Case Study: Shipston Food Festival
From carrot cake to cider - the Shipston Food Festival is a celebration of the wonderful food and drink that's produced in the Cotswolds' area.
Run by local volunteers, this popular event brings together the whole community in Shipston's busy market square to learn more about local producers and to sample the huge variety of delicious fare that's available on the doorstep. Shipston Food Festival weekend, which this year took place on 18-20 September, is now in its third year.
Set up by local resident, Town Councillor and food lover Dan Scobie and supported by a loyal group of volunteers, the festival has become a highlight in Shipston's calendar. Dan Scobie said: "We started the Festival because we wanted to give our fantastic local producers a platform to showcase the incredible range of high quality food and drink that's available in the area. We also wanted it to be an opportunity for the community to get together and share a love of food, to introduce people to local producers and encourage support for the vital role they play in our local economy."
As well as attracting more than 40 stalls selling produce ranging from seasonal vegetables and chutneys to Cotswold gin and locally roasted coffee, the festival aims to educate people about using seasonal, local ingredients. For example, one of the cookery demonstrations run by Francis Green, chef and founder of the Cotswold Traiteur, showed the audience how to make use of the abundance of apples at this time of year with a delicious pork and apple recipe. Plus, local food retailer Taste of the Country, gave a talk on pairing cheeses with wine as well as tips on quick and easy canapés - while the Cotswold Distillery gave a mixology demonstration on making perfect gin cocktails.
Children were encouraged to show off their baking skills in a Junior Bake-off competition, which saw entries ranging from a traditional Victoria sponge to a creative cake made to look like a tasty cheese sandwich. The winner was awarded a half-day icing masterclass in the Taste of the Country kitchen to help them perfect their cake decorating skills. With a beer festival on the Friday evening to kick off the Festival, the event has something for everyone to enjoy.
Jim Cherry, director of Taste of the Country and passionate supporter of local and artisan producers, said: "This event is brilliant fun but it also plays a hugely important part in educating people about where their food comes from. There are some fascinating stories about the people behind these products from long-standing family businesses to exciting new enterprises - it's a great opportunity to find out more about how local food is produced. " This community event is made possible because of the generous support and contributions of volunteers, sponsors, local businesses and stall holders."
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shipstonfood