'Fabulous' food festival attracts thousands

Visitors at the food festival in Ottery

Visitors wait in line to sample the offerings at Ottery's food festival - Credit: Steve Eckhardt

More than 2,000 people attended the annual Ottery Food & Families Festival.

The event had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions in 2020 and was also delayed from a provisional earlier date this year.

However, all of that was forgotten when the crowds descended on Otter Garden Centre to enjoy a feast of food and entertainment.

There was live music on the Samosa Lady's Spice Stage including the Adders, Oakheart, Wonky Buzzard and Dr Splink.

Among those offering tasty treats were Coldharbour Farm, Dartmoor Chilli Farm and the award-winning Chunk of Devon.

Cookery workshops were arranged by Ottery’s Kings Manor Care Home cook Michelle Strode, forager Tessa Stone and Pierre Graeber, who demonstrated methods for cooking without wastage.

There was fun for all the family with activities provided by the Creative Cabin, a new travelling creative space from Honiton’s Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG), Wild East Devon and Sainsbury’s who organised a pizza design competition. 

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One of the festival organisers, Ruud Jansen Venneboer said: “This year’s festival was the greenest ever, with a whole raft of measures in place to reduce the impact on the planet where at all possible. There was no single-use plastic on site and all waste was separated.”

Headlining the live cookery stage this year was celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE who showcased modern European cuisine using artisanal ingredients favoured at his Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor.

Michael is a huge ambassador for Devon’s quality produce and well known for his appearances on MasterChef, Saturday Kitchen and The Great British Menu.

He said he was impressed by the event and the turnout on the day.

“It was a fabulous festival and it was so good to see people out and about, socialising and enjoying the incredible food and drink East Devon has to offer,” Michael added.

One of the businesses feeding hungry visitors were the Dough Bros who cook pizzas in a converted Land Rover Defender in a wood fired oven that burns at 500 degrees.

A member of the team said: “A long queue formed as soon as we opened and didn’t get any shorter for the next four hours!”

Some of the entertainment at the Ottery Food Festival

Some of the entertainment at the Ottery Food Festival - Credit: Steve Eckhardt

There were many demonstrations at the festival

There were many demonstrations at the festival - Credit: Steve Eckhardt

Lala Choir set the atmosphere at the Ottery Food and Families Festival

Lala Choir set the atmosphere at the Ottery Food & Families Festival - Credit: Steve Eckhardt

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