2014 will see some exciting changes to the Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival including a dedicated children’s zone, a series of masterclasses and intimate lunches with celebrity chefs and a zone dedicated to brand new and start-up food businesses from Suffolk.
The Festival takes place during the weekend of the 27-28 September. The location is Snape Maltings by the River Alde, close to the Suffolk coast, where reed-covered marshlands stretch into the distance towards Aldeburgh.
Celebrity chefs confirmed so far include TV chef Valentine Warner; Sam and Sam Clarke – Moro, Morito; Marcus Verbene – Roast London, Natalie Coleman – 2013 Masterchef Winner and Jane Baxter author of the new Leon Fast Veg cookbook and Michelin-starred Galton Blackiston.
Thomasina Miers, founder of Wahaca, tells us what draws her back year after year:
“The food scene in Suffolk is remarkably strong – it makes me come back every year so that I can see how it has changed in a year. We always have the most incredible fresh produce from fish to vegetables, cheese and meat to work with. Suffolk is very special with it’s fantastic quality and diversity of produce and so many affordable and vibrant farm shops – it’s a unique, vibrant and wonderful food scene.”
Over 80 food and drink producers from Suffolk, many from just a few miles away, will gather to sell their produce including raw milk, organic vegetables, sourdough bread, award winning beer and spirits from sponsors Adnams, cyder from Aspall and delicious streetfood. This year we’re giving a platform to new producers often still based at home or farmers selling to the public for the first time.
The Festival is truly family friendly with free tickets for under 12s with free activities for children and cookery workshops. This year a new Children’s Zone will create a fun and safe environment for children of all ages to explore and learn about where their food comes from.
There’ll be more talks and masterclasses from celebrity chefs and hands-on activities include Adnams beer and wine tastings and talks, the Bread Zone (workshops and tastings and a competition for amateurs), The Aspall World Pickled Egg Championships judged by Valentine Warner and the International Pigeon-Plucking Championship. Together with hands-on workshops from foraging to sausage making and children’s cookery classes the weekend offered something for everyone.
The Fringe Festival extends the celebrations for a further two weeks and offers unique opportunities for farm walks, behind-the-scenes visits to producers, celebrations dinners, workshops and talks.