What’s on in October

This month is flying past and if you have missed out on some of October’s great events, don’t worry there are still a few more left to go from my top tips for you to enjoy.

Lichfield Autumn Beer Festival

Friday 20th – Saturday 21st October
Autumn Beer Festival
Guildhall, Lichfield

This popular festival returns to the Lichfield Guildhall where you can enjoy a fine selection real ales and ciders from local and regional breweries. Live music on each evening plus pork pies and a choice of refreshments.

Herbert Art Gallery Coventry

Friday 27th, Saturday 28th & Tuesday 31st  October
Nightmares & Nibbles
The Old Grammar School, Coventry

As part of the Day of the Dead festival, Vortex Creates is hosting a Nightmares and Nibbles spectacular where you can join Dr Frankenstein at the medieval hospital for a sip and a nibble at the grand unveiling of a secret laboratory. This lab and clinic explores the properties of the human body and soul creating miracle cures for those daring to try this selection of tasty yet gruesome delights £25 inc half a bottle of wine.

Matt Cheal

Monday 30th October
Sauce Supper Club with Matt Cheal
The Winehouse, Lichfield

Chef patron of Cheals of Henley, Matt is the host for this month’s supper club. He will be creating a six course tasting menu for guests that costs £65 per person.

All change at Simpsons

Late on Friday afternoon I received the press release that head chef Matt Cheal is leaving Simpsons to set up his own restaurant.

Matt Cheal

The 34 year old chef and his father have taken over what was formerly Edmunds in Henley-in-Arden.  Matt’s restaurant, Cheal’s of Henley, will undergo a complete refurbishment and will offer fine dining in a relaxed and informal setting.

Matt said: “I’m extremely excited to be heading up my own restaurant and I feel that the time is right.  I’ve spent an amazing 16 years at Simpsons, progressing up the ranks thanks to the guidance of Luke and Andreas.  There’s no better training ground than Simpsons and I’ve loved my time there so it had to be the right place for me even to consider leaving.  Henley-in-Arden has a lot to offer a chef and we have a lot to offer residents there too.”

Matt’s final day at Simpsons will be Sunday 9 August and he plans to open Cheal’s of Henley mid to late September.

After so long at Simpsons it must be a wrench to leave, but the dream of opening your own restaurant is the goal of many great chefs, Matt amongst them.  We have yet to hear who will be replacing Matt, but with the refurb due to be complete in September it will be an exciting few months ahead for Simpsons.

Birmingham chefs take centre stage

There are some familiar faces and a cross section of city venues taking part in the Foodies Festival this weekend.

Foodies Festival Chefs Theatre


To see the guys in action, here is the timetable for the Chefs Theatre.

Friday 15th May

12.00 Dhruv Baker – MasterChef Winner 2010

13.00 Nathan Eades – St Andrews Town Hotel

14.00 Ryan Swift – The Edgbaston

15.00 Robert Grzesik – The Warehouse Cafe

16.00 Nathan Eades – St Andrews Town Hotel

17.00 William Noblett – Ju Ju’s Cafe

Saturday 16th May

12.00 Dhruv Baker – MasterChef Winner 2010

13.00 Nathan Eades – St Andrews Town Hotel

14.00 Glynn Purnell – Purnells

15.00 James Wong – Chung Ying

16.00 Jackie Kearney – The Hungry Gecko

17.00 Nick Turner – Hotel De Vin

Sunday 17th May

12.00 Katy B – ‘Little Miss Meat Free’ Great Vegan Bake Off Winner 2014

13.00 Rachel Green – Top TV Chef

14.00 Aktar Islam – Lasan Group

15.00 Dhruv Baker – MasterChef Winner 2010

16.00 Matt Cheal – Simpsons

Entry to the Chefs Theatre is included in the ticket price. Tickets are released at the festival on the day and are available on a first come, first served basis and entry is limited – register for free entry at the Registration Point opposite the main entrance.

(Photo credits: Birmingham Mail and Birmingham Living)