WHETHER you are a dedicated foody or just like a decent burger, there was something for all tastes.
The first Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival had a quiet start on Sunday morning but by the end of the day many stallholders had sold out of stock they had expected to last until Monday evening.
“One didn’t come back on the Monday because he’d sold two days worth of food in a day and couldn’t get any more,” said Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bid4Bury which organised the event. “I was absolutely delighted with the success of the festival and in particular the farmers’ market.”
There were stalls selling everything from traditional English sausages to French cheeses, satay and American-style smoked pulled pork, though most of the stalls were from East Anglia.
Cookery demonstrations were held at the Aga Rangemaster Theatre Kitchen outside Moyse’s Hall. They started on Sunday with a Ready Steady Cook competition between two two-chef teams from the accountants Jacobs Allen, pitching Keith Senior and Bob Jacobs against Keith’s son Thady and his best friend, trainee chef Andy Hayes.
It was part of the company’s St Nicholas Hospice Care accumulator challenge effort.
Thady and Andy won by half a point, with their efforts judged by London chef Oliver Dabbous, whose own demonstrations on Sunday drew ever-growing crowds.
On Monday, TV celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli was the big draw, filling the 100 seats in front of the kitchen and attracting a further 200 people standing.
Mr Cordell said: “We want to make sure we build on this success and are already planning for next year.”
He stressed the festivals brought benefits to businesses other than food outlets.
A chilli festival was organised in Langton Place by the owners of 6 Whiting Street, who have a women’s fashion shop there, and Bliss Hair.
Mark said: “I met people who said they had no idea there were shops down there. These are not food businesses but they have benefited from the food festival.”