Press Release: What's Cooking at West Dean's Award Winning Chilli Fiesta?

Featuring guest chefs including actor Strictly Come Dancing Winner, Joe McFadden; Executive chef of Stein Restaurants, Jack Stein; Award-winning vegan chef and author Jackie Kearney; MasterChef 2018 contestants Anthony O'Shaughnessy & Sweta Choudhury, Chef and Author of Japaneasy, Tim Anderson, and the UK's only singing chef Jean de Rien.

"Live Latin bands and dance demos, plus gardening workshops and a vintage fair mean there's plenty of fun even if your tastes are more korma than Demon Red." The Daily Telegraph, Top 20 UK food festivals for 2018.

From 10th -12th August 2018, the UK's biggest chilli festival returns for its 23rd year. As well as chilli tasting and expert cookery demonstrations, there will be guided tours of the gardens, an outdoor cinema, champagne and cocktail bars, Latin music, flamenco dancing, face painting and a vintage funfair. West Dean's Chilli Fiesta is a family friendly festival set in the beautiful grounds of West Dean, with full camping facilities in the grounds of West Dean Estate, in the heart of the South Downs National Park. The Estate is home to West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and the glorious West Dean Gardens.

The Cookery Theatre will be hosted by Giles Thomson former Executive Head Chef of the Ritz Hotel, and Owner and Executive Chef of The Earl of March, with guest chef appearances throughout the weekend. Guests include Jack Stein, son of Rick Stein, and Executive Chef of Stein Restaurants. Jack recently opened his own cookery school, 'Cook with Jack Stein', allowing students to cook alongside him and engage with some of his latest recipes.

Scottish actor and winner of Strictly Come Dancing, Joe McFadden, will be appearing in the Chilli Fiesta's 'Ready, Steady, Cook…' with Giles Thomson, a definite highlight of the weekend. Also not to be missed is a demonstration by MasterChef 2018 contestants Anthony O'Shaughnessy and Sweta Choudhury.

The Chilli Alchemist, will be giving a talk entitled 'How to pick a hot sauce?' about what to look for, how to consider the use of a sauce, what difference certain ingredients can make, how the pH affects the sauce, and everything else you may need to know when picking your hot sauce!

Visitors can pick up new culinary skills from Jackie Kearney, award-winning author of Vegan Street Food, and My Vegan Travels (Shortlisted for Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award for Travel Cookery Book of the Year 2018), and Tim Anderson, MasterChef Winner (2011), restaurant owner, and author of Nanban and Japaneasy. Also making an appearance at the festival is the UK's only singing chef, and chef patron of Fine Dining in Worthing, Jean de Rien.

A wide range of chilli-related food stalls can be found onsite. With over 140 stalls, visitors can expect a great variety of quirky gifts available to purchase, from hot and spicy foods of the world to chilli plants, seeds and gifts. To cool down, there will be local ice cream on offer as well as a selection of bars including Champagne, Cocktails, Los Amigos, Craft cider and ales, and The potting shed, for gins and matching tonics. This is the culinary event of the year, not to be missed.

West Dean Gardens, Near Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0RX #chillifiesta

What else is on

  • Over 30 music and dance acts including:
  • The Fontanas, Katya and Neil Jones from Strictly Come Dancing, Dawn Gracie, Dust Blues, Manfred, Phil Short and Crawley Millennium 30 piece Concert Band
  • Flamenco performances and workshops with professional dancers, including Latin American, Salsa, and Belly Dancing
  • "Goblet of Fire" Pyro display followed by a Pyromusical (choreographed Fireworks display)
  • Outdoor cinema, with showings throughout the day
  • Camping and acoustic campsite entertainment

Gardening Theatre

Gardening talks and demonstrations from a panel of experts including Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz

  • 150 chillies on display in the Victorian Glasshouses
  • A guided tour of the Walled Gardens
  • Advice on how to grow your own chillies

Children's entertainment

NEW for 2018: Juggling and circus skills with Dan the Hat workshop

  • NEW for 2018: Drop-in art centre
  • Outdoor cinema with popular family films all day
  • Vintage funfair (additional charge)
  • Face painting
  • Punch and Judy shows

Camping Wake up in the beautiful grounds of West Dean and make a weekend or mini break of it. Full camping facilities include great showers, flushing toilets and a 24-hour shop. The campsite on the rolling West Dean Estate is split into three zones: Jalapeno (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).

A limited number of pitches are available so early booking is essential, tickets are available for the full weekend (three nights) or for one night (Saturday).

Ticket information

Ticket information: early bird rates shown (20% off full price)* *Early bird offer ends on 27 July 2018 Friday Day Ticket: Adult £14.40 Saturday Day Ticket: Adult £16.00 Sunday Day Ticket: Adult £14.40 Child Ticket (any day): £2.00 3-day pass with camping: Adult £92.00 Child £28.00 Note: Children age 4 and under enjoy free entry, ages 5 - 15 require a child ticket. Children are to be accompanied by a paying adult.

Book online at:

Notes to Editors:

• West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, charitable trust No. 1126084, also comprising West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.

• West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London

• All photography is free to use for editorial purposes

For further information, media accreditation, filming opportunities and high-resolution digital images please contact:

Annie McGrath Golden² Consulting 10-11 Lower John Street London, W1F 9EB

[email protected]
+44 (0)207 439 2822