When Beverley Town Council organised the first Food Festival in 2006, little did they know it would go on to be an annual success enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors alike.
The original idea was to bring a few producers from Beverley’s rural hinterland into the town centre to help celebrate local food, so on a crisp Sunday morning in 2006, thirty-five producers set up their stalls along with a small Food Theatre, in what proved to be a big success for the Town Council – one that has grown stronger year on year. This was the first Food Festival in the East Riding and has led the way for several to follow.
Now, thirteen years later this has become an award winning event, winning the 2017 North of England ‘Rural Oscar for Tourism’ and commendation at national level, and ‘Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Award for Best Large Event’ in 2016.
Approximately 130 stalls will be attending the event tis year, alongside the well-loved Local Food Theatre Marquee. It is anticipated that thousands of people will attend, to enjoy the free community event, bringing a welcome economic boost not just to the food producers, but also to retailers and the local hospitality trade.
This year there is an education ingredient to the event as students from East Riding College join the line up in the Food Theatre. Additionally the Jorvik Viking Centre will be bringing their resident Vikings to talk about cookery and food through the ages in an archaeological project featuring farming and feasts.
“We are delighted to welcome back our wonderful local chefs with a few guest appearances from friends and local producers in the Food Theatre which is sponsored by Beverley Town Council, Jacksons Yorkshire Champion Bread , Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitality Association, East Riding College, Deli Number 1 and EY Events.”
“Huge thanks goes to the local sponsors, this really helps to keep the Beverley Food Festival at the heart of the community. Thanks also to the Beverley Town Council officers for organising this event, a lot of work goes into planning and managing the day, for the townsfolk and visitors to enjoy. This award winning Food Festival has really put Beverley on the foodie map.”
Starting at 9:30am on Sunday 7th October, with an official opening by The Mayor of Beverley Councillor Bryan Pearson and our special guest Peter Sidwell at 10.00am, the festival runs until 4.30pm, with a wide range of different foods from around the region available to purchase and enjoy. Shoppers can find everything from locally reared meat and traditional preserves, to tasty tangy cheese and real Yorkshire ale.
One of the favourite festival sights is hundreds of people walking around the streets of Beverley, with sticks of freshly bought local sprouts over their shoulders! Additional these traditional stalls will be some carefully selected hot food venders, giving people the chance to taste some terrific street food not usually available in our market town.
Once again, the Food Theatre Marquee will be open to the public, with a host of local chefs ready to whip some ingredients from stall holders into delicious and exciting dishes. As usual, a highlight will be the annual “Ready, Steady, Cook” style competition where we welcome back presenters from BBC Radio Humberside Westender’s Jonathan Parker and Marcus Heald. This will be followed later by the hotly contested HEYHA Copper Saucepan Apprentice Chef competition, with two local aspiring apprentice chefs.
Town Clerk, Ms Helen Watson said;
“The Beverley Food Festival is a calendar event which residents and visitors look forward to each year. We are delighted to that Peter Sidwell is joining our local chefs in the Food Theatre. It’s all about celebrating, local food and family musical entertainment within our lovely town.”
“Beverley was founded around 721 by St John, and it became a town of sanctuary and pilgrimage for many, here there would have been feasting and music within the community, so in 2018 we are still able to offer a warm welcome to this free community event to continue the long established customs of old. It all adds to the vibrancy of our beautiful town.”
Familiar festival face Professor Fiddlesticks will be out and about to entertain families, whilst through the town Mambo Jambo and The Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade will entertain shoppers. Beverley Brass Band will help launch the day and Beverley Garland Dancers will put in a jolly dancing appearance. There will be live broadcasts from our town’s very own Beverley FM. The beauty of the entertainment is that it’s all fabulous and local home-grown just like the food!
Beverley Food Festival is part of British Food Fortnight, Chef Raymond Blanc said;
“This is a great event and it has obviously grown in popularity and its offering over the years. What a good example for others to follow. This is the perfect way to involve local suppliers and farmers to get in front of their community and I would be keen to know how many of them got on having been involved. A fantastic event that I am sure will continue to grow and grow.”
Beverley Town Council hopes residents will have an appetite to once again join the festivities on Sunday 7th October 2018, where there will be something available to suit all tastes. A family day of food festivities and fun.