Feast your eyes, and palate, on a Cornish food festival

Feast your eyes, and palate, on a Cornish food festival
Of all English counties, Cornwall can boast one of the best reputations when it comes to food and drink, and they celebrate this in a big way with a host of fantastic food festivals.

One of the top treats for foodies is the harvest of the sea, which is the heart of many festivals including the Newquay and Newlyn fish festivals and the Falmouth Oyster festival.

These are showcases for the freshest fish, seafood and shellfish that you are likely to find anywhere caught right off the Cornish coast. There are also top local chefs in attendance to deliver cookery demonstrations that will tickle everyone’s taste buds.

Celebrate all things fishy on August Bank Holiday Monday (27th August) in one of Cornwall’s most distinctive and original fishing ports. Opened this year by Caroline Quentin, a great supporter of all things Cornish, Newlyn Fish Festival is the biggest of its kind in the country where you will find a huge fish display, five cooking demos from top local chefs, two fish auctions and Cornish Fish Monger of the Year competition.

You can buy fish fresh, cooked or smoked from the best of Cornish seafood merchants. Following the current Olympian theme, and Newlyn’s local hero Helen Glover’s great achievement, it will also host the 2nd Annual lugger-rowing World Championship where crews will race the length of the harbour. Gig racing, lifeboats and three music stages add up to a great family day out.

Newquay Fish Festival which runs from 14th to 16th September 2012 celebrates its 10th birthday this year and with the festival growing in popularity there will be even more to see and sample. Try delicious fish dishes, watch local chefs rustle up amazing food from local produce or purchase a range of Cornish food and produce.

The chefs are the characters of the Festival using their flamboyant demonstrations to show off their culinary skills – and you get to eat the results!! As well as live cookery, smoked fish, a pilchard BBQ, on site fish sales, crab sandwiches, oysters, fish filleting demos, all sorts of other ‘fishy’ delights will be on offer. There will also be a range of food and craft stalls as well as family fun and entertainment over the weekend at The Harbour, Newquay’s hidden gem.

The imposing city of Truro is the venue for Cornwall Food & Drink Festival which draws over 40,000 visitors to the event which takes place from 28th to 30th September.

Now firmly established as one of the nation’s favourite food festivals, the foodie fest epitomises everything that people love about Cornwall and its people – friendly, fun and genuine. Everything on sale inside the food and drink pavilion will have been either produced or processed in Cornwall, reflecting the fabulous range of quality local produce available.

Come and meet the faces behind the reputations, learn some new tricks and pick up some new products, as award-winning food and drink producers and chefs share some of their secrets. With around 60 exhibitors, a packed timetable of chef demos, foodie talks, fun for kids in the Funky Food Zone and lots more, there’s something for everyone over three action-filled days.

This year Cornwall’s biggest food festival is augmented by a raft of new events, including a series of exclusive master classes, fringe events, and the introduction of a special fixed price Festival Menu which will run throughout Cornwall.

“Cornwall boasts a full menu of quality food and drink festivals which demonstrate why we have one of the finest reputations for food and drink in the whole of the UK” confirms Malcolm Bell, Head of VisitCornwall, the tourism service for Cornwall Development Company. “With a superb range of local produce and samples to taste you’re bound to discover some new Cornish treasures to set your taste buds tingling.”

The first weekend in October (6th and 7th) sees the Boscastle Food, Arts & Crafts Festival with ten fabulous Cornish Chefs demonstrating over the weekend, including high rising stars such as Nathan Outlaw, proud owner of 2 Michelin Stars from the St Enodoc Hotel and Andy Appleton from Fifteen Cornwall.

Three chefs from outstanding restaurants in Padstow including Paul Ainsworth from Number 6 and Paul Harwood from Rick Stein’s St.Petroc’s Bistro and Adrian Oliver from Margot’s, also Phil Thomas from Rosewarne Manor, Dale McIntosh from The Norway, Aaron Janes from Silks Bistro at Newquay’s Atlantic Hotel and new to the festival this year Steven Marsh from The Waterloo Hotel in Boscastle.

The festival also welcomes Emily Scott from the Harbour Hotel in Port Isaac. A host of stalls will be selling and sampling Cornish food and drink and original arts and crafts in the huge marquees in this picturesque harbour side village.

Special guest Monty Halls, fresh from BBC Two’s Fisherman’s Apprentice filmed in Cadgwith, will host an evening at Falmouth Oyster Festival this packed with tantalising tales of travels, experiences and adventures. The festival is a Cornish cornucopia of stalls brimming with oysters, seafood, wine and other delicacies and takes place from 11th to 14th October.

Timed to celebrate the start of the oyster season, the event celebrates the Falmouth Working Boats and oyster punts which trawl the natural oyster beds of the surrounding area using traditional methods to harvest the prized local native oysters renowned for their sweet, delicate flavour.

Cookery demonstrations with top local chefs and live music add to the unique festival atmosphere, with the opportunity to savour a variety of seafood and other dishes washed down with local ales and specially matched wines. Champagne is also a festival favourite too!!

Cornwall Food and Drink Live! a brand new concept, hits the road later this year with its first stop at Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol, on 3rd and 4th November. Live! will highlight just why Cornwall has gained such a reputation as the culinary capital of the coast and countryside and as a destination for food lovers from far and wide.

Featuring top food and drinks producers and a host of admired Cornish chefs, plus much more, the event will bring the true flavour of Cornwall to the city.