Food lovers’ paradise
It’s the foodie highlight of the season and this year’s Powderham Food Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever
With autumn fast approaching, the time has come to revive those hearty stews and warming winter recipes and this year’s Powderham Food Festival is the perfect place to gain an immeasurable amount of cooking inspiration for everyone in the family. Now set to return for its seventh year, this brilliant festival will be held in the stunning grounds of Powderham Castle and promises to provide foodie lovers with an even bigger line-up of food and drink producers than ever before. With over 170 exhibitors attending this exceptional weekend, you are guaranteed to get lost in a world of all things edible, drinkable and delectable.
Headlining the festival this year is star of The Hungry Sailors, James Strawbridge. Cooking up a storm for festival-goers, he will be demonstrating his expertise in the chefs’ theatre, which will be hosted by Devon broadcaster, Judi Spiers.
Joining him will be acclaimed patisserie chef Colin Bennett, Ashley Wright, head chef at the award-winning Horn of Plenty and respected chef director at the Ashburton Cookery School, Darrin Hosegrove, awardwinning cake bakers and regulars on Channel 4’s Extreme Cake Makers, Phil and Christine Jensen and gut-health expert, Katie Venner from Tracebridge Sourdough and Fermenteria.
James Strawbridge comments: “We are extremely lucky to live in this part of the world that boasts such a brilliant assortment of exciting food and drink, and to have it all come together in the spectacular grounds of Powderham Castle, is an occasion that must not be missed.
“My favourite thing about autumn is being able to create new, hearty dishes. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the other chefs have up their sleeves and demonstrating some of my all-time favourite recipes across the weekend.”
Powderham Food Festival has established itself as the autumnal foodie event of the year. Set within the grounds of Devon’s finest castle, the festival boasts a packed programme that caters for everyone. As well as great food, there’s live music and comedy
from Dan the Hat and a chance to get involved in the scores of games and entertainment happening across the weekend, including The Theatre of Fire and Smoke and The Great Devon Chilli Challenge.
This year, the fiery fun is stepping up to a whole new level as the popular Theatre of Fire and Smoke and Fire Tipi areas are expanding to include not only the demonstrations and talks within the tent, but six demonstration stands set either side of the main tipi.
Across the weekend there will be rolling interactive demonstrations from some of the region’s top fire and barbecue cooks who will be also selling taster plates and meals of the wonderful food you can watch being made.
Amongst these fire masters, Powderham regulars Simon ‘Womble’ Dyer and John Gower will be experimenting with different smoking and grilling
techniques, using fire pits, barbecues, smokers and wood fires to deliver incredible flavour and the tastiest barbecue food.
Experts in their fields, both are West Country farmers, Simon nicknamed ‘Womble’ because he recycles all sorts of old materials - from old washing machines to oil drums - to construct his unique barbecues and smokers. Simon who farms in Somerset, was crowned the winner of the ITV Barbecue Champ 2015 and will be demonstrating some amazingly simple and imaginative skewer ideas.
John Gower, the charcutier behind the successful Quiet Waters Smoke and Fire in North Devon, will be prepping a dramatic barrel-cooked seafood medley, cooked with hot stones and seaweed and served fresh from an oak wine barrel. With live action, fiery entertainment throughout the whole weekend, the Theatre of Fire and Smoke is the perfect place to sample wonderful barbecue flavours and styles and watch the sizzling fun.
Little ones will be well catered for with a chance to get hands on in cooking demonstrations led by The Fun Kitchen. Classes will be running throughout the weekend to show children how to have fun creating fresh dishes from scratch.
Festival director Bob Small has been working hard with the team to make sure this year’s event is even bigger and better than before.
Bob comments: “We are delighted to be joined by so many of the region’s finest chefs. This year’s festival welcomes over 170 exhibitors with plenty of live music and demonstrations to enjoy. With the beautiful and historic Powderham Castle as our backdrop, there’s lots under cover so whatever the weather the festival is a fantastic, family, foodie, fun day out.”
‘There’s lots under cover so whatever the weather the festival is a fantastic, family, foodie, fun day out’