Speakers & Chefs

Listen, Learn, Get Inspired

Chris Burt - Chef

Chris Burt

British chef and author of cookbook Momo-No-Ki

With over 30 years experience in the industry The Mytton & Mermaid Executive Chef Christopher Burt, grew up in the kitchens of his mothers restaurant in Yengama, Sierra Leone where he gained his love for food.

After trying at The Savoy & Le Manior aux quit Saison, he moved to Shropshire & gained his reputation as a chef.

After getting the travel bug from his parents, a trip to South East Asia changed his world. On his return, Chris went to work at Shrewsbury’s iconic Peach Tree Restaurant where he quickly made his mark on the restaurant scene & became a director.

After penning the self titled Momo-No-Ki cook book (acclaimed by New York Times food critic Peter Kaminsky) , he then went on to open Momo-No-Ki ramen bar, a first for the Midlands.

Working predominantly with local suppliers & artisans, Chris went on to be a firm favourite at Shrewsbury food festival, eventually running the cookery school & the Chef Demo Stage.

With travel being very important, Chris has gained numerous stages around the world, from charities in Thailand & Colombia to the hustle & bustle of the New York restaurant scene.

Never being one to rest on his laurels, he also works as a Consultant Development Chef for Finnebrogue Artisan in Northern Ireland, creating new dishes & flavour profiles for premium Uk food retailers.

Chris is currently working on projects with Luker chocolate in Columbia alongside industry food magicians MSK Ingredients.

Chris now heads up The Mytton & Mermaid creative culinary team.

Lajina Leal - Chef

Lajina Leal

Chef and founder of Masala Magic

Lajna launched Lajina Masala in October 2013 to teach home-style Indian cooking and has created six handmade spices to help people on their cooking journey.

A self-taught home cook, Lajina’s meals are made from scratch and she has many tips and tricks to make happy, healthy curries.

At Frestival she will be showing us how to create both gluten-free dishes, and how to create vegan-friendly dishes.

Helen Wang - Speaker

Helen Wang

Abakus Foods

Helen Wang is a former finance professional turned food entrepreneur and a serious foodie. She brought over the nutritious jujube fruit to the UK with her company Abakus Foods.

The idea came to her while working long hours in finance and trying to improve her energy and health. She was looking for nutritious foods that could help her counter stress, and they had to be convenient to eat and to fit into her gluten-free and dairy-free diet.

That’s when she re-discovered the jujube from her childhood and their adaptogenic properties, and decided that others should be able to benefit from them too.

Jan Minihane - Speaker

Jan Minihane

Founder, UK Paleo Awards

Jan splits her time between running the UK’s largest Paleo, Primal and clean living directory website, Healthy Perspective, and organising The UK Paleo Awards.

Healthy Perspective includes recipes, product and book reviews, as well as an introduction to the Paleo way of life.

Frestival-goers will be able to hear from Jan about her introduction to the Paleo lifestyle and the growth of the lifestyle in the UK in the past few years.

Rhea Alton - Speaker

Rhea Alton

Food and Fibromyalgia

Rhea Alton is on the organising committee for Frestival and will be leading a talk on Fibromyalgia and Food at the event.

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue (extreme tiredness), muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping, problems with mental processes (known as "fibro-fog") – such as problems with memory and concentration, headaches and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Rhea was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia just over two years ago and is looking forward to meeting with other sufferers to talk about symptoms and coping methods, which often includes changes in diet and free-from foods.

Ben Calder - Speaker

Ben Calder

Kinesiology & Epigenetics

n has been involved in the holistic health movement for over 25yrs. In 1999 he received kinesiology for issues with Allergic Rhinitis and Psoriasis with such successful outcomes he decided to retrain on kinesiology and has run a successful practice in Shropshire since 2003, helping many thousands of clients with allergy and diet based issues.

Ben works as an Integral practitioner, highlighting the importance of understanding how body, diet, movement, state of mind and emotions, relationships and environment all contribute significantly to our state of health.

Since 2014 he has been using a functional approach to the body via Epigenetic protocols and looking more and more at how our genetic map creates the territory for physical body to expressing health or disease and how we can manage our genetics through understanding our own genetic blueprint.

Ben also leads LifeForce Qigong and meditation sessions in his regular classes at Centre for Integral Health, the clinic he founded in 2013 in the centre of Shrewsbury. Ben has written articles on allergy which can be found in his blog at www.bencalder.co.uk and details of his clinic can be found at www.integralhealthshrewsbury.com

Richard Fletcher - Chef

Richard Fletcher

Chef/Proprietor of The Pheasant Inn at Admaston

Richard is Chef/Proprietor of The Pheasant Inn at Admaston. Richard is a keen advocate of using seasonal locally sourced foods , using home grown ingredients where possible, fresh herbs , greengages, apples and foraged wild garlic – his menu always moves with the seasons.

He will be showcasing dairy-free cooking for us at Frestival.