Lichfield Food Festival 2013 dishes up a treat!

Lichfield Garrick's Food Studio
Lichfield Garrick's Food Studio

The second Lichfield Food Festival, which took place on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September, attracted thousands of people to the city.

From nine master chefs who cooked up a storm in the Lichfield Garrick, to a special Farmers’ Market, through to the Best of Local Brewing event, foodies from across the region were spoilt for choice over Lichfield Food Festival weekend.

Adrian Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director of the Lichfield Garrick, said: “Lichfield Food Festival was a huge success. It was great to see the theatre so packed with around 6,000 people visiting over two days. As well as browsing the food producers’ stalls in the Studio and Theatre Bar, festival-goers enjoyed the ten free cookery demonstrations by local and regional chefs on our main stage.

“It was a pleasure to be involved in the festival and great to see so many people enjoying all the different elements of it.”

Local retailers and restaurants also saw a boost in trade as thousands of people flocked to the city for the popular event.

Restaurants and cafes on the World Food Trail, that offered £10 set menus, were packed with diners. Many festival-goers also followed the Ale and Wine Trail, sampling wine and ale for £3 a glass at drinking establishments across the city.

Tippers on Europa Way hosted three free cookery demonstrations, featuring celebrity chef Rachel Green on Saturday 31 August.

The three demonstrations saw the Kill it! Cook it! Eat it! chef expertly prepare a number of delicious dishes on the Falcon induction range cooker, which attracted audiences of up to 100 each show.

Amy Tipper said: “We are once again pleased to be involved in the Lichfield Food Festival. Rachel Green gave three fabulous demonstrations in our purpose built kitchen, showcasing the Falcon Induction range cooker. We were thrilled to see so many people in the showroom.”

Lichfield Arts’ Best of Local Brewing event in the Guildhall’s Guildroom was a popular attraction over the weekend. A steady stream of people sampled and bought Real Ale and cider from a range of local producers, including Backyard Brewery, Woody Cider and Quartz.

Farmers' Market
Farmers' Market

Throughout the festival weekend, Lichfield City Council’s special Farmers’ Market packed out the Market Square, surrounding city streets and Three Spires Shopping Centre, with just over 70 stalls offering a wide variety of produce, including a tasty choice of hot food, pies, cheese, olives, fudge, cakes, locally sourced fruit, and much more. There was also a selection of craft stalls and children’s workshops, which meant there was something to suit all tastes.

Rachel Clive, Lichfield City Council’s Markets Officer, said: “The extended Farmers’ Market over the weekend was a great success with its choice of multi-cultural flavours and blended well with the General Market on Saturday.  It was exhilarating to see Lichfield City centre so alive and buzzing and I would especially like to thank the Three Spires Management for allowing the city council to site stalls in the shopping centre for the first time as part of this event.”

Emporium art gallery hosted Fruity Tooty - a food sculpture contest – on the Saturday which was judged by chef and expert margarine sculptor Simon Smith.

Winning entry in the adult category
Winning entry in the adult category

Then Sunday saw the judging of the Cupcake Competition. There were 31 entries into the contest, which included celebration cupcakes and monster-themed cupcakes for the younger bakers.

The cupcakes were tasted and judged by the competition sponsors, Vicky Woolston and Lizzy Braine, Managers of The Kitchen Shop on Market Street in Lichfield.

They awarded the first prizes to Sophie Langham (age 4 to 11 category), to Alice Lainingham (age 12 to 16 category) and to Rachel Grassby (age 17+ category).

All three winners received vouchers to spend in The Kitchen Shop as well as Lichfield Garrick theatre tickets. Eleven-year-old Sophie Langham won two tickets to see the festive pantomime Snow White and the Magic Mirror, and Alice Lainingham and Rachel Grassby both won two tickets to see Masterchef Simon Smith at the Garrick on 10 October. 

Vicky Woolston, Manager of The Kitchen Shop, said: “The standard of baking and decoration was really high, and we were really impressed with the creativity of all the bakers. Well done to the winners and runners up, and many thanks to everyone who entered the competition.”

