The very best in local produce will be celebrated at Derbyshire County Council’s Food and Drink Fair this weekend.
Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the event at Elvaston Castle near Derby on Saturday and Sunday (May 18 and 19) and boost the local economy by snapping up home-grown produce from more than 150 exhibitors.
TV celebrity cooks Valentine Warner and Rosemary Shrager will be making guest appearances and talented local chefs will also have the chance to display their culinary skills in hourly cookery demonstrations.
There will also be a high quality arts and crafts marquee, live music and entertainment throughout the weekend.
Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “Our food and drink producers are vital to the local economy because they support thousands of jobs and boost tourist trade. That’s why we set up the Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair more than a decade ago.
“And that’s why we’re delighted that the fair gets bigger every year, bringing thousands of potential customers to our exhibitors.”
Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair, launched by the county council in 2002 to showcase local produce, has previously been held at Bolsover Castle, Kedleston Hall and Hardwick Hall, where 13,500 visitors attended last year.
Councillor Dixon added: “By moving venues we bring the event to the doorstep of communities across Derbyshire and ensure that visitors and exhibitors from certain parts of the county don’t always have a long journey.
“Elvaston is a beautiful setting and we are looking forward to yet another wonderful celebration of the best food and drink from Derbyshire and further afield.”
While producers show off their food and drink, talented local chefs will display their skills in hourly demonstrations in a cookery theatre from 11am to 6pm on Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sunday.
Cookery theatre highlights will include an exhibition by Denby celebrity chef Denise Tollyfield and a demonstration by the Buxton campus of the University of Derby inspired by the Ready Steady Cook television show.
James Duckett, from the Samuel Fox Country Inn and Hotel at Bardwell, will also wow while Teresa Bovey, a Nottingham-based home economist well known for her fun-packed cookery demonstrations, will also be cooking up a storm.
The cookery theatre events will be headlined by celebrity chefs Valentine Warner and Rosemary Shrager who will give the opening demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Television chef and author Valentine will take centre stage at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on Saturday while renowned cook Rosemary – famed for appearing on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity programme – will show off her skills at 11am and 2pm on Sunday.
McArthur Glen East Midlands Designer Outlet is sponsoring the cookery theatre for the second year running while Midlands Co-operative is sponsoring the event for a fourth successive year.
There will be around 150 stalls selling the best of Derbyshire food and drink plus exotic produce from further afield.
Entertainment at the fair will include live music, competitions and face painting. An arts and crafts section will see dozens of local artists showcasing wares ranging from contemporary art to traditional crafts.
Toyota Motor Corporation will sponsor a Japanese Pavilion celebrating 15 years of twinning between Derbyshire and Toyota City.
This year’s fair will be open for longer than ever before – from 10am to 7pm on Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.
Entry is payable on the day at £5 for adults, £4 for concessions and children under 16 admitted free. Dogs are not allowed.
An hourly free shuttle bus will run to and from Elvaston on both days, picking up and dropping off from Derby Bus Station, Derby Train Station and the Blue Peter.