The second Wallingford Food Festival 2012 took place on the 25th May. The weather was kind to the point that it was the hottest weekend of the year! The planning for the festival started at the end of 2011 with a date and a plan on having some new attractions and running our own cafe. The goals where to increase the visitor numbers by 750, double the number of producers and increase our sponsors.
Our Sponsors included many from last year and two new sponsors. VZUG provided our kitchen for the cookery demos and our chefs enjoyed working in the professional kitchen they provided. The second new sponsor was The Head Partnership who sponsored our event programme.
Our cookery demos were fantastic! The chefs utilised local produce from many of the producers at the festival.
Gary Jones (Executive Head Chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons) provided a fantastic demo with two main dishes and a delicious taster.
Peter Lien (Chef Manager at the WI Cookery School) cooked up a storm and Nick Crosley showed how the cookers etc could be used to create great food.
Momo Fujita-Clarkson cooked some delicious Japanese food and I cooked a starter and lamb dish using local ingredients. The VZUG Cookery Kitchen was full for every demo which was great for each of the chefs demonstrating.
In addition to the cookery sessions we had a number of producers presenting their produce:- including Loddon Brewery, Wines Unfurled, Wild by Design and others. The range of producers was amazing! Oils, Cheese, Meat, Bread, Cakes, Vegetables, Jams, Preserves, Plants, Indian sauces, Indian food, Japanese food and more.
To add some extra interest and colour to the festival we had 3 cars from the Aston Martin Owners Club on display and some great static art from Stephen Vince (Sculptor).
The stream of visitors coming through the gate from 10 am was constant and by the end of the day 2500 visitors had explored the range of local produce on display. The 43 producers showed a wonderful range of great produce from vegetables, meat, cheese, beers etc that is produced in Oxfordshire and locally.
We exceeded our goals for increased visitors, producers and sponsors! Festival 2012 was successful in every way but primarily in providing an environment for visitors to see the range of fresh, quality local produce that is available.
The goals of the this years festival have been achieved and we are looking forward to planning next years festival which will be in May 2013, the date will be announced on the festival website – www. wallingfordfoodfestival.co.uk , please keep an eye on the site for details.
If you have any feedback or would like to be involved in the 2013 Festival as a chef/producer/sponsor please let me know. And please vote in the poll below.