Lichfield Food Festival was organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council – in association with chef Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts. It was sponsored by Midlands Co-operative, Tippers, Three Spires Shopping Centre and The Kitchen Shop.

Adrian Jackson added: “I’d like to thank all the organisers who worked really hard to present an even bigger and better festival. A big thank you must also go to our fantastic sponsors and to all the local food producers, chefs, restaurants and bars that took part in Lichfield Food Festival, making it such a success.”

Read More

Lichfield Food Festival Food Studio

Midlands Co-operative - proud sponsors
Midlands Co-operative - proud sponsors

From aromatic spices and fine tea, to luxury chocolates and farm shop goodies, there will be a great range of delicacies on display in the Lichfield Garrick’s Food Studio.

The Food Studio, featuring more than 20 food producers, will open its doors when Lichfield Food Festival comes to the city on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2013. Entry to the Lichfield Garrick’s Food Studio is free, and it will be open between 10am and 5pm over the festival weekend.

Festival-goers can taste and buy from a varied range of local food specialists, including Gourmet Vinegars, Just Oil, MKS Food Distribution, Riverford Organics and Queens Park Preserves. 

Drinks producers, including Clives Wines, The Belgian Beer Company, Jaccs Coffee, Quartz Brewing and Azorie Blue, will be available in the studio.

For those with a sweet tooth, there will be plenty on offer with stalls by Hindleys Bakers, Narnas Chocolates, Miss Liz, and Karen in a Jam.

On top of the tempting food, The Kitchen Shop will be displaying a choice range of its kitchenware, utensils and gadgets for the enthusiastic home cook.

Local wine merchants, Worth Brothers, will be stationed in the Lichfield Garrick’s Theatre Bar, and will be selling quality wine and offer tastings from behind the bar.

The Green Room Bar is one of a number of venues on the Wine & Ale Trail that will see drinking establishments offering a glass of wine (and/or ale) for £3 throughout Lichfield Food Festival. Find out which other venues are on the Ale & Wine Trail at www.lichfieldfood.co.uk/aleandwinetrail

A range of stalls will be in the Theatre Bar alongside Worth Brothers, including Shropshire Spice Company, Mrs Shah’s Spices and chef Simon Smith, who will be presenting his amazing margarine sculptures. The historical cookery book, Simmering Through the Ages, will also be on sale.

The festival’s main sponsors, Midlands Co-operative, will be presenting a range of products over the festival weekend. With stores in Lichfield and Fradley, the national retailer will have a stall in the Green Room Bar as well as a promotional trailer that will be stationed in the Garrick Square, just outside the theatre. 

Michael Spencer, Midlands Co-operative General Manager for Retail, said: “Our colleagues are excited to be supporting Lichfield Food Festival this weekend. We will have a number of stands at the festival where people can sample locally sourced beer, award winning cheese and truly irresistible breads and dipping oils as well as sampling some of our fairtrade wines. There will also be the chance for those visiting to find out more about  Midlands Co-operative Society and the chance to sign up and become a member.”

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council – in association with chef Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts. It is sponsored by Midlands Co-operative, Tippers, Three Spires Shopping Centre and The Kitchen Shop.

Read More

Lichfield Food Festival Farmers’ Market 2013

Manor Farm – Soft fruit
Manor Farm – Soft fruit

More than 60 stallholders will be descending on Lichfield on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September, to offer festival-goers a huge range of delicious food, quality crafts and children’s activities.

Following the success of 2012’s first Lichfield Food Festival Farmers’ Market, which was packed with shoppers who came to sample and buy from a large array of food stalls, Lichfield City Council is hosting the special market again, and this year it is going to be bigger and better.

On Saturday 31 August, Lichfield Food Festival Farmers’ Market will have an abundance of food stalls lining city streets and Three Spires Shopping Centre. These stalls will complement the Saturday General Market on Lichfield’s Market Square.

Then on Sunday 1 September, the food stalls will return to the streets, along with an extended Farmers’ Market on the Market Square.

