In Today's Food World, Everyone's a Critic and IG Is Still King

MUNCHIES tackled those issues and more, in a series of panel discussions at Wilderness festival this weekend.
Phoebe Hurst
London, GB
August 6, 2019, 12:25pm

Wilderness takes place every August in the rolling surrounds of Cornbury Park, buried in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. It’s pretty damn idyllic and this year, MUNCHIES joined the three-day arts and music festival to host a series of panel talks on big issues impacting the food world today.

Taking over The Dining Room tent – one of the festival’s many food hubs that also housed stalls from Club Mexicana, Le Bab and Hicce – ‘Mornings with MUNCHIES’ was chaired by VICE Managing Editor Phoebe Hurst and featured a rotating cast of chefs, food writers and activists.


Highlights included a discussion on the veganism trend with Ellie Brown, founder of vegan cheese company Kinda Co and notoriously meat-focused chef Neil Rankin, plus a debate on how to eat sustainably with Oxford Food Bank, Extinction Rebellion and chef Merlin Labron-Johnson.

Chef Jay Morjaria, who specialises in Korean food, also hosted a panel on appropriation in the food world, chatting with Indo-Malaysian street food trader Maria Knowles and James Cochran, whose cooking takes influence from both his West Indian and Scottish heritage. Another panel with London food influencer KS Ate Here discussed Instagram’s influence on the restaurant world, while Andrew Clarke and Angela Hartnett joined us for a poignant chat on the importance of good mental health in the kitchen.

The final panel of the weekend saw Guardian restaurant critic Grace Dent join Lisa Markwell of the Sunday Times, and chefs Josh Katz and Pip Lacey for a lively panel titled 'Everyone's a Critic', which revealed exactly how terrifying it is to have a big-name food writer walk in and review your restaurant.

Check out the photos from Mornings with MUNCHIES at this year's Wilderness to see what went down.


(L-r) Chef Jay Morjaria, James Cochran, Phoebe Hurst and Meriel Armitage on a Mornings with MUNCHIES panel at this year's Wilderness. All photos by Leala-Rain Shonaiya.


Guardian restaurant critic Grace Dent and Lisa Markwell of the Sunday Times.


Chefs Ben Quinn (left) and Andrew Clarke join Phoebe for a discussion on mental health in the kitchen.


Merlin Labron-Johnson speaks alongside Extinction Rebellion, Oxford Food Bank, Imogen Davis of the restaurant Native and chef Tom Aikens.


Chef Angela Hartnett and Lisa Markwell.

@phoebejanehurst / @leala.rain

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.