Published: September 6, 2013
Countdown to Burnham's autumn Food and Drink Festival begins

Food and drink producers from across the region gathered in Burnham-On-Sea last night (Thursday) for a launch party to mark the start of the countdown to the town's third food festival.

More than 70 exhibitors and chefs will take part in the Burnham-On-Sea Food & Drink Festival on Saturday, September 28th - and last night's event at Benton Furniture in Highbridge provided a taste of what will be happening.

The organisers, Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds, right, said this month's event will be even bigger than the previous two.

"Once again, the 'Victoria Quarter' of Burnham will be full of the best food and drink from across Somerset when the festival returns," said Bev.

"The event will spread over five indoor venues and the large outdoor market on Victoria Street, making a great day-out whatever the weather."

Stallholders from across Somerset will offer tastings, samples and opportunities for visitors to hear the stories behind their products.

Also on show at the 'KDS Demo Stage' at the Baptist Church will be top chefs sharing their skills and techniques including Times columnist and chef Joanna Weinberg, The Somerset Curry Club, Stefano Silvati and local chef Madeline Francis, pictured below.

The festival's free-to-enter competitions will be returning too – The Great Burnham Bake-Off, sponsored by Positive Wealth Creation, The Great Burnham Brew Off for beer makers and the Great Burnham Burn Off, which is a new chilli-eating competition.

The Great Burnham Bake-Off, to be held in the Somerset Skills & Learning Centre, will feature several categories - 'Cake, Any Cake' (open to home and professional bakers) and home baker only classes for Bread and Pie (Savoury). Award-winning pie maker Mervyn Watling of Wessex Pantry will be judging.

Bev added: "The festival offers a great opportunity to try something new – there is certainly something for everyone, with food as varied as Caribbean jerk chicken, deep south style pulled pork, wood fired pizza and traditional pies, ales and cheese."

Entry to the festival will be free and venues open at 9am and include Somerset Skills & Learning, the Baptist Church, Princess Theatre and Methodist Church.

"There's lots of interest and excitement growing around the festival - the plans are coming together well. It promises to be a fantastic event," added Sarah.

Pictured: Above, the organisers Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds with the programmes at last night's launch party

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