The 15th East Midlands Food Festival in Melton surpassed all expectation at the weekend.
Organisers were concerned about attendances on Saturday but needn’t have worried because the event, in the town’s livestock market, turned out to be one of the best for a long time.
Traders, around 200 of them, were pleased with the quality and variety of people who attended. Foodies looked round on Saturday with more families present on Sunday.
Organiser of the festival, Matthew O’Callaghan, said: “For those who bought advance tickets, for two adults entry was only £10, and at that price it’s value for money, you could go round everywhere.
“Most people attend the food festival because they want to try something different and that’s just what we offered.
“It’s a great day out for families.”
A real highlight was the Street Food Area. Hungry visitors could sample the delights of Greek food,
Indian fish and chips, Big Melt cheese sandwiches, mussels and sea food, savoury and sweet crepes.
Also popular was the theatre line up. Guest chefs included Stapleford Park’s Tony Fitt, who gave a lesson in fine dining, Marcus Bean, who rustled up the complete seasonal meal and The Cooking Maharaja who spoke about samosas.
Taking advantage of the current fashion for spirits, there was new offerings for locally produced gin, vodka and English rum, plus the monks of Leicestershire’s Mount St Bernard’s Abbey showcased their new Trappist Beer.
As usual the Kids Zone was packed with children making cookies, pies and chocolate.
A surprise this year was just how much people lapped up freshly produced milk from Great Dalby’s Vine Farm. Bottles of it were literally flying off the shelves.
The recurring theme this year was that East Midlands Food Festival had something for everyone, including vegans, those with nut allergies and gluten or wheat intolerances.
Just six weeks away is Melton’s ChocFest. Around 40 chocolatiers have been booked to tantalise your taste buds.