Melton’s East Midlands Food Festival served up another treat for the thousands who attended

The Chocolate House's Paul Fowler and his tempting chocolate wall PHOTO: Tim Williams
The Chocolate House's Paul Fowler and his tempting chocolate wall PHOTO: Tim Williams

The 16th annual East Midlands Food Festival saw thousands of visitors come to town on Saturday and Sunday to try new exciting foods and watch top chefs in action.

The popular event had a record number of stallholders, 201, displaying a wide variety of the best of local and national cuisine and specialist drinks.

A lively performance in the theatre from CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth PHOTO: Tim Williams

A lively performance in the theatre from CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth PHOTO: Tim Williams

The festival included lots of choice for vegans and those with food allergies, as well as having environmentally friendly options such as a stand with glass straws.

The two days also featured demonstrations from chefs, including TV celebrity Rachel Green, Tony Fitt from Stapleford Park and Tom Paxton from Brooksby Hall.

Matthew O’Callaghan, organiser of the East Midlands Food Festival, said: “It was a busy festival that would have been a record breaker had it not been for an inaccurate weather forecast on Sunday which kept numbers down.

“Despite the inconvenience trade was still reasonable.

Chairman of Leicestershire County Council Pam Posnett with Tomasz Fatyga at the Polish Heavenly Sausage stand PHOTO: Tim Williams

Chairman of Leicestershire County Council Pam Posnett with Tomasz Fatyga at the Polish Heavenly Sausage stand PHOTO: Tim Williams

“Our regulars always do well and people were pleased to see them back, but at the same time, it was nice to welcome new traders too this year.

“The entertainment for kids went down very well. They all loved Katy Ashworth from Cbeebies who cooked tomato spirals for them and did a meet and greet afterwards. The idea behind this being to educate children about food.

“The Kids Zone was successful, and featured making activities for cookies, fruit pies and chocolate.

“About one in four of our visitors to the festival are kids so focusing on them is always important.

Crowds enjoyed another tasty food festival weekend PHOTO: Tim Williams

Crowds enjoyed another tasty food festival weekend PHOTO: Tim Williams

“Favoured food sold included duck wraps, pheasant goujons and Polish sausages.

“Music provided by the Melstrum Ukulele Orchestra and the DMU Gospel Choir was easy listening and uplifting.

“Thank you to the traders, the general public, Stephen Hallam and Samworth Brothers for their sponsorship and the cattle market staff. These type of events are always a real team effort.

“I’m looking forward to a cracking ChocFest now in November.”

Maggie Clark and Mark Cadogan enjoy vegan food at Eat Shoots and Leaves PHOTO: Tim Williams

Maggie Clark and Mark Cadogan enjoy vegan food at Eat Shoots and Leaves PHOTO: Tim Williams

Andreas Lange on his Continental Cottage German food stall PHOTO: Tim Williams

Andreas Lange on his Continental Cottage German food stall PHOTO: Tim Williams

Sabine the Pastry Queen on the J&S Artisans stall PHOTO: Tim Williams

Sabine the Pastry Queen on the J&S Artisans stall PHOTO: Tim Williams

Samples to be tried in one of the food halls PHOTO: Tim Williams

Samples to be tried in one of the food halls PHOTO: Tim Williams