THE countdown is on to the much-anticipated return of the Tamworth Food Gusto Festival which will serve up a selection of the region’s finest food and drink, alongside live music, entertainment and fun for the whole family this weekend.
The jam-packed two-day festival will be back in the picturesque setting of Tamworth Castle Grounds on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9.
Organisers Food Gusto will again be bringing around 80 of the region’s best artisan food and drink producers to the town, together with live cooking demonstrations and talks. All exhibitors are hand-picked for high-quality, authenticity and passion to ensure visitors get a taste of something truly unique and different at each stall.
While mouth-watering food and drink is at the heart of the festival, the tantalising array of culinary delights will again be complemented by a packed programme of entertainment, making it the perfect weekend out for foodies and families alike.
This includes live music from local singers and bands throughout the weekend, as well as fairground rides, face painting, games and activities for children.
Festival-goers will be able to feast on treats such as juicy hog roast, woodfired pizza, Caribbean barbecue, organic burgers and creamy handmade ice-cream, before washing it down with locally brewed beer in the beer tent, local English wines, cocktails, Prosecco, barista coffees and select teas.
What you can’t fit in your belly, you can take home as local producers will be selling delicious treats to take away including hams, sausages, organic meat, handmade cheeses, handmade chocolates, honey, cakes, fudge, exotic mushrooms, jams, pickles, pates, herbs, handmade crisps, gins, cider, craft beer and much more.
This year’s festival also includes gluten free and nut free treats from Bak’d Cake, such as soft chocolate brownies, crispy chocolate chip butter cookies and zingy lemon drizzles.
Food lovers can learn how to prepare and cook their food with live cooking and butchery demonstrations from the show kitchen. These will be led by international chef Simon Smith who will be cooking up some exciting international dishes that are healthy, tasty, colourful and simple to make. These will include a delicious Thai starter, a Moroccan main course and an exquisite traditional cheesecake.
On Saturday, Simon will be joined for his 1pm demonstration by Donna Joseph from Buoli coconut oil which has a gold star Taste Award. She will discuss the product’s medical and culinary uses while Simon will use it in his demonstration.
Also demonstrating in the kitchen on Saturday will be butcher Mat Gothard from Bates of Atherstone.
Mat is back by popular demand to show off his superior sausage-making skills. Mat was selected to represent England at the International Young Butcher of the Year competition in Holland. Bates has been established for around 100 years, making award-winning sausages and pies and curing its own award-winning bacon.
On Sunday, Simon will be joined in the kitchen by Laura Sutton of Cake Spa, who will be demonstrating baking and cake decorating, and Karen from Karen in a Jam based at nearby Hints Farm House.
Live music will provide the perfect backdrop throughout the weekend while visitors enjoy their gourmet food and drink. Saturday’s entertainment will be led by mother and daughter duo Sincerely Yours who are back by popular demand with songs from the 1940s and 1950s, and Tamworth singing sensation Matilda Pratt.
Sunday’s musical entertainment will bring a variety of acts to the stage thanks to Rob Lea and friends. Rob is a talented singer/guitarist from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, playing an eclectic mix of Motown, soul, rock, indie and pop hits in his own unique style.
There’s also plenty to keep the younger festival-goers busy, including fairground rides, bouncy castle, face painting, glitter and craft activities with Tamworth Community Together CIC.
Thousands of people attended the first three Food Gusto events and the organisers are hoping to repeat and improve this success for a fourth time with another fantastic weekend of food and drink.
Food Gusto event director, Wesley Ewing, said: “The Tamworth Food Gusto Festival is establishing itself as a very popular fixture in Tamworth’s annual calendar of events and we’ve worked hard to create an unforgettable experience for the festival goer. Our festivals are about relaxing and having a good time as a family, while enjoying some of the finest locally-produced food and drink this region has to offer.
“Each pitch is carefully considered so that visitors experience a wide variety of culinary delights; most people will be unaware of the amazing, high quality food and drink that is being produced right on their doorsteps – ranging from small artisan producers to nationally-recognised businesses – and the Tamworth Food Gusto Festival is about showcasing some of that offering.
“We hope to see lots of people joining us in the Castle Grounds this weekend to take advantage of this great opportunity to enjoy a huge variety of gourmet food and drink.”
Gates open at 10.30am until 5pm both days. Entry to the festival arena is £2 per adult and free for children under 10. More information is available via the Tamworth Food Gusto Facebook page, or the website at www.tamworthfoodgusto.co.uk.