IF you have a junior Jamie Oliver or a mini Mary Berry in your household, then you won’t want to miss the Spring Essex Festival of Food and Drink.

The family friendly fest will be be crammed with activities to keep your little foodies occupied- and best of all, they are all FREE to take part in.

The fun weekend will take place at Chelmsford City Racecourse over Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12, and will be a celebration of all things culinary and gastronomical.

It will feature 80 food and drink stands serving up mouth-watering produce from all over world.

Throw in demonstrations from local and celebrity chefs - including BBC MasterChef 2013 winner Natalie Coleman, meat master and social media mega star Christian Stevenson, also known as “DJ BBQ”, as well as a host of food-themed family activities - and you’ve got the recipe for an unforgettable weekend.

A highlight on the menu for youngsters will be a selection of special cookery classes and science sessions.

Pastry chef and teacher, Stephanie Conway, from the Colchester Institute, will be at the festival to teach youngsters how to make their very own pizzas with a selection of toppings.

They can eat what they make or take it home to eat later.

The classes are ideal for children aged six to 16 years old and will take place five times daily at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Places are limited, so they need to be booked in advance.

The festival will also feature free art and craft classes based around food and planting.

“Our teaching experts from Bumble Bee Events are used to keeping little hands busy and occupied.

“The sessions are perfect for children of all ages and parents are required to stay with their children during these sessions,” said a festival spokesman.

“Drop-in sessions will be held throughout the weekend and no advance booking is necessary.”

Little ones can also enjoy an alliance with science at the festival.

Spectacular Science experiments and hands on activities, including fizzing potions, bubbling concoctions and giant smoke rings are guaranteed to astonish the crowds.

A sweet making experiment and magical science tricks will also keep children enthralled.

Classes are for five to 12 year olds and will take place twice daily at 11.30am and 2pm and should be booked in advance.

Included in the free entertainment over the weekend will be a resident face-painter who will transform as many visitor visages as possible.

Again, there is no charge for this, but please be patient as there may be queues.

If that’s not enough, the first 50 children through the gates each day will receive a free ice cream cone or tub from Rossi’s Ice cream!

Time to get booking. Simply buy your advance festival entrance ticket on line at www.essexfoodfestival.co.uk click on Spring Festival and tickets and get booking your place for the free classes.

Advance: Adults: £7. On the gate: £9.

Advance: Children 6-16yrs £4. On the gate: £5.

Under 6yrs FREE: No ticket required.

Online tickets are subject to a 10per cent booking fee.