Published: May 17, 2013
Top cooks lined up to offer advice at Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival

The countdown to Burnham-On-Sea's Food and Drink Festival is underway with just a few days left until the event opens.

This year, the festival on Saturday 25th May will see a great line-up of cooks of all ages performing demonstrations at two venues in the town centre.

The 'KDS Fresh Ideas Demo Stage' will be set up at Burnham Baptist Church in College Street where visitors will be able to get inspired.

The day will get underway at 11am with up-and-coming chef Madeline Francis, 14, from King Alfred School in Highbridge, who will demonstrate her impressive baking skills. "A major step for me in cooking was winning the local Rotary Young Chef of the Year competition and I represented the school at the regional finals. My dream is now to own my own specialist cake shop in the future," she said.

At 12 noon, TV chef Valentina Harris will be cooking recipes from her latest book 'Valentina's Foodoir'. The award-winning author has written more than 30 books on Italian food and she is also an experienced and enthusiastic teacher, sharing her food philosophy of seasonal local produce served with minimum fuss and maximum care.

At 1pm, Stefano Silvati will take to the stage. Stefano specialises in home cooked Italian food that you can recreate at home using local ingredients. Stefano also has a stall at the festival so visitors can took home some of his prepared dishes.

He said: "At the festival I will be cooking Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. This regional dish is baked gnocchi in a tomato and basil sauce with fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. It is light, simple and easy to make. It is also delicious!"

And at 2pm, Romy Gill will be sharing the secrets of true Indian home cooking. Romy has her own line of sauces, spice mixes, pickles and chutneys. She has just opened her first restaurant near Bath.

The show will continue at 3pm with Deborah Durrant, an international raw food specialist, teaching festival visitors how to make raw food that tastes so good that you really won't know that it's raw!

There will also be free taster sessions happening all day at Somerset Skills & Learning in Burnham's Princess Street with foraging for free food, organic dairy farming, sugar craft and the art of making cider brandy.

And at 11.30 and 3.30pm, sugar craft workshops will be held by Home Hardware at Somerset Skills and Leaning where great skills and techniques will be on show.

The festival will also feature at 12.30 a session on organic dairy farming where visitors can find out the real cost of a pint of milk from the family at Maundrills, who are an active, successful local farming family.

And at 1.30pm, there will be a session on the art of making liqueurs and cider brandy. Festival goers will be able to learn from the award-winning Somerset experts, Somerset Cider Brandy.

At 2.30pm, a session called 'Food for Free' will be held. Learn about foraging and how to identify wild food with heavenly hedgerows and Head Chef of Farrells Restaurant cooking up a storm.

He said: "This will be a light and lively introduction to foraging. Discover wild foods with the helpful guidance of accomplished forager, Chris Westgate."

"Learn to identify wild foods readily available in local hedgerows or even your own garden. Kieran Lenihan, Head Chef of Farrells Restaurant (Keynsham & Portishead), will be cooking up a storm alongside, using the same earthly delights."

Festival Organiser Sarah Milner Simonds told "It is great to have attracted such a diverse range of chefs and experts into Burnham for the Food and Drink Festival and with the support of our sponsor KDS Interiors and Somerset Council we are really pleased to offer access to all these sessions for free."

The festival runs from 10am-5pm on Saturday 25th May in Burnham town centre. Find out more visit the festival website or pick up a programme locally across the town now.

Pictured: From top, chefs Romy Gill, TV chef Valentina Harris and Madeline Francis, 14, from King Alfred School who will appear at the festival


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