The annual Food Festival, organised by Slow food Aylsham, is a three-day event designed to promote local food, its producers, retailers, associated businesses and organisations. The festival enjoys support from the local community, including top chefs from the area. The programme for 2017 is:
Wednesday 20 September – A festival ‘taster’ event, courtesy of Aylsham Library when Rosie Wilkin will be revealing what happened in the refectory of a medieval nunnery. The talk, ‘Monastic Meal – Feasting and Fasting’ will see Rosie dressed in period costume.
Starts at 10.30am, tickets at £3.50 from the library, available three weeks prior to the event.
Friday 6 October, 8.30am to midday – Aylsham’s popular Country Market will be in their usual slot in the Town Hall, offering a feast of samples and tasters from their wide range of home baked, home grown and homemade products. Entry is free.
Friday 6 October, 7pm – ‘An Evening with Steve Thorpe and Charlie Hodson’.
These two great chefs will be sharing some of their catering experiences with their audience, followed by a supper of bangers ‘n’ mash and dessert, prepared by students from Aylsham High School.
Steve Thorpe is vice principal at City College Norwich and has been head of the college’s Hotel School for 24 years. He trained as a chef in the Army Catering Corps with 19 years’ service, including two years as technical advisor to the US Army, before moving into FE in1993 at Norwich.
In 2007, as part of a sabbatical from teaching, Steve opened a new boutique hotel and restaurant linking work experience for students to a live hotel launch on the Norfolk Broads.
Charlie Hodson is executive chef at the Fur & Feather Inn at Woodforde’s brewery, Woodbastwick. Charlie is also founder of Charlie’s Norfolk Food Heroes and a food and drink champion for the county, and has been promoting Norfolk produce for as long as he can remember. Recent winner at the Sausage Roll Off competition in London, part of his prize was to reproduce his winning roll on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.
Tickets for this event, at £10, are available from Barnwells Newsagents or phone 07519 361812.
Saturday 7 October, 8.30am to 1pm – Aylsham’s Farmers Market will be in its usual slot in the Market Place, complemented by guest stalls and featuring live animals. At the same time, there will be a variety of activities for adults and children in the town hall, ranging from smoothie making to weaving demonstrations. Love Food Hate Waste will be there with their amazing inflatable tomato while local band One Foot in the Groove will provide musical entertainment.
Saturday 7 October, 7pm – Join us for an evening of wine tasting in Aylsham Heritage Centre, led by Brian Sullivan from Harper Wells wine merchants of Eaton. Sample around six wines with cheeses selected to complement each wine. Tickets £17 per head which includes all wines and cheese.
Wine is also available to order from Harper Wells during the evening. Booking essential and places limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets from the Heritage Centre.
Sunday 8 October, 10.30am to 1pm – The Big Slow Brunch – the festival favourite returns for another year with members of Slow Food Aylsham cooking up brunch for about 100 diners in the town hall. The final event of the 2017 Food Festival, the Big Slow Brunch is for all the family with continuous service through the morning.
Croissants, preserves, bread, fruit juice, muesli and of course, the ‘Full English’ will be on the menu, costing just £7 per person. Tickets from Barnwells Newsagents in the Market Place or phone 07519 361812 for availability.