Sunday, 18 March 2018

New food and drink festival

VOLUNTEERS are being sought for a new food and drink festival in Goring.

VOLUNTEERS are being sought for a new food and drink festival in Goring.

The event, which will take place on the weekend of September 12 and 13, will include workshops, competitions, tastings and market stalls selling goods from local suppliers.

It is the brainchild of food writer and marketing consultant Michelle Brachet, who lives in the village, and her business partner Shannon Lee Robinson, a food photographer.

Miss Brachet came up with the idea when she learned that the next Goring and Streatley Festival, which was held for the first time last summer, would not be taking place until 2016.

Now she is now putting together a programme and hopes to hold a similar event across the two villages every other year. The Miller of Mansfield, Rossini at the Leatherne Bottel, the John Barleycorn, the Catherine Wheel and Pierreponts café, all in Goring, have agreed to take part, as has the Swan in Streatley.

They will be serving themed menus throughout the weekend and it is hoped that one venue will host a black-tie dinner on the Saturday evening.

The Swan will launch the festival with an English food and wine supper on the Friday before.

Miss Brachet also has the parish council’s permission to set up stalls on Rectory Gardens in Goring, where there will be produce markets, children’s activities, cookery demonstrations and food-related competitions, such as chilli- eating, painting cupcakes and a bake-off. There are also plans for ticketed events such as masterclasses in butchery and bread-making.

A pétanque match played with whole cheese wheels could be held at the Swan.

Volunteers will be needed to run the activities and anyone who can give their time or suggest other ideas is invited to contact the organisers.

Miss Brachet, 38, of Maple Court, said: “We’re very lucky to have such a diverse range and high calibre of chefs, venues and producers in this area.

“Food festivals often invite participants from far and wide but we wanted to celebrate what’s on our doorstep and get as many local people involved as possible.

“There will be something on offer at all the venues so people will have an incentive to visit as many as they can. Even if they live around here and know the villages well, we still want to encourage them to try somewhere new.

“Meanwhile, people from further afield will be able to get a taste of everything we offer. Everybody should benefit and it should be a great showcase for Goring and Streatley.

“I also want to make sure that drink is very much at the centre of it, not just the food. I’ll be inviting a lot of local producers to have stalls, from breweries and wineries to cider and liqueur makers.

“It’s still at an early stage and running an event for the first time is always a bit nerve-wracking but I think it’s going to be great fun.”

For more information, visit fooddrinkfestival

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