Jack Stein and Irini Tzortzoglou at Truro Food Festival

CELEBRITY chef Jack Stein and MasterChef 2019 winner Irini Tzortzoglou have been signed up to headline the inaugural Truro Food Festival in September.

The pair will headline the Chef’s Theatre presented by St Austell Brewery, and the announcement comes in line with a pledge that the chef line-up at the event will be a 50/50 split of male and female chefs. 

 Throughout Masterchef 2019 Irini used a variety of traditional Greek ingredients in dishes, consistently impressing the judges as well as guest chefs such as Raymond Blanc and Michel Roux Jr.  

In the competition final, her take on classic Greek dishes elevated to a new level in her playful style which won over judges, John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Born on the island of Crete, her early memories consist of a scarcity of luxuries but an abundance of fresh, homegrown food in a loving home full of people. At the age of 20, Irini started working in her uncle’s hotel on the island. 

In 1980, she came to London where for the next 30 years she worked in banking, studied for professional qualifications and later for a History of Art degree.   

Irini said: “I’m a firm believer in fantastic ingredients and Cornwall is a place that certainly has those in abundance. I’m very excited to come and try some of the local produce and use it to create Greek dishes that everyone can try cooking at home.” 

Jack Stein, born in Cornwall, began his career in the hospitality industry as a kitchen porter at The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

At 16 he moved to front of house where he stayed throughout his education. In 2003 he returned to the Seafood Restaurant as commis chef before taking up the position of sous chef at his father Rick Stein’s Café.  

Jack has travelled extensively, notably working at Le Regelade in Paris and Tetsuya’s in Sydney, Australia before exploring the Far East and Japan.

Now chef director across the Rick Stein Group, Jack’s TV profile is rising fast. In the first half of 2019 he filmed the second series of Born to Cook and a series with his brother called Wine, Dine, Stein in South Africa.

He’s also filmed Inside the Box, which is scheduled to transmit on the Good Food channel later this year. In 2018, Jack released his debut cook book, World on a Plate, inspired by his global travels.  

Jack said: “I’m delighted to be headlining the first ever Truro Food Festival with Irini, a city-wide celebration of the amazing food and drink that is produced across Cornwall.  

“For my Chef’s Theatre demo, in collaboration with St Austell Brewery, I’ll be cooking a series of dishes that pair perfectly with a variety of Cornish beers. From clean, crisp and refreshing Korev to the big, bold and hoppy taste of Proper Job, I’ll be showing festival goers how to create the ideal flavour matches for their favourite beers when cooking at home.” 

Jack has recently renewed his partnership with Chef’s Theatre sponsor, St Austell Brewery. As an ambassador for the brewer’s core brands including flagship, Tribute Pale Ale, the chef will be developing a collection of food matches to complement the taste notes of each beer.  

Lee Bater, Festival Director, added: “We’re thrilled to have Jack and Irini headlining our inaugural year and we look forward to announcing the rest of our 50/50 chef line-up very soon. We believe that this is the first time a pledge to welcome equal numbers of female and male chefs to the stage has been made by a Food Festival and we’re strongly behind that equality of opportunity in our programming.” 

Truro Food Festival will be a city-wide celebration of Cornish food and drink with a vibrant programme of daytime events and evening entertainment centred around Lemon Quay and Boscawen Street, with a restaurant trail and pop-up workshops across the city. 

Daytime content will include celebrity and local Chef’s demos, gourmet street food stalls, family fun, live music and the Cornish Food Hall showcasing the best Cornish produce. The evenings will bring plenty of live music, plus an array of Cornish beers and ciders. The festival will also be organising a charity dinner with profits donated to the Trussell Trust, a charity that aims to end hunger and poverty in the UK.  

The festival will be held on September 27-29. Find more details and latest news at: trurofoodfestival.com or follow the event on Facebook or Instagram @trurofoodfestival 

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