New food festival celebrates south west producers

THE south west’s farmers, producers and food purveyors will be celebrated at a major new event in the regional food calendar, the Bath & West Food and Drink Festival at the Royal Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet on 23rd and 24th March. On Friday 22nd, the site will also host the British Cheese Awards.

The new festival, organised by the Royal Bath & West Society, will feature demonstrations and presentations on everything from food and drink pairings and cake baking to cooking on a budget, and there will be comedy and entertainment for all ages.

TV presenter and Great British Bake Off contestant, Briony May Williams will get things under way on the Farmhouse Kitchen Stage on Saturday morning, followed by appearances from the Fuss Free Foodie, food and drink broadcaster Nigel Barden and food writer and presenter Andy Clarke. Other highlights include a cheese and cider pairing session with West Country cider-makers Thatchers and Wyke Farms cheesemakers, celebrating some of the region’s most famous and popular produce.

Away from the stage, Liver Cottage Mobile Kitchen will present a cookery demonstration like no other, as comedy chefs Hugh Fearn and Lee Whittingstall move through the crowds to create “fusion food on the move”, blending home-grown ingredients with food foraged from the corner shop, the streets and of course the audience.

The festival will be built around the arena where the 28th edition of the British Cheese Awards will be judged. An awe-inspiring sight for any cheese lover, the arena will be home to hundreds of the country’s top cheeses, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the rigorous judging process and even sample some of the trophy winners.

Judging will take place on Friday 22nd March, with more than 60 of the most respected names in cheese assessing the best of British and Irish cheese-making. The judging panel will feature comedian and British Cheese Champion Marcus Brigstocke, author and cheesemonger Ned Palmer, cheese consultant and author Emma Young and Devon cheesemaker Mary Quicke, led by head judge Tim Rowcliffe.

Food and drink stands around the judging area will include Bath Soft Cheese, E18hteen Gin, Godminster, Purbeck Ice Cream, Good Game Charcuterie, Devon Rum Co, Incredible Brewing Co, Wild West Cider and many more.

For younger visitors, the Little Foodies zone will keep families entertained with creative crafts and activities, while the Farmhouse Tavern will showcase beverages of all kinds, including cider, beer and spirits, alongside low and no alcohol alternatives.

For more information visit Full details of the British Cheese Awards can be found at