Despite predictions of bad weather, people flocked in their thousands to enjoy the ICM-sponsored Christchurch Food & Wine Festival, held May 11-18 2007.
The weekend festivities saw celebrity chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli, Lesley Waters, Mitch Tonks and Paul Rankin joining local chefs from Splinters, The Captain’s Club, Fishworks and The Crooked Beam in the magnificent marquee set up in Saxon Square to show off their culinary skills.
Lesley Waters got the International Food Market off to a great start when she was escorted along the High Street by a parade of flag-waving students from Twynham, The Grange and Highcliffe Schools. Lesley and Festival President, Mary Reader, were driven in a 1914 Albion lorry in Ringwood Brewery livery on loan from the National Motor Museum. Lesley then joined the Mayor, Cllr David Fox and Town Crier, Keith Jackman on the balcony of the Mayor’s Parlour to declare the Festival officially open.
For the first time this year, children were given their own special events in the Kids Kitchen in Druitt Hall. More than 550 children visited the venue with their parents over the two days of the Food Market to find out more about healthy food and 123 of them took part in one of nine workshops run by Jackie East from Kids Kitchen in Swanage.
Mary Reader, President of the Festival, said: “Once again we have had an incredibly successful event. The marquee in Saxon Square proved to be a perfect venue for the cookery demonstrations and the celebrity chefs all commented on the quality of the Rangemaster kitchen facilities.”
More information on the festival can be found online at www.christchurchfoodfest.co.uk.