Exotic flavors tempt taste buds at the Bradford on Avon Food and Drink Festival

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THE Bradford on Avon Food and Drink Festival ends later today at 5 p.m., with organizers expecting more than 6,000 people to visit the event this weekend.

Thanks to a successful one-day launch in 2019, this year’s festival spans two days. The event was canceled last year due to containment linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s festival organizers Lotte Duncan and Jon Hackett say it’s packed with live cooking demonstrations from famous chefs and experts, as well as local food and drinks from a wide range of producers.

Mr Hackett, of Scrumptious Food Festivals, said: “We had around 4,000 visitors in 2019 and we are expecting over 6,000 this weekend.

“The weather is absolutely fabulous and we are very happy to have live cooking demonstrations, artisan producers, street food and live music to entertain visitors.”

Producers of artisanal foods include St Laurence School alumnus James Grace of the Somerset Chilli Company with his hot sauces with exotic flavors.

One of his latest products is a chili pepper called Blackberry Lane, named after the alley he used to live in in Limpley Stoke.

He said, “We are here to change the way you eat your food. We present a range of seven exotic hot sauces, gradually moving from zero heat to a level of heat most would avoid – there is something for everyone.

Today’s highlights include cooking demonstrations from Indian food entrepreneur Mallika Basu and several Great British Bake Off contestants, including finalist Steven Carter-Bailey and semi-finalist Briony May Williams of Bristol.

Other celebrity chefs included restaurateur and chef Lucie Greenwood, chef and cafe owner Emily Lloyd Jones and Vicky Marshall, co-founder of Honesty Food Group Ltd in Devizes.

One of the highlights on Saturday was a ‘Chop and Chat’ cooking demonstration with Lotte Duncan and Alex Hollywood, former wife of Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, who is also a chef.

The 2014 MasterChef champion, Ping Coombes, who lives in Bath, and Beth Al Rikabi, the Free Range chef, of Holt, as well as Dean Westcar and Sarah Gurung, as well as Val Stones, finalist of Great British Bake Off, also organized cooking demonstrations on Saturday.

Family entertainment includes circus workshops, a fun dog show hosted by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, face painting and more.

Bradford on Avon City Council is supporting the festival, which takes place at Victory Field in Pound Lane.

Mr Hackett added: “From cheese, chutneys and treats to the best street food at the festival, we guarantee our visitors will not come home hungry.”

The stalls include a wide range of producers of gin and vodka, brownies, fudge and local cheeses.

There is a range of street food from Croatia, Greece, Japan, and Tibet, as well as Thai fare provided by The Swan Hotel and a pop-up pub run by FestivAles.

Greenpeace, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and The Woodland Trust, as well as Riverford Organics, were all represented, and charity stalls include Julia’s House Hospice.

Staff at Christ Church Elementary School raise funds during the festival by selling apple presses to help store and maintain their educational kitchen for more than 400 students.

Spokeswoman Sonia Fox said: “It was a great success and the good weather made it a fantastic event.”

For supercar enthusiasts, it is also possible to see the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera which features in the latest James Bond movie No Time To Die.

Tickets can be purchased at the entrance, priced at £ 7 for adults, £ 3 for accompanied children 12-16, and children under 12 free.

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