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Ultimate summer BBQ tips from Woking Food & Drink Festival foodies

PUBLISHED: 15:41 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:56 16 August 2017

Make your BBQ sing with top tips from the Surrey foodies below (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/AlexRaths)

Make your BBQ sing with top tips from the Surrey foodies below (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/AlexRaths)


With Woking Food & Drink Festival taking place at the start of September and summer in full flow, we catch-up with some of the Surrey foodies taking part in their new ‘bite-size’ talks to find out their top BBQ tips

These Surrey foodies are appearing at Woking Food & Drink Festival's bite sized talksThese Surrey foodies are appearing at Woking Food & Drink Festival's bite sized talks

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine August 2017



Sorrel restaurant, Dorking and The Anchor pub, Ripley

“My favourite meat to cook is pork belly. First, braise gently for around two-and-a-half hours in a light stock with lots of fresh herbs and then chill, slice and place on the grill. Before though, take an onion, cut it in half and rub the bars with it. Not only does it create an amazing aroma in the air, it also ‘deglazes’ the bars. Fish is also perfect on the barbecue. Turn the heat down and cook on the bone (lemon sole, Dover sole etc – the thicker the better). Mackerel is wonderful too – just be careful as it cooks super quick and can break up (foil can be helpful). Lastly, a nice salad to round things off: peach and raw fennel, sliced very thin, with some toasted poppy seeds and mixed leaves. Mix some peach juice with some Chardonnay vinegar and hazelnut oil to create the vinaigrette. I think the fruity flavour is lovely with pork and rich meats.”

EVENT: Steve Drake on Creative Food at Tante Marie on Saturday September 2, 2.30pm. Tickets: £5


Albury Vineyard, Albury

“The ultimate Surrey BBQ wouldn’t be complete without a bottle of the ultimate Surrey rosé! Our Silent Pool Rosé (available from the vineyard for £16.95) fits the occasion. At only 10.5 per cent, it’s perfect for summer BBQs and is delightful paired with grilled fish. You could catch your own trout at the Albury Estate fisheries! If you want to impress your guests with a bottle of award-winning bubbly then High Clandon is the place. Their Aurora Cuvée (available for £35) has recently won three gold medals in prestigious competitions and is one of our personal favourites. Finally, when I first set out to plant a vineyard, I wanted to make a rosé similar to those found in the Loire Valley. A good choice is the Christian Dauny Sancerre Rosé 2014 (available from Corkage, Guildford, £21.40). Full of class and finesse; light and refreshing yet with hidden depth.”

EVENT: Albury Vineyard on Producing English Wines at The Ambassador Lounge, New Victoria Theatre on Saturday September 2, 3.30pm. Tickets: free


Master of Wine, Guildford

Let’s be honest, there are posh organised BBQs and last minute, cheap and cheerful affairs. Either way, there’s a wine to suit. For the posh one, try Assyrtiko 2014, Hatzidakis from Santorini, Greece at £13.99 (it’s an intense, tangy, lemon lime beauty that’s perfect with BBQ’d seafood) or Barolo 2012. Ciabot Berton from Piemonte, Italy at £30 (Barolo’s black cherry and plum fruit, typical crisp acidity and grippy tannins make it a brilliant match for BBQ’d lamb, steak and sausage. For a more cheap and cheerful affair (well, wines under a tenner!) our ol’ Spanish mate Rioja is always a safe bet but pop across the border into Portugal and the Douro Valley, Alentejo or Dao for a burst of blackberry damson pleasure. Thinking French and red, Grenache-charged Cotes du Rhone always hits the spot as do the Languedoc ‘cru’s’ of Saint Chinian, Minervois or Faugeres and the lesser known regions of Bordeaux; look out for Cotes de Castillon, Fronsac, Cotes du Blaye and Cotes du Bourg on the label. Oh, and don’t forget Argentinean Malbec, South African Syrah and Chilean Carmenere. Nearly forgot, Bordeaux Blanc is a steal at the moment and great with BBQ’d chicken.

EVENT: John Downes: Masters of Wine at Tante Marie on Sunday September 3, 1.30pm. Tickets: £5


Bake with Jack, Woking

“Bread making takes time, since the dough has to rest at various stages, and the last thing you want to do is be rushing around. So bake ahead of time, freeze it and then defrost it the night before, which leads nicely on to tip two. Always toast or reheat your bread to freshen it up if it hasn’t just been baked! Whether you are toasting brioche buns (be careful, they go FAST) or putting some char on your pittas just do something to bring the fresh back. Also, remember that the bread should complement what you’re grilling. That boned and scorched chicken thigh with fresh herbs and tzatziki might just get lost in a multi-seed and raisin pumpernickel!”

EVENT: Jack Sturgess on Breadmaking at Gloucester Square on Saturday September 2 and Sunday September 3, various times. Tickets: free


Gimblett Cheese, Haslemere

“I’m cheese-greedy, so I sometimes combine two cheeses to give a new olfactory experience. For the post-Brexit, ‘Entente Cordiale burger’ go for two-year-old Comté from France and 18-month-old Montgomery Cheddar from Somerset. Grate a layer of both onto your freshly charred burger, slap the bun on and wait a minute or two until the cheese is molten. No finer melty cheese experience! Or, for a BBQ salad, the acidity of goat or ewe’s milk cheese is best – and a small amount of blue adds a delicious piquancy. No need to go too far for world beaters of either sort. I suggest three parts Flower Marie, a ewe’s milk cheese from Golden Cross in Sussex with a subtle citric flavour, to one part Barkham Blue from Reading, a creamy Guernsey milk cheese which equals the finest of the world’s blues. Scatter a handful of cubes across the salad and see your BBQ bowl empty quicker than if someone had cut the bottom off it.”

EVENT: John Mobbs and Francis Gimblett on English Wine and Cheese at The Lightbox on Saturday September 2, 2pm. Tickets: see


Surrey Hills Butchers, Oxshott

“Instead of trying to fit as many products as possible onto the grill why not try something different like a butterflied leg of lamb or spatchcocked chicken? Place them whole on a large chopping board after they’re cooked and let everyone dive in. Also make your own burgers. It’s so easy to do and you get to control exactly what’s going into your food. Start with some good quality mince from your butcher then add whatever flavours you have in the store cupboard. Horseradish is a winner for me or caramelised onion chutney. Mix them in and simply push between the palms of your hands to make bespoke patties.”

EVENT: Simon Taylor on The Art of Butchery at Tante Marie on Saturday September 2, 11.30am and Sunday September 3, 12.30pm. Tickets: £5


NEED TO KNOW: Woking Food & Drink Festival takes place from Friday September 1 to Sunday September 3, with venues across the town taking part. To find out more about what’s taking place, including appearances from the likes of Antonio Carluccio, Bruno Loubet, Three Girls Cook and a brigade of top Surrey chefs, visit


Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards hall of fame

Best summer pubs in Surrey 2017 – where to enjoy al fresco drinks and dining

Eating out in Surrey


Surrey chefs featured in this year’s Woking Food & Drink Festival demonstration kitchen include Dougie Balish from The Tudor Room at Great Fosters, Egham; Steve Drake from Sorrel, Dorking; Fernando Stovell from Stovell’s, Chobham; Ben Piette from London House, West Byfleet; Dan Britten from The White Horse, Hascombe; and Aneke Spacie from Waters Edge, Woking

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