Wallingford Food Festival 2015
Great to see this diversity and quality...
Wallingford Food Festival is celebrating its fifth year!
It is hard to believe that the festival has established itself and become a main event in the calendar but it has happened.
From the beginning it was a challenge and an opportunity to see if such a festival would be successful in the area. It seems that the challenges have changed but the opportunity is to keep promoting the benefits and the range of locally produced food and drink!
We are also proud that we have been recognised over the last three years with awards from Tourism South East and the two Silver Awards we have won mean so much to us, it is a team of volunteers who make the festival happen!
This year there are some changes and we are looking at a number of new producers joining us for the first time. There is also a noticable trend developing in asian food with Vietnamese, Indian and Goan food producers offering a taste of the exotic and spicy.
We look forward to sampling their wonderful delights. We also have local sausages, cheese maker, sauces, jam, chutneys, preserves, oils, bread, macaroons and more. There is also a strong drink turn out with the usual suspect of beer, cider and wine. Great to see this diversity and quality.
The festival would not be what is has become without the producers and it is so gratifying to see that we have a large number return each year. They are obviously doing something right when you see them back year on year and their businesses growing. We welcome the new producers to our small celebration of the wealth of local food and drink producers. Some are very new and hopefully the festival can help a little on their journey to success.
This year the fabulous Alan Coxon is back again to amaze us with his talent and culinary skills. Along with Alan we welcome back our own Bake Off Queen, Christine Wallace. Nick Galer who is creating a real stir with his food at the Miller of Mansfield in Goring will also delight us.
We have some new chefs who will challenge us with their flavours, these include Mary Ann Paderna from the Phillipines who will offer a glimpse into her wonderful world of cookery. Tuyen Huynh hails from Vietnam and will impress with the flavours in her cooking and Nin Dulai’s Indian flavours will amaze us.
We will have the princess of the kitchen, Kelly Mauger, from the WI Cookery School showing us how glamorous you can be in the kitchen and with your baking. Paul Bellchambers will be there to give us his style of cooking using locally sourced ingredients.
We introduced music to the festival in 2013. We are looking forward to the same experience this year. The Occasional Orchestra will be back to entertain with a different format this year. Details of others will be on the website.
Finally, we are planning a little surprise for the evening of 16 May to celebrate the fact that it is the fifth year of the festival. This will include a little music as well. If we can finalise some arrangements it will run until 8:00pm.
We have been blessed with good weather every year and we have our fingers crossed again. Please come along, whatever the weather, and support local food and drink.
Fundamentally, the availability of local food and drink is vital to us all. The quality and provenance of the produce is there to see and the passion of the producers is obvious. Supporting local business is important as without these local champions we will find products of the lowest common denominator and that cannot be good for any of us.
The festival could not run without its sponsors and this year the list includes: The Head Partnership, Just Right Marquees, Chapman Worth Accountants, South Oxfordshire District Council, Pettits of Wallingford, Open Imagination, SPC Group and The Late Chef. We are as ever grateful for their support of the festival.
Aspire Oxford are the charity of choice for the festival and we are grateful for their teams who provide help with loading/unloading, stewarding and lots of the grunt work needed to get the site set up and ready for the weekend. Thank you to the team from Aspire for their continued support.
The location of the festival is always noted as a fabulous place for the event. Bridge Villas Campsite has hosted the festival for four years. It has great facilities and the number of people who come and stay during the festival has grown each year. Is there a correlation between camping, food and drink? What you think?
Thanks to the team at the site for putting up with us and for hosting the festival again.
You can buy tickets online or on the gate. Please come and enjoy the food and drink, talking to the producers, each of whom have a fascinating story, the chefs demonstrations, and above all come and have a great time at the Wallingford Food Festival.