With more than 60 stalls over the weekend festival, there will be a wide variety of tempting food and an exciting range of handmade crafts, with a selection of bespoke lines not commonly available. 

Stallholders will offer festival-goers plenty of locally produced  food to choose from, including: pancakes, cheeses, cakes, wine, pickles, rare breed beef, a hog roast, spicy barbeque, paella, fudge, banana spread and jams, breads, savoury pies, sticky toffee pudding,  locally grown fruit and vegetables, and much more.

There will also be activities for children over both days, including birds of prey that will be on display and face painting. On Sunday, children can also take part in a ‘beaded glitter bug workshop’ held by Wild Roots on the Market Square. 

Rachel Clive, Lichfield City Council’s Markets Officer, said: “This is our most ambitious Farmers’ Market so far, as we’ll be holding it over the two days of the festival and will have even more stalls than last year. And, with children’s activities, this year we’ll be offering families an entertaining and enjoyable experience, so why not make a day of it by enjoying all that Lichfield has to offer?”

Find out more...

 

Read More

The Best of Local Brewers

Austen and Michael from Backyard Brewery
Austen and Michael from Backyard Brewery

Sample and buy quality beer, lager and cider at The Best of Local Brewers event that is taking place over the Lichfield Food Festival Weekend on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2013.

Lichfield Arts is delighted to present The Best of Local Brewers in the Guildroom of the Guildhall over the festival weekend.

 The ale, beer and cider event will take place on Saturday 31 August from 12 noon to 8pm and on Sunday 1 September from 12 noon to 6pm.Brewers that will be presenting their quality ale, lager and cider, include Backyard, Beowulf, Blythe, Freedom, Quartz and Woodys Cider.

Brian Pretty, Lichfield Arts President, said: “With over one-thousand small brewers in Britain, we’re thrilled to have four of the finest in Lichfield District, plus a craft lager maker and the only cider maker in Staffordshire. The Best of Lichfield Brewers is a chance to buy from the very best and is also a great way to support local independent businesses.”

On Saturday festival-goers will have the chance to 'Meet the Brewers and Cider Maker'.  Austen Morgan from Backyard and Julia Barnett from Quartz will be answering questions at 2pm, and Frank Wood of Woody’s Cider will be available at 3.15pm to take questions.“Come along on Saturday and ask expert ale and cider makers all the questions you always wanted to know, such as what is their favourite beer or cider other than their own, why did they set up a brewery, what are the best and worst things about setting up a brewery, and more,” added Brian.

If beer and cider are not to your taste, there will be other refreshments available, including wine, tea, soft drinks, cakes and rolls and locally made pork pies.

Read More

Lichfield Food Festival 2013 Programme

Welcome to the second Lichfield Food Festival, which is taking place across Lichfield on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2013. Here's the full programme...

Food & Drink Trails

As part of the Wine & Ale and World Menu trails, many cafés and restaurants across the city will offer diners set menus for £10, and bars and pubs will offer a glass of wine or ale for £3. To find participating venues, look out for window posters over the festival weekend or find out more online.

Saturday 31 August

Food Theatre

Lichfield Garrick Main Auditorium

This year we’re celebrating local and regional talent and have the who’s who in chefs from across the region. Admission to Lichfield Garrick’s cookery demonstrations is free and is on a first come first seated basis.

11am
Chef Paul Gilmore
Join chef Paul Gilmore from the award-winning Restaurant Gilmore, cooking recipes using local Staffordshire produce.

12.30pm
The art of bread making with Hindleys
Duncan Hindley demonstrates making artisan bread for the enthusiastic baker.

1.30pm
Delhi 6 Restaurant
The team from Sutton Coldfield’s Delhi 6 Restaurant demonstrates Indian gastronomy with flair.

2.30pm
Zwilling Knives
Paul Bough, Executive Head Chef of Eckington Manor Cookery School, demonstrates Zwilling knife skills.

3.30pm
Fine dining for footbal fans
Scott Edwards from West Bromwich Albion Football Club’s Executive Dining Rooms, demonstrates some top dishes.

