Wilderness 2019 Preview

Wilderness Festival 2019: what not to miss

by Great British Chefs 17 July 2019

Beyond the stellar music and arts programmes Wilderness Festival has become renowned for its culinary contributions, hosting some of the best chefs to cook at their epic long table feasts and intimate chef tables. Here's a rundown of everything you should eat and drink throughout the four days of festivities.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

Wilderness might primarily be a music festival, but with year nine promising an even bigger and badder list of chefs, restaurants and street food names than ever before, it’s an event all foodies should be well aware of.

Across the four days – from 1-4 August – is a jam-packed itinerary of edible experiences; from Michelin-starred chefs hosting long table feasts in The Banqueting Tent, to a handpicked collection of some of London’s most innovative restaurants in The Dining Room and Field Restaurants. It wouldn’t be a festival without street food, so don’t fret – lots of the best street food vendors in the business are here too, so you can still grab your burger and fries, or vegan veggie bowl if that’s what takes your fancy!

Acknowledging that many chefs have a special affinity for music, Wilderness have introduced The Dining Room Sessions this year, where chefs can show off their deck-spinning talents after dark. Expect a rotation of chef DJs and themed nights like The Breddos Sound System where Breddos pair Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney will be playing, and other special guests including James Cochran and Pip Lacey. VICE food-offshoot Munchies will be hosting an array of panel discussions on topical food and drink issues in the mornings, moving onto wine and food pairing lessons in the afternoon.

Particular highlights from across the board include an intimate Chef’s Table affair with Tom Brown, a special collab between Andrew Clarke and Hotbox, and a 5-course extravaganza with Tom Aikens in The Banqueting Tent. Lot’s of the chef-events are already sold-out though, so be hasty if you’d like to attend one before all the seats are gone!

The Banqueting Tent

The long feasting tables are one of Wildernesses most coveted and recognisable features – this year playing host to some Michelin-magic from around the world. Opening the series on Thursday night is Josh Katz of Berber & Q, preceding Kitchen Table’s James Knappet on Friday.

Saturday sees Yossi ‘Papi’ Elad fly in from Jerusalem to give guests a taste of the Middle-East, with Tom Aikens providing the big finale on Sunday with a saliva-inducing menu – including dishes such as Baby Chicken, Fermented Grains and Sorrel and Baked Alaska, Basil Ice-Cream, Green Tea and White Chocolate.

When great music and great food meet together the results can only be spectacular.

Tom Aikens

Chef's Table

Like the sound of a 6-course tasting menu overlooking the picturesque Cornbury Park Lake? Well, the series of Chef’s Table sessions might be for you. A specially curated selection of chefs will be putting on a very intimate 6-course tasting menu experience for their lucky diners. Nieves Barragán (Sabor) is kicking things off on Thursday, followed by Dan Smith (The Fordwych Arms) on Friday with Neil Borthwick (The French House) and Tom Brown (Cornerstone) taking the Saturday and Sunday slots respectively. The tickets for these are highly sought after and most tickets have already sold out though, so one to watch out for next year if you missed them!

The Dining Room

Back with a bang The Dining Room has been given a cheeky little revamp this year. Not only will there be some of London’s most exciting restaurants serving up some top quality grub – Smokestak, 12:51, Hicce, Scott Hallsworth's Freak Scene, Le Bab and Club Mexicana – but this year Wilderness launches The Dining Room Sessions. In the morning you’ll be able to grab your brekkie here whilst mulling over the previous nights antics, or sit in on one of the panel-discussions hosted by Munchies. During the afternoon there’ll be a focus on food and wine pairings, hosted by sommeliers Charlotte Wilde and Ruth Spivey accompanied by guest chefs.

Photography: Andrew Whitton @ Fanatic

As night falls this will also be the place to be as The Dining Room DJs come out to play their favourite tracks from 8pm until late. Starring DJ chefs including Nud and Chris with The Breddos Sound System on Thursday night, and special guests James Cochran on Friday and Pip Lacey with her 90’s cover band on Sunday.

Field Restaurants

Scattered across the Cornbury Park site will be a mixture of returning favourite eateries and greatly anticipated newbies. Seats at these can be pre-booked via the website, with a few kept free to be booked on the day – just pop over after brekkie to secure a spot, or of course you can just get a take-away!

You will have to make the tricky choice between Pizza Pilgrims, Angela Hartnett’s Italian treasure Cafe Murano, Petersham Nurseries, Patty & Bun and Hotbox. Not missing Hotboxes special collab on Sunday with Andrew Clarke – one of the mighty duo behind St Leonards, Brunswick House and Orasay.

Street Food

Last but certainly not least is the huge selection of street food stalls catering for every taste, cuisine and dietary requirement. They’ve got over 70 of the biggest names in the business with particular highlights from The Cheese Truck, Bad Brownie, Mama’s Jerk, Anna Mae’s and Rice Guys – plus 100% plant-based and meat-free menus provided by the likes of Buddha Bowls, Black Mylk and more.

Photography: Justine Trickett @ Fanatic
Photography: Justine Trickett @ Fanatic
Photography: Andrew Whitton @ Fanatic

General camping summer release tickets from £189.70 + booking fee and teens from £126.25. Head over to the Wilderness website for more info and to book.