THE countdown to the Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival, which runs from June 16 to 25, is now underway.

One of the highlights will be the chance to see the town’s mayor, the editor of the Echo and even an MP, battling it out in the People’s Kitchen.

Hosted by professional chefs Des Burke and Andy Chu, the People’s Kitchen promises a huge helping of laughs, a healthy sprinkling of rivalry and maybe, just maybe, some edible food.

Chef Des, owner of Flavours School of Cookery in Bournemouth, said: “The name of the game in the People’s Kitchen is for our special guests to try and recreate a dish which we prepare, and let’s just say it doesn’t always go to plan.”

New for 2017 in the People’s Kitchen will also be audience challenges.

Chef Andy, a consultant of Wah Hing Chinese Supermarket and Executive Chef of Mr Lee's Noodles Company, said: “We will be inviting members of the public to come up and learn a new technique, or how to prepare a simple dish.

“Who knows, we might discover some talented chefs?”

In a media ‘mash up’, Bournemouth Echo editor Andy Martin will go up against BBC Radio Solent presenter Steve Harris in a People’s Kitchen cooking challenge - and there is already a keen sense of rivalry brewing between the two.

Andy said: “As a journalist I deplore the use the puns, but I think it’s safe to say I’m going to light a fire under Steve and give him a complete battering.”

The People’s Kitchen 2017 takes place in Bournemouth Square Demo Kitchen on Saturday June 17, from 12.30-4.30pm and is just part of the 10-day Bournemouth Food & Drink Festival.

Festival organiser Sarah Ross, said: “Now in its 7th Year, Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival brings sizzling street food alongside local farmers and producers and 10 days of Free To Attend live entertainment to the heart of Bournemouth.”

Other highlights include a Street Food Festival, a Farmers’ and Producers Market, the Chefs Demo Kitchen, a Bartenders competition and The Kids Kitchen.

A range of festival sponsorship opportunities are now available. Call 0161 205 8551 or email: for more details.

For full event details, visit