Press Release: What’s cooking? Chefs in the Cookery Theatre at Chilli Fiesta

Celebrity chef, Rustie Lee, will be cooking some of her favourite Caribbean dishes at the award-winning Chilli Fiesta. Festival-goers can watch demonstrations, sample some delicious delights, pick up expert tips and shop for produce so they can try-out new recipes with a chilli twist at home. Also in the Cookery Theatre this year will be; Dean Edwards, Resident Chef on ITV's Lorraine; Paul Wayne Gregory, Master Chocolatier; and Malcolm Riley, The African Chef. On Saturday Rosemary Moon, who brings together seasonal local produce and whisky in her recipes, will be joined by a surprise celebrity guest.

Now in its 21st year, the chilli festival (5, 6 & 7 August) is the original and one of the biggest in the UK attracting around 25,000 people who come to enjoy the full three-day programme of food, live music and entertainment. It is a family friendly festival offering weekend camping in the spectacular grounds of the West Dean Estate in the heart of the South Downs National Park.

Food-lovers can enjoy browsing the popular marketplace with over 140 stalls - many new this year - offering a wide-ranging selection of hot and spicy foods, individual gifts, a variety of chilli plants, seeds and produce. Sarah Wain, West Dean Gardens Supervisor and chilli expert, will be giving informal talks and tours around the well-stocked kitchen garden, including 250 varieties of chillies in the Victorian glasshouses. This year, Australian-born Sarah has a brand new white chilli variety named Streuth! in her honour. The new chilli has 'a fine combination of heat, at around 110,000 Scovilles, and a unique flavour' say kitchen garden seeds specialist, Simpsons Seeds. Sarah is growing 300 plants which will be available exclusively to buy at Chilli Fiesta in support of the Save the Glasshouses Appeal.

NEW this year is the Grow Your Own Demon Red Chilli Plant competition, launched earlier in the year in association with Thompson Seeds. Sarah and Kris Collins, Thompson and Morgan's gardening expert, will be judging entrants' plants on Sunday 7 August.

There will be a selection of bars - including a new Champagne Bar and a Cider Bar - around the site and lots of delicious chilli-related foods to enjoy and set your taste buds alight.

Cookery Theatre Programme (Please note programme may be subject to change)


11.15 Caymans Rum Cakes

12.15 Rustie Lee, celebrity Caribbean chef

1.15 Paul Wayne Gregory, Master Chocolatier

2.15 Malcolm Riley, The African Chef

3.15 Rustie Lee, celebrity Caribbean chef

4.15 Bubble&


11.15 East Coast Chilli Co.

12.15 Rosemary Moon, Sussex cook and food writer

1.15 Paul Wayne Gregory, Master Chocolatier

2.15 Malcolm Riley, The African Chef

3.15 Rosemary Moon and special guest

16.15 The Chilli Alchemist


11.15 The Chilli Alchemist

12.15 Dean Edwards, Resident Chef, ITV's Lorraine

1.15 Paul Wayne Gregory, Master Chocolatier

2.15 Malcolm Riley, The African Chef

3.15 Dean Edwards, Resident Chef, ITV's Lorraine

4.15 Dan Frowen, West Dean's Head Chef cooks with Dean Edwards as sous chef

The weekend's LIVE entertainment programme includes; Viva Santana, Panama, Jason Lee, Adriana Son G, Cuarto Elemento, Alex Latin, Salsa All Stars, and Mariachi Mezcal, Groupo Lokito, Rocio and more. Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers, Joanne Clifton and Giovanni Pernice will be giving a salsa masterclass (Sunday). There will be a spectacular firework display after the music on Saturday night.

Camping for the weekend

The campsite on the West Dean Estate is divided into different zones: Jalapeno (most popular general camping area, close to the event arena and enhancing the festival atmosphere); Pimento (quiet camping area away from the main arena ideal for a good night's sleep); and Bell (family friendly and close to the toilets and showers).

The 3-night Weekend Glamping experience offers a full size bed, real mattress, sumptuous cotton bed linen, 13 tog duvet and handmade patchwork quilt blankets, together with tea and coffee making facilities and traditional deckchairs to soak up the summer sun.

Early Bird Prices saving 20% on the full price (available until 25 July)

Demand for tickets to Chilli Fiesta will be high, so early booking is advised.

Friday Day Ticket: Adult £11.20 (gate £14) Child 0.80p (gate £1.00)

Saturday Day Ticket: Adult £12.80 (gate £16) Child 0.80p (gate £1.00)

Sunday Day Ticket: Adult £11.20 (gate £14) Child 0.80p (gate £1.00)

3-day pass with camping: Adult from £80 (gate £100) Child £28.80 (gate £36)

3-night Weekend Glamping £550 for two adults (including festival admission and weekend camping pass).

Note: Produce stalls close at 6pm. Only food stalls and bars around the central stage area will be open after 6pm. Main Stage Music finishes at 8.30pm on Friday, 10pm on Saturday evening and 5.30pm on Sunday. Los Amigos Bar is open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday and 9pm Sunday.


Notes to editors

  • Grow Your Own Demon Red Chilli Plant competition
  • For media accreditation for Chilli Fiesta email.
  • Dean Edwards @deanedwardschef
  • Rustie Lee
  • Paul Wayne Gregory
  • Rosemary
  • The African Chef
  • Barfoots is a sponsor of West Dean Gardens' Chilli Fiesta 2016
  • West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust No. 1126084, also comprising West Dean College, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities, please contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