Celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli to appear at Wakefield Rhubarb Festival

Top celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will cook up rhubarb-inspired dishes in Wakefield next month.

Novelli at last year's festival.

Michelin award-winning Novelli has joined the line-up for the city's Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb for a second time.

He will cook in front of crowds in the demonstration tent on Saturday, February 24, day two of the three day foodie festival.

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He said: “I am delighted to be returning to the Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb this year.

"It’s a wonderful event for all ages with a great range of entertainment.

"I will be demonstrating some exciting dishes some of which will include Wakefield’s famous rhubarb which I will personally choose from the great choice of stalls at the festival.”

Novelli is not the only chef whose culinary expertise will be on show.

The 12th annual festival will also welcome top local chefs from the Yorkshire area, including Heather Copley of Farmer Copley’s, Lee Wilkinson of Deli Central, Wakefield, and many more to be announced.

Coun Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Jean-Christophe wowed the crowds last year with his amazing creations, so I’m delighted he will be joining us again in our demonstration tent this year. “Jean-Christophe will be headlining a top line-up of incredible chefs as they share their favourite recipes. There will also be a whole host of fun street entertainment and stalls for all the family to enjoy.”

The festival, which last year attracted more than 135,000 visitors, includes cookery demonstrations, street food, walks and tours, as well a Deliciously Yorkshire market and stalls selling rhubarb produce including breads, cakes, sausages and pies.

It was first established in 2007, to mark the area's history as part of the Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell rhubarb-growing triangle.

The district's famous rhubarb has joined the ranks of Europe’s protected foods, with the same status as champagne and Parma ham, and the plant has played an important part in the economy for more than 150 years.

This year's festival will take place in Wakefield city centre and runs from 10am – 5pm on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February, and 10am - 4pm on Sunday 25 February.