Food Studio

Lichfield Garrick Studio
10am to 5pm
Free entry

Sample delicious food from specialist producers, including: Just Oil, Hindleys Bakery, Riverford Organics, Cake Couture and more. The Kitchen Shop will also be showcasing cookware.

Rachel Green Free Cookery Demo

Tippers on Europa Way, Lichfield
10.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm

Join Rachel Green, celebrity chef and committed ambassador of British produce. Rachel has appeared on TV shows including Kill it! Cook it! Eat it!, Farm of Fussy Eaters and ITV Yorkshire’s World on a Plate and Flyer Cook.

Pre-booking is essential. Book your free tickets at www.lichfieldgarrick.com

The Best of Local Brewers

The Guildroom of Lichfield's Guildhall on Bore Street
12noon to 8pm

Brought to you by Lichfield Arts, The Best of Local Brewers will feature a fantstic range of brews for you to enjoy, including beers, ciders and lagers. It also inlcudes 'Meet the Brewer' sessions on Saturday 31 August at 2pm and 3.15pm.

Weekend Farmers’ Market

Lichfield City Streets and Three Spires Shopping Centre

Last year’s Lichfield Food Festival’s Farmers’ Market was a huge success, with the market packed with festival goers. Due to popular demand, Lichfield City Council is extending this year’s Farmers’ Market over the whole weekend. Lichfield will be packed with specialist producers that will be bringing a wide variety of sweet and savoury food to tempt you! There will also be children’s activities at Lichfield’s Market Square on Sunday 1 September. This will include face painting and a craft activity.

The Kitchen Shop Demo Day

Market Street, Lichfield
11am – 3pm

Lichfield’s cookware specialists are hosting free demonstrations of equipment throughout the day, including Kitchen Aid and Zwilling Knives.

Fruity Tooty

Emporium, Bird Street, Lichfield

Carve a creation using fruit, vegetables or bread and enter this fun competition. Open to all ages. Entry forms available from Emporium art gallery or online

Sunday 1 September

Food Theatre

Lichfield Garrick Main Auditorium

11am
Easy entertaining with Simon Smith
Local chef and private caterer Simon Smith will take you through how to prepare the perfect dinner party cuisine.

1.30pm
Michelin cookery with Liam Dillon
Having worked in Sydney, New York and London, local chef, Liam Dillon, will be demonstrating dishes from aroudn the world. This cookery demonstratation replaces Paul Gilmore.

2.45pm
Chinese cookery with the Ruby
Join Tommy Ho from the Ruby Chinese Restaurant as he demonstrates authentic Chinese cookery with ease.

3.30pm
Adam Bennett from Simpsons Restaurant, sponsored by Vanilla Chef
Adam will be creating dishes using luxury produce from Rungis Paris market.

4.30pm
Ristorante Sorrento
Umberto from Lichfield’s own Ristorante Sorrento showcases his flair with Italian food.

Food Studio

Lichfield Garrick Studio
10am to 5pm
Free entry

Sample delicious food from specialist producers, including: Just Oil, Hindleys Bakery, Riverford Organics, Cake Couture and more. The Kitchen Shop will also be showcasing cookware.

The Best of Local Brewers

The Guildroom of Lichfield's Guildhall on Bore Street
12noon to 6pm

Brought to you by Lichfield Arts, The Best of Local Brewers will feature a fantstic range of brews for you to enjoy, including beers, ciders and lagers.

Weekend Farmers’ Market

Market Square & surrounding streets and Three Spires Shopping Centre

Last year’s Lichfield Food Festival’s Farmers’ Market was a huge success, with the market packed with festival goers. Due to popular demand, Lichfield City Council is extending this year’s Farmers’ Market over the whole weekend. Lichfield will be packed with specialist producers that will be bringing a wide variety of sweet and savoury food to tempt you! There will also be children’s activities at Lichfield’s Market Square on Sunday 1 September. This will include face painting and a craft activity.

