Foodfest 2014 Cooks Up a Storm

20th October, 2014
Foodfest 2014 has been hailed as the best ever by exhibitors and visitors alike as they flocked to the annual celebration of North Devon’s finest food yesterday (Sunday 19th October).

The annual festival of food featured over 100 local food and drink exhibitors, six top chefs, tastings including artisan breads, local fish dishes, a wide variety of street food, and a vast amount of homemade cakes and bakes.

This year the popular food festival showcased a number of new and innovative foodie ideas for the first time, including gourmet sausages from ‘Glampig’; hot-roasted nuts from start-up business ‘Cracking Nuts’ from Ilfracombe; and ‘Big Pot Kitchen’ bringing their unique giant cooking cauldron, full to the brim with local ingredients.

Top Devon chef Michael Caines MBE attended the event for the fourth year providing cooking demonstrations for visitors and presenting the North Devon Journal Food Awards.

Michael Caines MBE of Gidleigh Park said: “I love attending North Devon Foodfest.  There’s a real buzz in the air and you can feel how it’s become a real event for locals and tourists alike.  I’m passionate about celebrating local food and North Devon Foodfest delivers this in bucket loads, championing the fascinating and diverse range of top food producers and retailers in the area.”

Now in its seventh year, the highly anticipated Foodfest took place at Barnstaple’s Historic Pannier Market with chef demonstrations being held in the Queen’s Theatre. 

With more exhibitors than ever early calculations indicate the event was another huge success with the High Street also packed with shoppers.

In addition, one of the most popular spectacles was the annual ‘Brends Ready Steady Cook’ challenge.  This year two local firefighters - Darren Collacott and Edd Robinson – took part in the cooking competition as part of their new campaign to prevent kitchen fires at home. 

Kristy Webbe of North Devon+ said:  “We’re really pleased with how the festival went this year and we’re proud that Foodfest has become THE annual food event on the foodies calendar.  The event improves and evolves every year – not only in numbers of exhibitors, but also in terms of innovation and the range of activities and foods on offer.

“We’d like to thank everyone that came along and all the producers that took part.  It’s a real treat for the senses and we’re thrilled that it was such a success.”

Jonathan Webster, owner of Ilfracombe-based Cracking Nuts, said: “Foodfest is a phenomenal event – it’s easily the biggest and the best food event around. We are a new business and this is our first time as exhibitors and it has lived up to our expectations – talking to visitors and getting feedback is a really important factor for us, so it’s been great.”

Jenny Doody, tourist and visitor to the event was also a big fan: “I visit the area every year and decided to plan my trip this year so I could attend Foodfest.  I’m really impressed and hope to return next year too.”

Dane Stanley, Chairman of BID Barnstaple said: “Bid Barnstaple is really proud to sponsor North Devon Foodfest again as we know how important the event is to Barnstaple and the whole area.  It’s a showcase for local food producers and attracts a wide number of people into the area, which boosts the local economy and supports local retailers.”

The event would not be possible without the sponsorship of BID Barnstaple, North Devon Council, The North Devon Fisheries Local Action Group and Johns of Instow and Appledore, or the support of the Barnstaple Pannier Market, The North Devon Journal, North Devon Theatres, Brend Hotels Group, Ashgrove Kitchens and Rangemoors.