Final festival event will put the focus on all things local

13:49 02 October 2013

Members of Aylsham Food Festival and the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival. Picture: Keiron Tovell.

Members of Aylsham Food Festival and the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival. Picture: Keiron Tovell.


The Aylsham Food Festival marks the end of the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival and organisers are hoping to go out with a bang as they present a weekend packed full of “foodie” events.

Presented by Slow Food Aylsham, passionate supporters of local producers, the event will include markets, music, meals, cooking demonstrations, workshops for children, competitions and the hugely popular Big Slow Breakfast next Sunday.

On Friday, Aylsham Country Market will be held in the town hall from 8.30am to noon – with goods on offer including cakes, savouries, desserts, plants, flowers, vegetables and crafts.

Meanwhile, at nearby Blickling Hall, local chefs will be demonstrating their skills at a series of workshops being held in the AEG Mobile Cooking Academy – there is free entry to the demonstrations and a regular minibus service from 
Bure Valley Railway and Aylsham Market Place to and from Blickling Hall.

From 10.30am to 11.15am, EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards’ Outstanding Achievement Award 2013 winner Steve Thorpe from Norwich City College will be showing audiences how to cater for special dietary needs.

From 11.45am to 12.30pm, the team from Blickling Hall will be cooking up historic recipes, some of which were enjoyed by previous residents at the hall; then from 1pm to 1.45pm, chef Derrol Waller will use wholesome, seasonal ingredients to demonstrate how home cooks can make economical meals for the whole family.

At 2.15pm, Mark Sayers, head chef from the Saracen’s Head in Wolterton, will be making signature dishes from the pub’s menu while at 3.30pm to 4.15pm, Richard Baker from the Market Place Bistro in Aylsham will be showcasing options from his new bistro menu.

To round off the evening, there will be the Festival Gala Dinner at Aylsham High School, a popular annual event which has already sold out.

Guests will enjoy a five-course meal prepared, cooked and served by students at the school – this year’s theme is A Taste of the Med and wine to accompany the meal is from the Loire Valley, close to Aylsham’s twin town, La Chaussee Saint 

On Saturday, Aylsham’s FARMA-accredited farmers’ market will be in the Market Place from 8am to 4pm selling a wide selection of food, all sourced from within a 30-mile radius of the town. Also in the Market Place will be Woodforde’s Brewery’s pop-up shop.

From 9.30am to noon, there will be kids’ cooking workshops in the town hall to introduce children to the joy of cooking (booking via schools in the Aylsham cluster) and there’s another chance to visit the AEG Mobile Cooking Academy at Blickling Hall with accompanying shuttle bus service.

Pitch up to see David Tortice, head chef from the Crown in Banningham, from 10.15am to 10am who will be accompanied by Bunty and Liz from Blickling Hall to present a special session for families and children.

From 10.30am to 11.15am, Derrol Waller and Blickling Hall’s catering manager Justin Gardner will be competing in a Ready, Steady, Cook format while Steve Thorpe will return at 11.45am to 12.30pm to demonstrate cooking for special diets.

Jason Baxter, head of hospitality and catering at Aylsham High School will be on stage from 1pm to 1.45pm making nutritious, seasonal and delicious meals that mirror the work that students create in the school kitchens and from 2.15pm to 3pm you can meet Steve Norgate, head chef at the Beechwood in North Walsham who will be preparing dishes from his indulgent menu.

David Tortice will be back from 3.15pm to 4pm.

Other entertainment in the Market Place will include percussion workshops held by Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Bang On! which will culminate in a grand finale performance in the afternoon. Norfolk-based country dance band Rig-a-Jig-Jig will be performing in the Town Hall on Saturday evening, tickets are £8 from Salad Days in the Market Place.

On Sunday, the ever-popular Big Slow Breakfast will be held in the Town Hall for around 120 guests, including several food festival patrons and their families.

Members and friends of Slow Food Aylsham will be cooking and serving a full English breakfast. Tickets cost £6.50 from Salad Days and Barnwells newsagents in Aylsham Market Place.

Find out more about Aylsham Food Festival:

For more information about the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, visit and where you will find recipes, quizzes, interviews and more.


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