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What a treat: Thousands head to Quarry Park for Shrewsbury Food Festival - with pictures

By Mark Drew | Shrewsbury | Dining out | Published:

More than 25,000 people descended on a Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park for the town’s most successful food festival.

Annual two-day food festival organised by Shropshire Festivals, at Quarry park

In sweltering temperatures, people from across the region enjoyed great food, live music, celebrity chef demonstrations and more at Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park.

Shrewsbury Food Festival organiser Beth Heath said she was ecstatic that the event had been so successful and that so many people had enjoyed a showcase of the best in the county.

She said: “The people of Shropshire turned out in massive numbers to help create our most successful event. The sun shone and people had a blast.”

Chef Chris Burt, who ran a chef demonstration stage and a series of cookery classes, said: “People are still on cloud nine. We raised a huge amount of money for Self Help Africa, local producers got to showcase their products – it’s like Christmas came six months early.”

The event was trouble free, though a number of people got hot and bothered on Saturday as temperatures soared.

Head of Security John Frroku, from ProSecure, praised the behaviour of visitors and said the show brought out the best of the county.

He said: “We have 25,000 people in one park on one weekend and everyone was brilliantly behaved. The festival really brings out the best of local people and the best of local businesses.”

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People enjoyed a stream of live music with local musicians being given the chance to shine. And there were crafts, plenty of activities for children and workshops where people could hone their skills.

Gemma Cossie, one of the event’s co-ordinators, said local volunteers made sure the festival ran smoothly. She added: “Everyone had great fun and so much of that was down to the volunteers who gave of their time freely. The Shrewsbury Food Festival is a real community event that brings people together, generates an estimated £1 million for local business and shows why people love Shropshire. It’s second to none.”

Visitors enjoying the taste testing

Carl Jones, who hosted a series of chef demonstrations, said standards were rising each year at the event. He said: “The event provides a brilliant platform for new and emerging chefs like Liam Tinsley, Adrian Badland and Stuart Collins, from Docket 33, in Whitchurch.

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“But it’s so well established that it also attracts big names too. So this year saw Brad Carter, from Birmingham, gave a brilliant demo – and Brad’s usually on Saturday Kitchen or at the BBC Good Food Show.

“And then there was Gareth Ward, from Ynyshir Restaurant, near Machynlleth, who is the Good Food Guide Chef of the Year. The calibre was exceptional.”

The event helped local businesses share their stories and products with a huge audience, setting tills jingling.

Sue Currie, from Netherton Foundry, in Highley, said she’d been at every one, watching the food festival grow since its inception in 2013.

She said: “It’s become one of the biggest events of its type in the UK. Our pans are used by all sorts of people, from Nigella Lawson to home cooks. So it’s great to be able to share out story and give people a taste of what we’re about.”

Emma Allen and Leigh Bicknell from Shrewsbury enjoy a pint

Colin Young, from BBC Shropshire, said people had great fun at the event, even though temperatures were sky high – particularly on Saturday.

A lot of credit had to go to medics, volunteers and festival staff for keeping people cool and making sure there were no serious accidents or incidents.

Chef Vicky Enderson said she was completing a hat-trick of demonstrations at the event – and hoped to be back, adding: “It’s such a good event and the atmosphere was brilliant. It’s great that Shropshire can provide events that compete with the best in the UK.”

Mark Drew

By Mark Drew
@MarkDrew_Star

Group Head of News

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