Glastonbury for chefs draws largest crowd to date

The  Staff Canteen
Some of the biggest names in the food industry travelled to the North East to attend Universal Cookery and Food Festival 2015 (UCFF). UCFF 1 low resThe annual festival, now in its fourth year, brought more than 400 people from all aspects of the food trade together, the largest number to date, for the Craft Guild of Chefs event at Vallum Farm, near Matfen, Northumberland, on September 23. “The North East has a wealth of food producers and suppliers along with some highly experienced chefs,” said Lee Maycock, Craft Guild of Chefs’ national vice chairman and event director for the Universal Cookery and Food Festival.

>>> Read: James Close, Michelin-starred chef, slashes working hours to combat chef shortage

“The event is a great way to bring people from every level of the food industry together and provide a platform for local talent and industry experts to connect and share their innovative ideas, inspiration and expertise. “It is a truly creative event that gives suppliers, local producers and retailers the opportunity to showcase what they do and the event keeps getting bigger and better every year.”James Close UCFF 2015 Renowned chefs occupied the festival stage throughout the day, discussing their personal experiences of how to make it in a competitive industry. Sat Bains, chef-patron of Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham took to the stage in the morning giving an insightful talk and inspiring future generations of young chefs, with his honest appraisal of what it takes to achieve the coveted Michelin star.

>>> Read: Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms to change to a 4-day week

The festival also celebrated regional talent as chefs Kenny Atkinson, James Close and Terry Laybourne shared their culinary expertise and demonstrated their skills, cooking up amazing dishes with each discussion. Newcastle-born Terry, owner of 21 Hospitality Group, flew the flag for senior industry figures as he talked about his extensive career since opening Newcastle’s 21 Queen Street in 1998. Terry shared his thoughts on his recipe for success and was joined by Tyneside-born, John Williams, The Ritz’s executive chef and Nigel Haworth and Craig Bancroft of Northcote Manor. Together, these icons of the industry, shared their ‘pearls of wisdom’ in an informal discussion that proved popular with the audience. UCFF kenny atkinson 2015 low resThe farmers’ market, located in the big top festival tent, saw more than 50 exhibitors set up their stands, giving visitors the opportunity to sample the wide range of food available from local and national suppliers. Attendees were spoilt for choice with an abundance of sweet and savoury treats to tuck into from local exhibitors Davenport’s chocolates, Northumberland Cheese Company and Olivia’s Artisan Bakery. This is the first time UCFF has arrived in the North of England as chefs of all levels were brought together with industry experts for the one day festival which offered a packed programme of events. Places were filled within hours for the feather and fur demo which was a highly popular attraction. Not for the faint-hearted, the tour saw Westminster Kingsway chef lecturer and game expert, Jose Souto, skinning and butchering deer, alongside founders of The British Larder Ross Pike and Maddie Bonvini - Hamel who demonstrated the best way to cook with game and seasonal products. Visitors also had the chance to shoot some clays. The festival drew to a close with a free barbecue and beer in the evening as chef Alan Paton and his team cooked a delicious menu which included locally sourced lamb from Charlotte’s Butchery and Wagyu beef burgers, which was also a topic in one of the many demo’s throughout the day. Next year the Universal Cookery and Food Festival will take place at Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire on 20 September 2016. For more information about UCFF 2016 please call 01293 854403 or email [email protected] or visit the website
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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th October 2015

Glastonbury for chefs draws largest crowd to date