Cupcake Competition

Former Buxton & Bonnet shop in Lichfield’s Three Spires Shopping Centre

We’re inviting keen amateur bakers to enter their cupcakes to be in with the chance to win vouchers for The Kitchen Shop in Lichfield. With age categories for monster cupcakes and celebration cupcakes, everyone can take part! Bakers can bring their cupcakes along between 12 noon and 1pm, and then all the cupcakes will be on display in Three Spires Shopping Centre for everyone to take a look at from 1pm to 3pm. The winners will be announced on the same day at 4pm. Enter online.

Read More

Lichfield Food Festival Cupcake Competition

Lizzy and Vicky from The Kitchen Shop
Lizzy and Vicky from The Kitchen Shop

Bakers urged to enter the Cupcake Competition at Three Spires Shopping Centre on Sunday 1 September 2013. 
 
The organisers of Lichfield Food Festival, which is taking place across the city on 31 August and 1 September, are inviting keen amateur bakers to get their mixing bowls at the ready, and to get baking for the Cupcake Competition.

The contest can be entered in three categories: junior (ages 4 to 11), middle (ages 12 to 16) and adult (17 years and over).

Juniors can enter four monster-themed cupcakes, which could feature vampires, spiders, ghosts, Frankenstein’s monster, or any number of gruesome things that go bump in the night!

Bakers in the middle and adult categories can enter six celebration cupcakes that would be their signature cake, if they were to open a cupcake shop in Lichfield.

The top bakers in each category will win vouchers to spend in The Kitchen Shop on Market Street in Lichfield.

Vicky Woolston, Director of The Kitchen Shop, said: “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring and judging the Cupcake Competition. As we specialise in quality cookware, including everything you’ll ever need to bake the perfect cupcake, this event is perfect for us. We’re really looking forward to seeing how the monster and celebration themes are interpreted, and we wish all the bakers the very best of luck.”

Amateur bakers can enter the Cupcake Competition online. It is free to take part, and the deadline to enter is Wednesday 28 August 2013.

Cupcakes should be brought to Three Spires Shopping Centre on Sunday 1 September between 12 noon and 1pm. Posters will be put up on the day to direct participants to the shop where the competition will take place.

The cupcakes will be on show to everyone from 1pm to 3pm. They will then be judged by The Kitchen Shop team, with the winners being announced and awarded their prizes and certificates at 4pm.

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council – in association with chef Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts. It is sponsored by Midlands Co-operative (main sponsor), Tippers, Three Spires Shopping Centre and The Kitchen Shop.

To see the full programme of events taking place across the festival weekend, please visit www.lichfieldfood.co.uk

Read More

Food and drink trails are back for gourmet festival

Gary Jones - Head Chef at The George Hotel
Head Chef at The George Hotel - Gary Jones

The organisers of Lichfield Food Festival are inviting cafes, bars and restaurants across the city to be on the food and drink trails on 31 August and 1 September 2013.

After going down a storm at last year’s inaugural festival, the Wine & Ale Trail and the World Menu Trail are returning for 2013’s Lichfield Food Festival. This will see local eateries across the city offering diners a set menu for £10, and bars and pubs offering a specially selected glass of wine or ale for £3, over the festival weekend.

The George Hotel on Bird Street has already signed up to be a venue on the World Menu Trail and will be giving diners the choice of three £10 menus over the two-day festival. These include a three-course carvery lunch or dinner with coffee in the restaurant, a main course, dessert and coffee in the bar, or a celebration afternoon tea.

Other venues on the World Menu Trail include The Spark Café Bar, that will be offering customers a £10 set menu, and Comfortin’ Food (that will offer a meal, slice of homemade cake and a drink for £10 as part of the trail on Saturday 31 August).

The Ale & Wine Trail will also make a welcome return to the late summer festival, when city bars and pubs will offer a specially selected glass of wine or ale for just £3. Venues already signed up on the trail include The Best of Local Brewers festival, which is taking place over the festival weekend in the Guildroom of Lichfield’s Guildhall, and The George Hotel.

Mark Santy, General Manager for The George Hotel, said: “Last year the city was packed with people who came to the city centre to enjoy the tw0-day festival, and it proved to be one of the main highlights of the summer.

