The organisers of the Alresford Watercress Festival have revealed more of what’s to look forward to at this year’s event on Sunday, May 21.

Joining Mark Hix on the cookery stage will be MasterChef: The Professionals 2022 finalist Charlie Jeffreys, television chef Lesley Walters, Andy Mackenzie from the Chef’s Academy, Lainston House executive chef Phil Yeomans and Tichborne Arms head chef Yvonne Hamlett. 

Mark will be making extra portions of his watercress recipes so audience members can bid to buy them and raise funds for festival charity Abby’s Heroes. 

That’s only after he’s finished judging Barter’s Best, the most innovative use of watercress in food products being sold on the stalls at the festival. These were known as the Watercress Food Awards, but have been renamed after Charles Barter, who died at the end of 2022.

He was a key figure in the watercress industry and a driving force in setting up the festival 19 years ago.

The title of World Watercress Eating Champion will be up for grabs, and the day begins at 10am with the opening cavalcade and freshly-harvested watercress being thrown to the crowds by the Watercress King and Queen.

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