Bursary winner for Thame Food Festival is revealed

Thame Food Festival bursary winner announced - mentors Chris Wheeler and Adam Johnson.
Thame Food Festival bursary winner announced - mentors Chris Wheeler and Adam Johnson.

The first bursary winner for Thame Food Festival has been announced.

Festival organisers are delighted to announce that their very first bursary has been awarded to Tess’ Brilliant Bakes, run from a kitchen in the village of Adderbury.

Set up by Lisa Hartwright last year, the concept was initially built as a delicious sideline business selling to friends and family, but more recently Lisa has been venturing out into the realms of artisan food markets.

Priding herself on using local quality ingredients where possible, Lisa has gradually extended her range to include various cookies, tray bakes, loaf cakes, cupcakes and larger cakes.

The bursary includes £1,000 - which Lisa is going to spend on a catering oven - a free pitch at this year’s Thame Food Festival event, a free page in the festival programme, plus PR and social media support for one year.

She is going to be supported by high profile Food Festival Mentors who will be willing to help and encourage her over the year, using their many years of experience within the food and hospitality industry.

The mentors are Adam Johnson, head development chef for Raymond Blanc, at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Oxfordshire; Chris Wheeler, executive chef for Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire; Nick Downie, head of marketing for Stoke Park.

Lisa said: “I can’t quite believe it. It’s wonderful to have such a group of people believe in me and what I make. It’s also with huge thanks to my partner Paul. Without his unwavering support I wouldn’t be able to do this.

“I am already thinking about new recipes that I would like to share with the mentors to see what they think. There is even talk of us developing a special Thame Food Festival Bake specifically for the event in September. I can’t wait.”

Lotte Duncan, patron and organiser of Thame Food Festival, added: “We were absolutely delighted with the response to our very first bursary and my goodness the competition was tough. There were some great products from some amazing artisan producers, but we just had to make a decision.

“However, there was just something about Lisa and even more importantly about her fabulous products that completely won all the judges over. It will be a real delight to support her over the next year and see her at the event in our especially dedicated Bursary Area, which will include some of the other applicants and finalists.”