“We jumped at the chance to be involved again this year, which is why The George Hotel is on both the World Menu Trail and the Ale & Wine Trail.

“We will be offering excellent food, drink and service for a great price, and hope lots of people get into the spirit of the festival and join us over the two days. To make a reservation, please call us on 01543 414822.”

If you are a local eating or drinking establishment and would like to be involved in either of the trails, you can access more information, register to be on either of the trails, and download window posters and more for free at www.lichfieldfood.co.uk

For more information, please contact Esther Epstein at Lichfield District Council on 01543 308778 or email esther.epstein@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council – in association with chef Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts. It is sponsored by Midlands Co-operative (main sponsor), Tippers, Three Spires Shopping Centre and The Kitchen Shop.

To see the full programme, find out how to enter the festival competitions and more, please visit www.lichfieldfood.co.uk

Read More

Lichfield Food Festival 2013

Local and regional chefs will be cooking up a storm this summer at Lichfield’s second Food Festival, which will descend on the city on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2013.

Following the success of 2012’s inaugural event, Lichfield Food Festival is back by popular demand and this year the focus will be on local produce and local cooking talent.Organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council - in association with Lichfield City Council, Lichfield Arts, and the local chef and private caterer, Simon Smith - 2013’s event promises to be even bigger and better.Adrian Jackson, Lichfield Garrick’s Chief Executive & Artistic Director, said: “Our first ever Food Festival went better than we could have hoped with thousands of people coming to Lichfield over the festival weekend to get thoroughly immersed in good food and drink. We’re hoping to attract even more foodies this year, with events across the city and look forward to welcoming everyone to Lichfield Food Festival 2013.”

Lichfield Food Festival will feature all the favourites from last year, including ten free cookery demonstrations in Lichfield Garrick’s Food Theatre and local food producers displaying in the theatre’s Food Studio.

Lichfield Arts’ Best of Local Brewers event in the Guildhall’s Guildroom will offer a wide variety of local beers, lagers and ciders over the festival weekend. On Saturday, there will also be the chance to hear from brewers in Meet the Brewers sessions.

Lichfield City Council’s special Farmers’ Market has been extended over the whole festival weekend. On Saturday, food stalls in surrounding streets will complement the General Market on Market Square, and on Sunday stalls offering local food, handmade craft and bespoke lines will be on Market Square and surrounding streets.

Tippers Lichfield branch on Europa Way is once again getting involved with celebrity chef, Rachel Green from Kill it! Cook it! Eat it!, presenting free cookery demonstrations throughout the day on Saturday 31 August. Free tickets can be booked by calling Lichfield Garrick Box Office on 01543 412121.

Two competitions are running over the festival weekend. On Saturday, in the Fruity Tooty competition, Emporium art gallery will be asking people of all ages to put their creative skills to the test and enter carved creations using food. Then on Sunday amateur bakers can get involved by entering the Cupcake Competition at Three Spires Shopping Centre, which is sponsored by The Kitchen Shop.

The Kitchen Shop is also hosting free equipment demonstrations on Saturday, including KitchenAid and Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives.

And, after going down a storm last year, the Wine & Ale Trail and the World Food Trail are running over the two-day festival. This will see local eateries across the city offering diners a set menu for £10, and bars and pubs offering a glass of wine or ale for £3.

“If you are a local eating or drinking establishment and would like to be involved in either of the trails, you can access more information, register to be on either of the trails, and download window posters and more at www.lichfieldfood.co.uk,” added Adrian Jackson.

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council – in association with chef Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts. It is sponsored by Midlands Co-operative (main sponsor), Tippers, Three Spires Shopping Centre and The Kitchen Shop.

To see the full programme, find out how to enter the competitions and more, please visit www.lichfieldfood.co.uk

 

 

Read More

Lichfield Food Festival success

Thousands of people flock to the first ever Lichfield Food Festival on 1 and 2 September 2012

The Chairman of Lichfield District Council, Councillor Ken Humphreys, cut the ribbon, on Saturday 1 September, formally launching Lichfield Food Festival.

