North West food-lovers can look forward to another taste-bud-tickling weekend this summer, as Foodies Festival returns to Tatton Park in Cheshire, serving up a lip-smacking feast 15th to 17th July.This year’s festival sees the region’s culinary elite cooking live in the Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre, showcasing their skills, sharing insight into 2016’s food trends and answering questions from the audience.
Visitors can enjoy a new ‘Feel Good Foods’ theme at Foodies Festival this summer, with healthy living chefs and food writers joining the line-up to cook with superfoods including kefir, lucuma, freekeh, kelp and banana flour, and sirt rich foods such as blueberries, kale, celery, buckwheat, turmeric, chilli and red onion.
Festival-goers can also discover the advantages of eating ‘Feel Good Foods’ such as cheese (a source of phenylethylamie – the love drug) and dark chocolate and seaweed (both sources of serotonin – the happy drug) as experts promote their nutritional and emotional benefits with energy, happiness and calm boosting recipes available to take home.
With flavours from all corners of the world available on the Street Food Avenue, hunger will be banished and taste buds tingled with the huge array of cuisines on offer. Thai, Malaysian, Argentinian, Turkish, Indian, Korean, Mexican, French and African are just some of the other flavours available to feast on this summer, and celebrity chef Aldo Zilli will be serving Italian Burritos as part of his new street food offering.
There’s a special focus on Brazilian street food this year to celebrate the Olympic host’s cuisine, including traditional Brazilian BBQ and Rio’s favourite dish Feijoada made from black beans, salted pork, trimmings, smoked sausage and jerk beef, which is cooked in a traditional clay pot. Brazil’s national cocktail Caipirinha, a mix of lime, sugar and Cachaça (made from sugarcane juice with an ABV of 48%), and Brazilian coffees will be available.
Expert mixologists and sommeliers, including Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe, host wine masterclasses and Home Brew Depo offer tutorials in home beer brewing.
Visitors can test their taste buds with blindfolded whisky challenges, where they will have to taste and smell to try and identify ingredients and country of origin. These classes are also a great opportunity for novices to learn about whisky and its history.
A glittering array of Great Taste Award winners are available to shop and sample from this year, each being hailed as a producer of ‘Exquisite, Outstanding and Simply Delicious’ food and drink – a fantastic opportunity for visitors to meet artisan producers from the local area and across the country, learn their story and stock up on award winning produce. With over 120 stalls to peruse at each festival, selling everything from Seaweed Seasoning to Champagne Infused Fudge, visitors will be spoilt for choice for what to eat at the festival and take home to enjoy.
Baking extraordinaire Charlotte White and master chocolatier Fiona Sciolti host the Cake & Bake Theatre, working their baking wizardry to inspire visitors to reach for their whips and spatulas at home and create show-stopping cakes and delicious summer bakes. A neighbouring Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells freshly baked breads, sponges, tarts, jellies and trifles to enjoy with a bubble tea or fresh juice.
Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the beautifully decorated Vintage Tea Room, where teas, handmade cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam are served on china from a tea trolley by vintage styled tea ladies and gentlemen.
Festival goers can munch their way into the depths of the jungle this summer with a trip to the Vietnamese Street Food stand, where those with a taste for the exotic can indulge in insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, mealworms, beetles, scorpions, locus and ants. These tasty critters will also be sold in powder and flour form – a high source of protein – to bake, season and cook with. For those brave enough, there’s a daily Bush Tucker Trial on the Challenge Stage, where visitors compete against one another by eating jungle insects, from small ants to large juicy grubs, with the contestant eating the biggest and the most being crowned champion.
The Olympic theme continues into the Childrens Cookery School, where little foodies can decorate their very own gold medal with coloured icing, glitter and edible ribbon. Pizza and cupcake making classes also allow kids to explore their taste buds and learn basic cookery skills to practice at home.
The famous Chilli-Eating Challenge continues in 2016, inviting fans of spice to beat an eye-watering 16 million scoville record set by Shahina Waseem last year. Participants start at the low end of the chilli spectrum by eating bell peppers, but things quickly get a lot hotter with Habanero, Scotch and Carolina Reaper (world’s hottest chilli) chillies being added to the menu. Those still standing are then inflicted to pure chilli extract, increasing in strength, until a winner is crowned.
Tickets are on sale now at www.foodiesfestival.com or by calling 0844 995 1111
Friday adult ticket £10.00/£8.00 concession
Saturday/Sunday adult ticket £14.00/£11.00 concession
Three day adult ticket £20.00/£16.00 concession