Christchurch Food Festival’s Market was the place to be at the weekend as crowds in their thousands descended on the town to experience the delights of the 16th annual Food Festival.
This year the Festival Market was expanded with the addition of a Festival Village at Christchurch Quay which also drew huge crowds eager to soak up the atmosphere, browse the stalls, choose some food and drink, listen to music and watch the demonstrations.
Levi Roots was the star of Saturday when he entertained a full demonstration three times to cook some Caribbean recipes and even getting the audience to join in with his Reggae Reggae song. Local chefs James Golding from The Pig, Alex Aitken from The Jetty and The Kings Arms and Colin Nash from The Three Tuns and Simon Hallam also cooked some mouthwatering dishes on Saturday, while Jimmy from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee talked about his business and let the audience taste his product.
Sunday’s demonstrations included Masterchef contestant Dean Edwards and the Festival’s patron, Lesley Waters, who was joined in her first session by Alex Aitken. Other demonstrations featured Luke Matthews and Adam Hart from Chewton Glen and James Golding who was joined by Andy Wright from The Pig on the Beach.
Sunday also saw the Family Fun Day on the bowling green opposite The Kings Arms with lots of activities for children as well as more food stalls.
All of the sessions at the Kids Kitchen at The Priory School were completely sold out and children of all ages had the chance to try their hand at producing some delicious food.
Vicki Hallam, Chairman of the Food Festival Committee, said: “We had a really fantastic time at the Festival Market and the Festival Village. Having the two sites worked very well as the Festival is so popular now that it meant that crowds could spread out a bit.
“The Village on the Quomps at Christchurch Quay had a great atmosphere and it was the perfect place for our demonstration theatre. All of the chefs complimented us on its position.
“We have had so many messages of thanks from traders who did great business, some of them saying that they had sold out of all their stock on both days. The Festival really does go from strength to strength but it could only happen with the help of all our sponsors and the volunteers who get involved in stewarding all through the weekend. I would like to thank every one of them for their sterling efforts.”
Events in Christchurch’s restaurants, pubs and cafes continue throughout the month of May – all detailsare on the website www.christchurchfoodfest.co.uk – and the Highcliffe Revival Food Festival takes place on Saturday 16 May when Highcliffe’s main shopping area will be closed to traffic to accommodate food stalls. There will also be a programme of demonstrations – details at www.highcliffevillage.com/food-festival/