Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Waitrose Food Festival 2017

by Alex Porter

Back in August, on a warm but cloudy Sunday, we arrived at Leckford Estate in Hampshire to attend the Waitrose Food Festival.

This was the first year that Waitrose had held the festival, so many people came to see what was there and to look at the different types of produce on offer. As we entered the gates, the staff gave us woven bags to put any handouts and other items in. Like other festivals we were given wristbands/bracelets. There was around 40 or so different stalls selling products. My favourites were Belazu, Moorish and Dorset Cereals.

Belazu is a company that supplies oils and vinegars to high quality restaurants and now also supplies to Waitrose. The main reason why I liked this stall was that they had balsamic vinegar which had been added to algae. As soon as you tasted it, it popped in your mouth, it was weird, but still an interesting product. It is best eaten with salad, and bread with cream cheese. We decided to order a hamper with a selection of Belazu products in it.

Another exhibitor was ‘Moorish’, a dip company which smokes humous and other dips to really give them an unusual and interesting taste. I liked the ‘Original smoked humous’ the best, so we decided to buy a selection of the different ones they had on offer.

The final exhibitor that I enjoyed was ‘Dorset Cereals’. They produce a variety of cereals containing unusual oats, grains and dried fruit. I didn't buy any of the products there, although I did later buy some at my local Waitrose.

During the festival there were also presentations by famous TV celebrity chefs like Antonio Carluccio and other food related people, such as Dhruv Baker, winner of Masterchef 2010. We also watched some amazing cooking demonstrations and there were food trucks, workshops and a gigantic maze! As well as food there was a garden section, where you could buy Waitrose plants and flowers.

The editor of Waitrose Food magazine, William Sitwell was there, so I managed to buy one of his books called ‘The History of Food in 100 recipes’. I was also able to have a conversation with him and he signed the book I bought.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed going to the Festival and would definitely recommend it. Hopefully I will be able to go again next year so I can have another enjoyable ‘foodie’ experience. 

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