Warm Welcome at River Cottage for the Universal Cookery and Food Festival

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th October 2014
Chefs of all levels were welcomed last week to River Cottage HQ, Axminster for the third year of the Craft Guild of Chefs’ universal cookery and food festival. ucff_2014_logoJohn Feeney, one of  the event directors, said: "We were delighted to have had the opportunity to host the event at River Cottage, a culinary epicentre for all food bloggers and chefs. The site was perfect for our event and I felt very honoured to be there and very humbled by the location. The Universal Cookery and Food festival is about making sure we tie in with the local heroes along with providing innovation, trends and creativity. The location itself was a great compliment to what we do. The whole day is at your own pace, there is a line up for the day and you get to choose." The location was certainly a draw, with places on the foraging and farm tours being filled within the first hour of opening. John Wright, River Cottage’s wild food expert, took visitors to explore the countryside and to learn more about the edible species of plants that can be found growing wild in the hedgerows, woods and fields surrounding River Cottage. Will Livingstone, River Cottage’s Head Gardener, led the farm tour, sharing his knowledge on becoming self-sustained and guided visitors around Park Farm to enjoy River Cottage’s famous kitchen garden, the farmhouse and the poly tunnels. Gill Meller, Group Head Chef at River Cottage said: "We are very excited to have UCFF here; it’s been a real pleasure and a privilege. There is so much excitement and so many like-minded people all here to celebrate food, ingredients and cookery." The farmer’s market, split between the courtyard, barn, festival and unplugged tents, saw more than 60 exhibitors set up their stands. Visitors were treated to the opportunity to sample wares and be the first to hear about new products, with a number of launches occurring at the festival.ucff2012-painshillpark Ian Nottage, another of the event directors, added: "The aim of the UCFF from day one has been to celebrate and highlight all the different aspects of food in our industry today. I believe that we really captured that this year at River Cottage with demonstrations ranging from raw food to molecular gastronomy, and topics from artisan cheese making to tackling obesity. This was also demonstrated by our eclectic mix of exhibiting suppliers; everything from small, independent charcuterie producers to state of the art cooking equipment. Brilliant!" There was plenty of opportunity to taste some amazing food throughout the day. Alan Paton and the Porketeers cooked up a porky breakfast fit for champions. We also celebrated young industry talent with a sustainable lunch cooked by the students of the River Cottage Cookery School. Indie-pop band SpaceGoat provided the soundtrack to the evening with some impressive beat boxing, as chefs mingled in the courtyard enjoying BBQ food provided by River Cottage and craft beer from sponsors Greene King. Save the Date! The fourth UCFF takes place 23rd September 2015 at Vallum Farm. It is not one to be missed! For information about taking a stand in the farmers market for UCFF 2015 please call 01293 854403 or email [email protected]

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th October 2014

Warm Welcome at River Cottage for the Universal Cookery and Food Festival