Case Study: Thame Food Festival 2018
This year's Thame Food Festival fell on the middle weekend of British Food Fortnight (29th/30th September) and was bigger and better than ever, with over 10k visitors. The event featured many different elements including:
- Artisan Producers and Street Food - Thame Food Festival naturally attracts a diverse variety of producers, however in order to attend they need to be a British business and be within a set vicinity of the market town of Thame. In addition, each and every one is sampled to make sure they meet the expected product standards to feature at the Festival. The result this year was a fabulous range of 150 artisan producers and hot street food stalls which were carefully arranged around Thame Showground to maximise visitor interaction, encourage yummy food sampling and celebrate the wonderful food producers we have in the area.
- Chef and Baker Demonstrations. A myriad of demonstrations on the Magimix main stage took place including Raymond Blanc OBE, Benoit Blin, Candice
Brown and Jane Devonshire to name just a few! Raymond Blanc in particular spoke very passionately to the packed audience about the importance of not
only using British products, but also thinking more about the seasonality of the ingredients we use.
There was a number of other demonstrations through-out the event on featured stalls. These included Chris Wheeler, Executive Chef at Stoke Park and the UK Ambassador for the Quality Standard Market British Beef and Lamb Scheme who showcased a series of demonstrations over both days. These celebrated taking pride in British products and encouraging people to buy beef and lamb reared in Britain, while also educating people to buy beef and lamb reared in Britain, while also educating people on specifically out meat with this quality accreditation.
- Masterclasses and Workshops. Adults and children alike got involved and enjoyed the many workshops and masterclasses going on. Local company, Bells Kitchen ran free pizza making workshops using Clementi wood fired pizza ovens, while WI Denham hosted interactive masterclasses on edible gifts and patisserie. The Oxfordshire Pizza Company was also encouraging children to roll, shape, top and then eat their own pizza.
- Music and Socialising. To add to the atmosphere and ensure all were in the festival vibe there was also a pop up pub, botanical gin garden and prosecco bike alongside a dedicated live music area. This special area extended the celebration of everything local by featuring musicians who regularly play live at venues through-out the area.
This was topped off by fun and frolics of dog demonstrations and Dog Shows organised by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and the opportunity to step into the Arctic and Rainforest inside the Greenpeace Dome to understand more about the impact we are having on our planet.
The mentors are
- Adam Johnson, Head Development Chef for Raymond Blanc OBE, at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Oxfordshire
- Chris Wheeler, Executive Chef for Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire
Over the years the festival has attracted the fantastic support from scores of celebrity and local chefs who have come to the festival to demonstrate for absolutely nothing. They have come because they love what they do, and they are happy to be part of our celebration of great local British produce.
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