From seven local master chefs and celebrity chefs John Torode and Antony Worall Thompson cooking up a storm in the Lichfield Garrick, to a special Farmers’ Market, through to the Best of British Brewing Festival and much more, foodies from across the region were spoilt for choice over the weekend.

Reflecting on gastronomic two days, Adrian Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director of the Lichfield Garrick, said: “As it was our first food festival, we hoped it would be popular, and we weren’t disappointed.

“Around 6,000 people came to the Lichfield Garrick, watching seven free cookery demonstrations in the Food Theatre, visiting 19 food stalls in the Food Studio, and sampling wine in the Vineyard in the Sky wine bar.

“We had some amazing comments from festival goers and we’re delighted it was such a hit.”

Lichfield City was crowded with people visiting the various food festival venues and local shops and restaurants over the festival weekend.

Restaurants on the World Food Trail, which offered £10 set menus, were packed with diners. Many festival-goers also followed the Ale and Wine Trail, sampling wine and ale for £3 a glass at venues across the city and jotting down their thoughts about the tipples on special tasting note cards.

Tippers in Lichfield’s Britannia Business Park hosted two free cookery demonstrations, featuring celebrity chef Nick Nairn, on Saturday 2 September.

The 100-strong audience in both two shows saw the Great British Menu chef expertly prepare three courses on the Falcon induction range cooker. There was handmade spaghetti with crab, chilli, garlic, lemon and parsley for the starter. Nick prepared tarragon chicken with morels and chestnut mushrooms served with sautéed potatoes and runner beans for the main, and for desert he finished off with a raspberry soufflé.

Amy Tipper said: “The demonstrations were great. Nick was so engaging, involving the audience, even getting children to turn the handle of the pasta machine. He made beautiful but accessible food. I even went home and tried a soufflé that night, which I’d never have dared try before - and it rose!”

On Saturday Antony Worall Thompson took to the stage in the Lichfield Garrick, preparing a range of chicken dishes, including Asian wings and stuffed chicken breast. He then answered questions from the audience and signed copies of his cookbook, Slow Cooking, in the theatre’s Green Room Bar.

Lichfield Arts’ Best of British Brewing Festival in the Guildhall’s Guildroom was packed with people over the weekend that tasted and bought Real Ale, while enjoying the musical entertainment.

On Sunday, Lichfield’s Market Square was heaving with people who came to Lichfield City Council’s special Farmers’ Market. Nearly 40 stalls offered a variety of wares, including a hog roast, cheese and olives, cupcakes, Caribbean sauces and cakes, Asian curry, chocolate decorated fruit and more. There was also a selection of art and craft stalls that proved popular.

Sunday saw the judging of the Jubilee Cake Competition in the Guildhall. Entries into the contest included chocolate, vanilla, lemon, rum and spiced cakes. The jubilee theme was represented with extravagant icing and cake shapes, including bunting, Union flags, Jubilee hats and crowns.

The cakes were tasted and judged by baker Helen Westwood of Lichfield’s Sugar Surgeons and her assistant baker.

In the under 12s round, 11-year-old Alice Laingham won with her crown on a cushion shaped cake. Five-year-old Beauanna Neale came in second place and Sophie Langham came in third.

In the 12 to 16s category, 14-year-old Erin Connelly won. Jessica Brown (age 15) came in second place and Fiona Lewis (age 14) came in third.

Councillor Ken Humphreys, Chairman of Lichfield District Council, was on hand to announce the winner of the under 12s round and award Alice her prize. He also presented the winner, and second and third place certificates.

Lichfield City Mayor, Councillor Janet Eagland, announced the winner and runners up in the 12 to 16s category. She awarded Erin her prize and presented the winner, and second and third place certificates.

Both winners in the junior rounds won a family ticket to see Alice in Wonderland at the Lichfield Garrick and £20 vouchers to spend in The Kitchen Shop in Lichfield.

The Chairman finally revealed the three finalists in the adult category, which included Amy-Jo Neale, Clare Wilson and Nicola Cooper. They each won two free tickets to see John Torode’s cookery show that same night.

