Tuesday, 03 August 2021

Chefs lined up to join food festival

A SECOND food festival is set to take place in Henley next year.

A SECOND food festival is set to take place in Henley next year.

The Henley Food and Drink Festival has been earmarked for Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8.

There will be a marquee in Falaise Square and other venues including the town hall, the Old Fire Station Gallery and King?s Arms Barn will be used for cooking demonstrations and the sale of cooking products.

Chefs have signed up to support the event, including Henley Standard columnist Paul Clerehugh, of the Crooked Billet in Stoke Row, Antony Worrall Thompson, of the Greyhound in Gallowstree Common, and Ryan Simpson and Liam Trotman, of Orwells in Shiplake.

Festival director Tracey Pryce, who runs White Fox Events in Stoke Row, said: ?The Henley Food and Drink Festival 2016 will be a celebration of outstanding food and drink from the local area. Showcasing the most exciting chefs from our exceptional restaurants and outstanding local producers and featuring the top talent of the future, the festival will be open to everyone.

?It will be a fabulous event for foodies, beer and wine lovers and families.

?It is still in its very early planning stages and the main issue for us is raising sponsorship.

?The town council is really keen to bring it back and we have spoken to lots of chefs, restaurants and suppliers and the support has been magnificent.

?We need to raise £73,000 to hire the kitchen equipment and build the website, which would be updated all-year round with offers and information from restaurants and local producers.

?We are planning to talk to and hope to involve every food- and drink-related business in the area. It will just take a bit of time to get around everyone.?

Mrs Pryce, who previously worked in PR and film publishing, says she is confident of raising the necessary funds.

She said: ?We have lots of meetings being set up with potential sponsors and we have already got some in place, which is great news.

?Ideally we are looking for a title sponsor and we also have a tiered sponsorship pack in place. We have a whole team of local business people helping us to raise the funds needed.?

Mr Clerehugh, who also runs the London Street Brasserie in Reading, said: ?I am delighted that the food festival is back ? it?s a no brainer.

?We have all these foodies and food producers, restaurants and a huge market for eating out that we deserve to have our own food festival.

?It will be a joy to do and the fact that it?s in the heart of the town as well is perfect. I and all the other chefs will be demonstrating, although it is just showing off. Chefs are narcissistic ? they are failed actors or pop stars and need to be on a stage and have people watch them.?

Last week, the Henley Standard exclusively revealed details of Henley on Food, a new food and literature festival to be held at Shiplake College from April 29 to May 1 under the auspices of the Henley Literary Festival.

The former Henley Food Festival, which was organised by Jonathan Hobbs, of Hobbs of Henley, and commercial caterer Simon Cromack, was held in the town centre in 2006 and 2007 but didn?t take place in 2008.

It returned in 2009 when it was held at Phyllis Court Club and attracted about 10,000 visitors but was cancelled in 2010 and 2011 before being axed permanently. Organisers blamed a lack of sponsorship after Le Cordon Bleu, the 2009 sponsor, didn?t re-sign.

If you are interested in sponsoring the Henley Food and Drink Festival, send an email to traceypryce@henleyfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk

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