This year’s Aylsham Food Festival proved a great hit with youngsters who got on their bikes to make fruit smoothies and learned how to make rock cakes. Quite a few adults were tempted too as the festival offered a wide selection of attractions for Norfolk foodies.
The festival started on Friday 6 October with Aylsham’s weekly Country Market in the morning, offering an extensive range of delicacies taken from members’ sweet and savoury goodies.
The evening saw a new event – a discussion with two top Norfolk chefs, followed by a bangers ‘n’ mash supper, prepared, cooked and served by students from Aylsham High School.
About 40 guests heard Charlie Hodson, Executive Chef at the Fur and Feather Inn, Woodbastwick and Steve Thorpe, Vice Principal and Head of Hotel School, City College Norwich field a range of questions from Sarah Daniels from health and food safety consultants, the RedCat Partnership.
Saturday morning saw youngsters use pedal power from two “Smoothie Bikes to create delicious strawberry or pineapple drinks in just 30 seconds.
The bikes, on loan from North Norfolk District Council, formed part of the festival’s Saturday activities in a packed Town Hall which also featured ‘Rock in a Pot’, aimed at younger visitors who were invited to select ingredients to make up a recipe for rock cakes.
Elsewhere there were cookery demonstrations plus commercial stalls – complementing the Farmers Market outside in the Market Place – alongside Love Food Hate Waste and the Master Composters, both from Norfolk County Council. Stalls included Nortons Dairy, Ferndale Norfolk Cheeses, Cromer Kitchen (jams, chutneys, cordials), Woods World Wide by Williams (carved woods).
Saturday evening was dedicated to a wine tasting presented by Harper Wells wine merchants of Norwich in the town’s Heritage Centre and the whole weekend was rounded off on Sunday morning with the ever-popular Big Slow Brunch, where members of festival organisers Slow Food Aylsham, cooked up a Full English for more than 60 guests in the town hall.
Slow Food spokesman Roger Willis said: “We’ve managed to cover a lot of bases with this year’s festival, with events for youngsters and adults, plus being able to support local producers of Norfolk’s finest foods. Here’s to 2018!”