Councillor Ken Humphreys said: “I was delighted to join Councillor Eagland in presenting the prizes. I was astonished by the level of baking, especially in the under 12s round. I’d like to thank all the bakers for entering the competition, who, on top of preparing such beautiful cakes, also donated more than £30 to the We Love Lichfield Fund.”

The festival culminated in a cookery show by John Torode who prepared two dishes of beef, including a sirloin steak carpaccio with a horseradish and sour cream sauce and a rib eye steak served with a mixed mushroom and mustard sauce.

During his show, the master chef tasted and judged the three adult finalists’ cakes of the Jubilee Cake Competition, choosing Amy-Jo Neale’s sponge cake in the shape of a royal orb on a cushion as the overall winner.

A gasp went up across the auditorium when John cut into the cake to reveal a perfect Union Flag made out of layers of red, white and blue sponge cake.

All three finalists were awarded certificates signed by John Torode. Amy-Jo was presented with a signed copy of the celebrity chef’s cookbook, Beef, £20 Kitchen Shop vouchers, a one-to-one kitchen skills session with Simon Smith, and two bottles of Worth Brothers champagne.

After the judging, John took questions from the audience and then signed books and posed for photos with fans in the Green Room Bar.

Adrian Jackson added: “The cookery demonstrations were fantastic over the weekend, with John Torode ending the festival on such a high with his witty and passionate display of cooking.

“It was a pleasure to be involved in the festival and great to see so many people enjoying all the different elements of it. Having had such good feedback, we’re already planning next year’s event.

“I’d like to thank all the organisers of the festival, especially chef Simon Smith who was a massive help over the two days. Many thanks also to all the local food producers, chefs, restaurants and bars that took part, making the event such a success.”

Lichfield Food Festival was organised by the Lichfield Garrick, Lichfield District Council, local chef Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts. It was supported by Tippers, Vanilla Chef, and Packington Free Range.

Read More

Lichfield Garrick’s free Food Studio

From luxury liqueurs and fine tea, to fudge and farm shop goodies, there will be a great range of delicacies on display in the Food Studio.

The Food Studio, featuring around 20 food producers, will open its doors when Lichfield Food Festival takes over the city this September.

Entry into the Food Studio is free, and it will be open between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September 2012.

Festival-goers can taste and buy from a varied range of local food specialists, featuring: Prima Oliva, Vanilla Chef, MKS Food Distribution, Mums Spaghetti, Delhi 6, Riverford Organic Farms and Packington Moor.

A varied range of drinks producers will also be represented, including The Fine Tea Company, Lichfield Bower Ales, Celtic Marches Beverages and Quartz Brewing.

For those with a sweet tooth, there will be plenty on offer with stalls by the Ultimate Fudge Outlet, Coco Meli Cakes & Pastries, Hindleys Bakers, Mrs Stevens Cakes and The Little Round Cake Company.

On top of the tempting food, The Kitchen Shop will be displaying a choice range of its kitchen ware, utensils and gadgets for the enthusiastic home cook.

A highlight of Food Studio will be a range of breathtaking sculptures made out of sugar and margarine.

Local private caterer, Simon Smith, will be unveiling two margarine sculptures and a bird of paradise melon sculpture that he is creating specially for Lichfield Food Festival. He said:  “I’m finishing off my first sculpture of two impala deer, and then I will get started on the eagle, which is a block of margarine at the moment so I’ve got plenty to do. These kinds of sculptures are rarely seen outside London, so the Food Studio will be a good chance to take a look at them, while browsing the food stalls. It’s really exciting to get so many quality food producers together in Lichfield, so make sure you come and take a look.”

Helen Westwood of Lichfield’s Sugar Surgeons will be displaying beautifully decorated celebratory cakes and Scott O’Hara will be presenting masterpieces sculpted out of sugar.

Lichfield Food Festival is organised by the Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield District Council - with the help of local chef, Simon Smith, Lichfield City Council and Lichfield Arts.

Impala deer margarine sculpture by Simon Smith
Impala deer margarine sculpture by Simon Smith

Read More