Food will literally rock at the South of England Food & Drink Festival on Sunday 25th May, just before May Bank Holiday, at the South of England Showground, celebrating amazing local food and drink and the award-winning artisans, farmers and growers that produce it, with a background of some great music.
The new Festival aims to please families and food lovers alike, with a huge range of local produce to buy, as well as a chance to sample hot and cold Street Food of every imaginable cuisine from the finest stalls in Sussex.
There is foodie fun for kids in a special Yurt tent play area, including cooking workshops and food tastings, with an emphasis on encouraging children to eat a wide range of healthy food. This will keep the kids entertained while the grown ups enjoy shopping and sampling craft ales, ciders and English wines in ‘The Hay Bale Barn’, with live folk, jazz and swing bands playing.
Supporting English Wine Week, the Festival is also offering wine lovers English Wine Masterclasses from top local winemakers, pairing their wines with gastronomic delights created by Masterchef: The Professionals winner Steven Edwards.
At the heart of Festival is ‘The Market’ – a huge converted barn packed full of wonderful food from over 80 of the finest producers in the south of England. This is an opportunity to not only sample, but also to buy that mouth-watering rib of beef and those fresh scallops and to stock up for half term week on farm fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and eggs.
The event is a partnership between Sussex-based food events firm Food Rocks and the South of England Agricultural Society, bringing together the best of the hip and the traditional in local food, drink and entertainment.
There will be a specially created ‘road’ of Street Food stalls serving almost every cuisine under the sun, each using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, so Festival goers are urged to bring their appetites for brunch, lunch, supper and many snacks and nibbles in between.
Said Simon Teesdale of Food Rocks, “Street Food has come a long way in the past few years and we have carefully selected some of the very best from towns across Sussex and beyond. We have also gone to great lengths to choose the finest local producers for our fresh food market – and have ensured that they meet our criteria with regard to production values.”
The food market includes fish from Veasey & Son, the current UK Fishmonger of the Year and winner of Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop at Sussex Food Awards2013/14; sausages from O’Hagans and Bangers Galore – both winners of National Sausagemaker of the Year; wine from Bolney Estate – UK Winemaker of the Year; beer from Hepworth & Co, Sussex Drink Producer of the Year 2013/14; several award-winning cheesemakers; real bread from Flint Owl; and raw milk and dairy from Hook & Son, stars of ‘The Moo Man’ movie, the surprise hit of The 2103 Sundance Film Festival.
Shoppers can store their shopping in the unique Food Rocks Fridge, a refrigerated cloakroom that allows purchases to be kept fresh and hands free, before immersing themselves in foodie fun for the rest of the day.
As well as offering the finest local and seasonal produce, organisers Simon Teesdale and Amy Hakim of Food Rocks want the Festival to help promote healthy, ethical, sustainable eating and living.
Continued Simon, “We love food – thinking about it, dreaming about it, cooking it, discovering exciting new recipes, flavours and textures – and above all eating it! By sourcing produce when it is in season and at its freshest from ethically-minded local suppliers, we believe it is possible to eat in a healthy, rewarding, socially responsible and cost-effective manner. It is our aim to enable everyone to share this passion and philosophy.”
Food Rocks are donating 10% of gate receipts to ‘Connect with the Countryside’, run by educational charity the South of England Agricultural Society, an event which enables 2,500 schoolchildren each year to learn about food, farming, the countryside and the environment.
Advance tickets only £8 including entry into a prize draw to win a luxury yurt for a weekend courtesy of LPM Bohemia, Flint and Flame kitchen knives or a bottle of Bolney Blanc de Blancs. Tickets cost £9 on the gate on the day. Free entry for children under 14. Tickets on sale at www.foodrockssouth.co.uk
First 50 tickets sold online are also guaranteed a seat for Steven Edwards masterclass, where spaces are limited.