Home / Fringe & Festivals / Latitude Festival / LATITUDE LOWDOWN: Ali Ray


How would you describe your show in one sentence?

A Campers Cooking Demo in Custard (my yellow campervan), served up with some tasty travel tales from my book – Pitch Up, Eat Local.

Is this your first visit to the Latitude Festival, if so what interesting tales have you been told about what to expect?

Yes, it’s my first time. I am a seasoned Glastonbury girl, not least because I live very close to the site, so I only have that to compare it to really. People tell me that Latitude is much more relaxed, has a back-to-nature vibe and feels more intimate. Intimate is good.

I’ve also heard there are mermaids in the lake. Is that true?

How has your demo and talk session developed on the way to Latitude?

Everyone likes talking about food. I talk to people about food everyday… I pick up stories, recommendations, tips for cooking and ideas of where to go. I love hearing the stories of people who make our food, so I suppose I just continue to gather stories about food ready to share them as I make my food. Then I’ll share my food.

I like my camping cooking demonstrations to be interactive, so I often springboard my stories off the people who are watching…

How important is it for festivals such as Latitude to have arts programming alongside the music acts?

I love the fact that Latitude embraces the arts and books!! Books

How have you been preparing for festival life?

In a way, my life is preparation for festival life. I’m effectively a professional camper, so I come ready prepared for camping out, my van is constantly packed with outdoor kit, cooking gear and duck tape, which fixes anything in any disaster. wandering around and eating my bodyweight in interesting food.

What do you think sets your show apart from all the other Latitude offerings?

Is anyone else doing cooking demos? Probably that – and the fact I am accompanied by a big yellow van and I’ll give my audience cups of tea.

What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Latitude (apart from your own!)?

There is SOO much I want to see. Laura Marlin, Ed Harcourt and the Vaccines in terms of music – I listened to their music when I was writing my book. The entire Faraway Forest set up sounds amazing….if I can drag myself away from the comedy tent. Michael Rosen Hanif Kareshi…But I know that the best bits will end up being the new discoveries, the weird and the wonderful people and performances that I stumble across. Those always make the best festival memories.

Wellies or fancy footwear for the festival?

Wellies, always. Trench foot is so unsightly.

Are you camping at Latitude and if so what’s your one top camping tip?

Sleep in a campervan. I travelled/lived in Custard (my van!) in Australia for a year, its where I taught myself to cook, so it feels like a cosy home on wheels wherever I park it. I have my best nights sleep in my van.

For tent campers – earplugs and warm bed socks! Oh and always have a way to make a cup of tea in the morning. Tea bags. However tough the night was. Tea will always make it better.

Latitude is famous for its multi-coloured sheep – if your show was an animal what type of animal would it be?

Can I cross one of your yellow sheep –with a chimpanzee? – Elements of wandering far and wide, constantly grazing combined with an air of chaotic tea party.


Ali will be at Latitude Saturday 18th July. She’ll bethe one wearing an apron cooking in Custard. Bring a picnic rug and a mug – she’ll be serving tea and hot choc.

For more information visit www.latitudefestival.com or www. alirayfoodandtravel.com

About The Reviews Hub - South East

The Reviews Hub - South East
The South East team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.