The sun shone (for the most part) on the Dartmouth Food Festival last weekend, resulting in a happy band of visitors, exhibitors and organisers and a convivial atmosphere all over town. Chair of the event, Julie Graham, was delighted with the way things went. “I’ve have a huge amount of positive feedback from both traders and visitors alike. It was a pleasure to see so many smiling faces over the weekend.”
The Royal Avenue Gardens hosted a wide variety of street food vendors offering everything from dim sum and bao buns through to Persian flatbreads and gut healthy bowl food. And an additional 80 stalls spilled down the Embankment and into the Old Market Square with an abundance of locally-produced, high quality ingredients including award winning cheeses, hand-made preserves, delicious breads, amazing wild game and artisan chocolate.
The Demo Stage was, as ever, home to a wide range of local and national chefs all sharing their knowledge and expertise with an enthusiastic audience. Matt Tebbutt, Jane Baxter, Elly Wentworth, Richard Bertinet and Thomasina Myers all drew in the crowds as did Festival Patron Mitch Tonks with his friend and Festival buddy Mark Hix.
It was standing room only for many of the Food Matters conversations, including Professor Tim Spector’s session discussing why eating more than 30 different plant species per week really is the key to a healthier life.
The Upper Deck of Dartmouth Yacht Club played host to wine experts such as Susy Atkins (Sunday Telegraph), Will Lyons (The Times) and Fiona Beckett (The Guardian) who delighted and informed audiences with their tutored tastings. The Royal Castle Hotel meanwhile, featured local gin and rum masterclasses.
The foodie fun continued at Browns Hotel where visitors enjoyed an eclectic series of talks and tastings with the likes of Sharpham Cheese, Rare and Pasture charcuterie and Forest Fungi. For those preferring a more hands on approach, Coastal Cooking from Ilfracombe held a series of practical workshops on sushi and pasta making.
The Festival is run by a dedicated team of locals who work hard throughout the year to put on the event and there is an even bigger band of volunteers who work tirelessly over the weekend behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly. Julie goes on to add “ … we also couldn’t do what we do without the financial support of our Sponsors to whom we extend a huge thank you.”
Next year is the 20th anniversary of the Festival so expect an even bigger and better event!