18th January, 2024
While playing host to the 28th edition of the prestigious British Cheese Awards, the event will also feature demonstrations and presentations on everything from pairings and baking to cooking on a budget, with entertainment on offer for all ages.
TV presenter and Great British Bake Off contestant, Briony May Williams will get things underway on the Farmhouse Kitchen Stage on Saturday morning, followed by appearances from the likes of the Fuss Free Foodie, food & drink broadcaster Nigel Barden and food writer and presenter, Andy Clarke. Other highlights include a cheese and cider pairing session with West Country food & drink heavyweights, Thatchers and Wyke Farms, in celebration of some of the region’s most famous and popular produce.
Away from the stage, Liver Cottage Mobile Kitchen will present a cookery demonstration like no other, as comedy chefs Hugh Fearn and Lee Whittingstall move through the crowds to create ‘fusion food on the move’, blending home grown ingredients with food foraged from the corner shop, the streets and of course the audience.
A celebration of the South West’s farmers, producers and purveyors, the Food & Drink Festival will be built around the British Cheese Awards judging arena. An awe-inspiring sight for any cheese lover, the arena will be home to hundreds of the country’s top cheeses, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the rigorous judging process and even sample some of the trophy winners.
Judging will take place on Friday 22 March, as over 60 of the most respected names in cheese assess the best of Britain and Ireland. The judging panel will feature comedian and British Cheese Champion Marcus Brigstocke, author and cheesemonger Ned Palmer, cheese consultant and author Emma Young and cheesemaker Mary Quicke MBE, all led by head judge Tim Rowcliffe.
Food and drink stands will surround the judging area, bringing together the region’s best producers, including Bath Soft Cheese, E18hteen Gin, Godminster, Purbeck Ice Cream, Good Game Charcuterie, Devon Rum Co, Incredible Brewing Co, Wild West Cider and many more.
For younger visitors, the Little Foodies zone will keep families entertained with creative crafts and activities, while the Farmhouse Tavern will showcase beverages of all kinds, including cider, beer and spirits, alongside low and no alcohol alternatives.