Chantarasak (Anglothai), Bert Blaize (Which Wine When) and Amber Gardner (The Nomad Hotel) will team up with Bubala, Symplicity, Club Mexicana and more to deliver bite-size experiences for 30 people that pair food with delicious wines. And at night, London’s The Spread Eagle will be turning up the volume every night with party vibes from DJs Maxxi Soundsystem, Itchy Rich and friends.
Reservations for the food programme will go on sale at midday on the 6th July and can be booked here – https://www.wildernessfestival.com/book-experiences/