With the warming summer sun and longer days comes a plethora of activities and attractions and the south-west food scene is no different! Showcasing some of the finest local produce, mouthwatering home cooked creations, celebrity chef workshops, cook books, equipment and a whole host more, these events are some of the best in the country, and I cannot wait to see all that they have to offer this year!
Great Dorset Chilli Festival, Wimborne St Giles – July
Known as the ‘hottest day out in Dorset’ the chilli festival is set to awaken and tingle the taste buds of all who can handle the heat. The jam-packed weekend celebrates, as you guessed it, all things spicy! Prepare to have your heads blown off at every opportunity, with an array of stalls selling all things hot pepper related. Now in its eighth year, and getting bigger and more eventful with each one passing, the Great Dorset Chilli Festival collates not only those selling the plants but also food stalls who’ll be turning up the heat, speciality condiments, seeds and artisan producers. Alongside all this hot lineup, there will be food demonstrations, workshops, music and more!
Devon Street Food Festival, Ilfracombe – August
Let your senses lead you here, as the amount of choice at the Devon Street Food Festival makes selecting just one mouthwatering dish to try somewhat of a challenge. Here, you can expect a collection of stalls, vans and makeshift kitchens all cooking up and selling what can only be described as a foodie storm (the best kind, of course)! From taco’s, mac ‘n’ cheese, seafood and meat dishes, as well as a fantastic selection for vegetarians, I can guarantee you will not be leaving here hungry.
The Devon Fire and Spice Festival, Powderham Castle – August
Another for the calendars of those who like all things spice. The Devon Fire and Spice Festival will be bringing attendees a selection of the finest examples of chilli produce that there is. Whether you’re in search of a new favourite meat rub or marinade for your summer barbecues, a unique fusion of something sweet, yet equally as hot and spicy or, simply a plant for your garden, you will find all things hot, hot, hot related here. Alongside this celebration of the humble yet feisty food, you can look forward to demonstrations, talks and workshops! Hone in on how the master’s do all things chilli, and with all of the new techniques and skills you’ve picked up along the way, you’ll be creating a sensation soon enough!
River Cottage Festival, Axminster – August
We all know and love (well, most of us) Hugh’s television programs but did you know there is an annual food festival too? Fear not if you haven’t managed to score tickets for this year and keep a close eye on the website for when next years are released, as trust me, this is not one to be missed! It’s not just all about food here, although that obviously does play a HUGE part, this is a weekend-long celebration for, well you know, just getting together and sharing great times. There’s a full music line up, an ‘experiences’ program where you can try your hands at a range of activities from yoga, foraging, willow weaving, massage and a whole lot more! Don’t worry about cramming all that into one day either, as the festivities go on all weekend and ticket holders are invited to camp for the duration.
So, which one will you be going to? Save some dates for your diaries and treat yourselves to some of the gastronomical delights on offer.
If you’re based in Devon, take a look at these not to be missed food festivals in the county.