MAGINE opening a food larder that's laden with delicious locally-made delights. Walk into Barnstaple's pannier market on Sunday (October 21), 10am to 3.30pm and it might feel exactly like that. You will find yourself surrounded by sumptuous smells, colourful cooking, luscious luxuries and tantalising new tastes.
Celebrated Devon Chef Michael Caines MBE will be bringing his own creative culinary magic to this free festival alongside 74 local food and drink producers showcasing delicious Devon cheese, artisan bread, ciders, meat, fish, ales and more.
The 5th annual Foodfest is also the place to uncover some of the UK's more unusual varieties of fruit and vegetables alongside traditional favourites. Try some Green Garlic or Pink Jerusalem Artichokes – whatever your taste North Devon Foodfest promises a new take on local seasonal food.
Chef Michael Caines will be taking a break from the kitchens of Gidleigh Park to demonstrate his culinary skills and his love of local North Devon food:
"It is no secret that I support all things local and regional and, in these tough economic times, it is important we support our local businesses and in buying local we do just that while also enjoying the excellent regional produce that helps to define Devon and the South West," he said. "The North Devon Food Festival is a great example of championing this. I look forward to demonstrating there again this year."
Blackberry and apple Indian crepes are just one way you can turn traditional seasonal local ingredients into great tasting and exciting fresh food. Tom Watkins and Nin Kaur of Seasonal Samosas will be delighting festival goers with their delicious Pakoras, Samoas, and Tikkis.
This family-run business has grown from Nin's love of ethnic cooking and Tom's passion for gardening. The majority of vegetables used in their food are grown in their Indian garden and the couple believe in organic, sustainable and low carbon methods of food production. A flock of Indian Runner Ducks are brought in for pest control to ensure the best quality veg.
"Dishes combine age old secret Punjabi recipes mixed with fresh Devon produce with a British twist," said Tom
"The secret of our unique taste is in the Garam Masala, a mix of spices that is individual to families and handed down from mother to daughter over generations.
"The North Devon Foodfest is renowned for showcasing traditional local ingredients as well as the latest food innovations, so it will be the prefect place to bring our much loved recipes to a new and appreciative audience."
Dez Turland, the group development chef of the Brend Hotels is an integral part of Foodfest each year and he also believes it is vital to support local food and drink producers:
"Brend Hotels have always been committed to working with the best local and regional suppliers who share our same vision and values for the South West. We're proud to be part of Foodfest, if we can all help support the local industry, the availability of local produce will eventually become more abundant and more economical, in turn promoting a more ethical means of food supply."
The North Devon Foodfest is a free one day event and welcomes around 8,000 visitors through its doors.
This year it's sponsored by North Devon Council, BID Barnstaple and the Northern Devon Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG).
The event is being part funded through the sale of a new Foodfest Magazine which is packed with festival information, recipes, chef profiles and money off vouchers. On sale for £1 on the day, it includes the chance to win a luxury local food hamper worth £250, courtesy of the BIG Sheep.
Information about Foodfest 2012 is available at www.findmydevon.com which includes the full listings for chef demo timings and exhibitor information.