NORTH Devon Foodfest took place today in Barnstaple’s historic Pannier Market, and one stall holder said that she felt Barnstaple had “come alive".
Thousands of people packed into the market to taste the vast array of local foods and drinks on offer from around 100 stalls.
From pasties to lobster, the range of food on show was huge, and with many stalls giving out free samples crowds gathered to see what local produce was on offer.
Erica Murfitt was running a stall for her cake-pop business Fin and Sully’s Pops.
She said: “We have been so busy all morning, it’s been crazy really.
“This is my first time at Foodfest, and it was my son’s birthday yesterday, so it has been one year since I made my first cake pop.
“It’s crazy to think how far we have come.”
Jo Budden, who runs Higher Hacknell Organic Farm, said she had been at Foodfest every year since it started.
”It’s absolutely fantastic here today. It speaks for itself that you can barely move in here.”
“It’s a great festival, and it’s just fantastic to see Barnstaple come alive.
“Everyone is here to enjoy and support local produce, which is wonderful.”
James Doel, who runs Boom Kitchen, has recently been to a food show in London, but said the crowd in Barnstaple had been better.
“It’s going really well. There has been a constant crowd around trying all our different curry flavours. It's been great.”
Live cooking demonstrations were being given inside the Queen’s Theatre, and hundreds of people packed in to watch top Devon chef Michael Caines' demonstration, which quickly reached full capacity.
The annual North Devon Food and Drink awards were announced by Seth Conway, and presented by Michael Caines.
The winners were:
Best Restaurant - Terra Madre at Broomhill.
Best Café – John’s of Appledore.
Best Food to Go – Grayling’s Fish and Chips in Fremington.
Best Pub – The Bell Inn, Parkham
Best Local Producer/Retailer – Dan the Fish Man of Clovelly.
Super Service – Lizzie’s Larder of Milton Damerel.
Dan Garnett, better known as Dan the Fish Man, won his award for the third year running, and announced that he would now be retiring from the awards.
“I won’t be running next year so someone else can have this award, but I will be sponsoring a cup, he said.
The final heat of Brend Hotels' Ready Steady Cook took place, and finalists were given £10 to dash around the festival and pick their chosen ingredients.
Finalists were introduced by Journal editor Lisa Templeton, who said she was proud to be a sponsor of the event.
Other sponsors included North Devon Council, BID Barnstaple, The Northern Devon Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) and Johns of Instow and Appledore.