Wow! A huge thank you to the tens of thousands of people who descended on to Truro’s Lemon Quay over the final week in September to support Cornish producers and chefs at the Great Cornish Food Festival - it was great to see so many of you there.
The sun shone throughout the three days as more than 100 chefs and food experts showcased Cornish produce with demonstrations, masterclasses and tastings. Seafood hero Nathan Outlaw closed the festival on Sunday afternoon, cooking up a storm with fresh Cornish mackerel in a grand finale that followed a jam-packed timetable, and we were very pleased to play host to rising stars in the industry, featuring debuts from Harbour Lights’ Chloe Marsland, Godolphin Arms’ Bernie Powling and Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa’s Ben Arthur - part of Jamie Oliver’s original Fifteen cohort.
Thank you to Steve Whittingham of Fodder's in Truro for rallying the troops behind the scenes in the Chef’s Theatre and making sure everything ran smoothly over the weekend, great to have your continued support. Thanks also to Mark Devonshire and the catering and hospitality students of Cornwall College who helped out backstage in the Theatre and on the Deck.
Big thank you to the team at BBC Radio Cornwall who compered the demonstrations in the Chef's Theatre throughout; it's so good to have you all on board and taking part. Many thanks to Daphne Skinnard for her organisation, and a special congratulations to breakfast presenters James Churchfield and Donna Birrell who came to an admirable draw in Friday afternoon's Cornish Clotted Cream Tea Bake-Off Challenge!
A few more behind-the-scenes thank yous – Aussie Marquees, who did a stellar job in the installation and takedown of the festival’s huge marquee. They always go above and beyond the call of duty, so it was great to have their team there.
Thank you to JH-AV for their impeccable audio-visual support throughout the festival, especially Jon who spent all three days behind the AV desk!
Many thanks to Abbotts Event Hire who supplied the festival's backstage kitchen equipment and everything we needed to keep things clean, chilled and running tickety-boo.
Thank you to all of our festival volunteers who assisted in the build-up of the event, its smooth running, and in the breakdown on Sunday evening – your support is invaluable.
Huge thanks, of course, to our festival sponsors – Newquay Fruit Sales, Proper Cornish, Coodes Solicitors, Sharp’s Brewery, Kelly’s of Cornwall and Rodda’s for raising the bar and putting on an amazing array of activities and demos for festival-goers. It’s a real privilege to have you on board.
Thank you to AGA Living in Truro who came on board for the first time this year, providing the Deck Stage with its first ever cooking facilities, which went down brilliantly with the audience as they learned top tips for getting to grips with AGA cookery over the weekend.
Thank you, as ever, to our key sponsors Great Western Railway, whose help in promoting Cornish produce, and our event, has been priceless – even as they were gearing up for a huge milestone of their own! The festival weekend coincided with the launch week of GWR’s rebrand, part of which sees them strengthening the connection between their mainline train services and the communities they serve, working closely with local businesses to help boost the economy. Many of the Cornish products used on board the GWR train services – in particular their world-renowned Pullman Dining Service – were being showcased at the Great Cornish Food Festival this year, including sparkling brut from Knightor Winery near St Austell, biscuits from Furniss Foods, and products from Trewithen Dairy, who this week became the official milk supplier on board all GWR train services. Thanks so much for all of your support.
Noticeable this year were the number of people who attended the festival all three days, which we’re attributing to the sheer variety of demonstrations and produce on offer. “It’s been a great year for people to really get to grips with Cornish food and drink by learning about different techniques and products that they can use at home”, said Ruth Huxley, the festival director. “We have such a wealth of experts in the county – not just as chefs on stage but the people behind the products on sale – it’s a fantastic way for people to find out what’s on their doorstep and how to use it, supporting Cornish businesses as they go.”
For a gallery of images from the Great Cornish Food Festival visit www.greatcornishfood.co.uk/festival.