Exeter Food Festival Hosts Largest Number Of Producers

The number of local food and drink producers exhibiting at the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink 2012 is set to rise by 9%.

Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink logoCommencing on Friday 13th to Sunday 15th April, the festival, which is in it’s ninth year will fill three pavilions and additional eating areas in Northernhay Gardens and the Exeter Castle grounds.  The event is supported by Exeter City Council.

The famous Food Festival attracts the South West’s top producers keen to showcase their lovingly-made food and drink.

From cheese and chocolate to chutney and cider, the three-day festival gives visitors the chance to buy the finest produce from 113 regional producers, dine on a range of traditional west country flavours from hog roast to crab cakes as well as exotic regionally sourced tastes from Asian street food to Caribbean barbecue.

Real ale fans will also be able to choose from a wide selection of South West ales in two Festival bars.

Exeter Food Festival co-founder and 2 star Michelin Chef Michael Caines MBE, says, “We are proud and delighted that the Food Festival has expanded this year to welcome even more food and drink producers”.

“The South West is home to some of the UK’s best produce and the Exeter Food Festival plays an important role in showcasing to large numbers of people the fine food and drink for which the South West is famous.”

Exeter Food Festival imageA new initiative to help and support new businesses, Fresh at the Festival, gives start-up food and drink producers the chance to present their products to more than 15,000 people who visit the Festival each year.

Newcomers to the Festival this year include healthy breakfasts from Exeter schoolgirl entrepreneur, Ella’s Great Granola; devon based cake companies Get Cupcaked, The Cherry on Top and the Devon Scone Company; award winning Red Ruby beef producers Burrow Farm and hand-picked, fresh apple juice from Milltop Orchard Ltd and Cornish wine producers Polgoon Ltd.

Michael Dart of award winning Darts Farm and an Exeter Food Festival board member, says, “In a time of economic instability it is great that the Festival has attracted more high quality food producers than ever before”.

“To me, this reflects the picture at Darts Farm, where our customers are so loyal, continuing to support local food producers and the local economy. High quality local food is a little luxury to enjoy in these difficult times”.

With Spring in the air, take a sneak preview at some of the very finest produce available to taste, share and buy at the Exeter Food Festival.

The chilli enthusiasts at the South Devon Chilli Farm will be showcasing a new Honeycomb Chilli Chocolate blended with select chillies and a generous helping of chunky honeycomb.  The new product was developed with the help and taste buds of the Youth Enterprise Team (YET) at Oreston Primary School in Plymouth and is created with both adults and children in mind.

Bell & Loxton’s cold pressed rapeseed oil is grown, pressed and bottled on farm in South Devon. Director Rachel Bell explains, “Our oils are a delicious, healthy alternative to other culinary oils, they are naturally rich in omega 3, 6 & 9 and has less than half the saturated fat of olive oil. What is more as they are grown and bottled in the heart of Devon, Bell & Loxton’s rapeseed oil also has far fewer food miles than its Mediterranean counterparts. Our oil is perfect for roast potatoes if you are having a big family Sunday lunch!”

Starting the season for al fresco dining, Severn and Wye Smokery will be displaying elvers in tanks and smoking salmon and eels in their brand new mobile smoke house. Dai  Thomas, says, “We really are looking forward to the Exeter Food Festival, and as we haven’t been to the festival before, quite excited. A warm welcome awaits all those who come and support us.”

First time exhibitors Cornish Orchards, Liskeard, will launch its brand new lemonade at the Festival, made using Cornish spring water, Sicilian lemon juice and its own freshly pressed apple juice. Lucy Craven, Marketing Manager says, “Our new lemonade is gently sparkling and semi-cloudy and perfect for a spring day. We have been to the Exeter Food Festival as visitors and know that it is a lovely event so are very exciting to be exhibiting this year.”

Festival goers can also sample the Official Festival Sausage, the Free Range Pork & Caramelised Onion Sausages, created by butchers, Complete Meats, Axminster, a winning combination of superb free range pork from the West Country and locally produced caramelised onion.

The three-day Exeter Food Festival is also a great chance to see over 30 top chefs demonstrate their skills in the Festival Cookery Theatre, pick up tips at a number of expert masterclasses, get advice on herb, vegetable and fruit gardening in the Fermoy’s Grow Your Own area, get hands on in the Darts Farm Food is Fun theatre and enjoy the atmosphere of the South West’s famous food and drink Festival in the beautiful surroundings of Exeter Castle and Northernhay Gardens.

After the daytime events, enjoy the Festival After Dark Party on both Friday and Saturday nights in Exeter Castle courtyard with a mouth-watering array of stalls serving delicious regional fare, ales and cider, sizzling chef demos and live music from the renowned Mama Stones House Band with special guests.

For more information or to buy tickets visit: www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk