Food festivals in September

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th August 2013
It’s September: that time of year when holidays come to an end, the kids go back to school, the evenings begin to draw in and somewhere in the country, no doubt, the first Christmas decorations go up. But never fear! It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. September has a veritable marquee-load of food festivals to brighten up your life and, as always, The Staff Canteen has the pick of them; so don’t pull on your wellies or pack your glamping gear without checking here first. The month kicks off in fine style with the Universal Cookery and Food Festival on 4th September at Warbrook House in Hook, Hampshire. Created by the Craft Guild of Chefs as an industry-focused event where chefs can share knowledge and passion, the line up itself is enough to get the heart racing with Michael Wignall of two-Michelin star The Latymer, Russell Bateman of Colettes, Lisa Allen of Michelin-starred Northcote Manor and James Knappett of Bubbledogs to name just a few of the star-studded chefs on display. Next up is Fishstock Brixham on 7th September. Set in the gorgeous Devon fishing town of Brixham, this award-winning festival features two stages of live music and cookery demos as well as fishy-type skills workshops and tours of local crab boats and beam trawlers; and it’s all in aid of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. On the same weekend we head north to Liverpool for the 6th annual Liverpool Food and Drink Festival set in the city’s lovely Sefton Park. Aiden Byrne, Gizzi Erskine and Levi Roots, amongst others, will be wowing the crowds with their cooking displays alongside live music, a pop up restaurant from local caterers, Pickled Walnut, and even an insect cookery area with TV chef Stefan Gates where you can try, among other things, purple bug blood drinks! The 7th is clearly a day for good food because it also sees The Colchester Oyster Festival, this year with a Roman-themed event looking back to the times when apparently the Romans so loved the Colchester oyster, they wrote poems about it! Just to stop things getting too poetic there will also be a Great British Pie Eating Competition. Stroud Food Festival also takes place on – yes, you guesed it – 7th September and showcases some of the best chefs, brewers, farmers and food producers from across the Cotswolds with a theme of ‘from field to fork’ highlighting the importance of local suppliers. The weekend of 13th-15th sees The Ludlow Food Festival return for its 19th year and going stronger than ever with a whole host of activities from cider pressing and knife cutting demonstrations to an Indian cookery school, cheese tasting and bakery masterclasses; there's even a secret restaurant; and of course there is the usual selection of top chefs including local chef Will Holland of La Becasse, Steve Love of Loves Restaurant, Sam Moody of The Bath Priory, Paul Foster of Tuddenham Mill and Aktar Islam of Lasan. We head to Shakespeare country on the 14th and 15th for the Stratford Food Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon where celebrity judge of the Great British Bake-Off – he gets everywhere – Paul Hollywood and star of Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin, Sophie Michell, will headline the demos. Back to the Cotswolds for Tetbury Food and Drink Festival on 18th – 22nd September where there will be BBQs and barn dances, sausage appreciation societies and tours of local mills and vineyards as well as a plethora of local artisanal producers and even the odd MasterChef finalist. The 21st is another busy one starting with Weston Super Food Festival on 21st and 22nd focusing on the best produce from the West Country with quality street food, local producers, suppliers and growers and even food-related comedy, street theatre and music. The same day sees The Barnes Food Fair set in London’s best kept secret, the village of Barnes. The fair aims to raise money for local charities and good works and also features some big-hitting chefs on demo duty such as two-star Phil Howard of The Square and recent star of BBC’s The Chef’s protégé, Theo Randall. A short hop over the Irish Sea finds us at the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival on 26th – 29th September. It’s the world’s longest-running oyster festival – the 59th one no less – and will include an international oyster shucking championship, a hot oyster cooking challenge, oyster eating competitions and a Mardi Gras style procession through the streets of Galway. The month ends at the London Excel Centre on 27th – 29th September with the Halal Food Festival showcasing a host of delicious halal foods as well as a cooking school and a live demonstration kitchen featuring some great chefs like Cyrus Todiwala and Jean-Christophe Novelli on the culinary ones and twos. Shabba!

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th August 2013

Food festivals in September