Didcot has never traditionally been a place associated with good food and dining. But with the town surrounded by some celebrated producers and a number of acclaimed restaurants on its doorstep, that could be about to change.

Helping to establish the town as a gastronomic destination is the Didcot Food Festival, now in its fourth year. The event takes place this weekend and, for the first time, will run over two days.

Held at Didcot Civic Hall, the indoor event features 50 artisan traders, a Kid’s Kooking Zone, Chef’s Theatre and Vintage Tea Room, together with outdoor space for street food and entertainment.

The show will be opened at 10.30am on Saturday by the time-travelling magical duo Morgan and West who will be combining their passions for magic and food.

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Rhys Morgan says: “Our opening at this year’s Didcot Food Festival will be “bafflemint” mixed with a hint of amazement and a generous dollop of laughter.

“We can’t give away too much; a good magic trick is like a good joke and ruined if you let the punchline out of the bag too early. So, to enjoy our opening act, you will just have to ensure you are part of the crowd and see what it is all about.”

A clutch of Oxfordshire chefs have been lined up to show off their culinary skills. They include Faringdon’s Nick Bennett, formerly of the three-AA rosette Restaurant 56, in Sudbury House hotel, Faringdon, and now of Old Downton Lodge in Ludlow. In 2015 Nick reached the finals of BBC Two’s MasterChef: The Professionals.

Other chefs include Joe McCarthy from the award winning Wychwood Inn at Shipton-under-Wychwood. Joe’s trick is to take simple ingredients and turns them into memorable dishes.

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Also appearing is John Van Nielerk from the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn in Abingdon, who will be showcasing something fishy. The hotel’s restaurant has a Mediterranean influenced menu, but John also adds a hint of South African flavours to his food, drawing on dishes from his homeland.

Lovers of Thai food can savour the creations of Nawamin Pinpathomrat, the Oxford University PhD student who reached the final of last year’s MasterChef. Nawamin will cook a Cornish crab dish inspired by the flavours of his tropical homeland.

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The organiser of the Chef’s Kitchen, former Great British Bake Off quarter finalist Christine Wallace will hold a joint demonstration with Howard Middleton who also appeared in Series 4 of GBBO. Together they will show off their baking skills adding laughter and amusement throughout the demonstration.

Ali Imdad, who was on the programme with Christine and Howard, will also be showing how he is influenced by flavours from his travels and his culture.

There will be butchery and chocolate demonstrations and an appearance by former That’s Life presenter, and cook, Bill Buckley. He said: “I’m most looking forward to re-uniting with the other cooks, the backstage crew and the wonderfully enthusiastic audience – and to making some new culinary friends.”

Didcot Food Festival is at Didcot Civic Hall on Saturday and Sunday. See didcotevents.co.uk/didcot_food_festival