The Chester Food Drink & Lifestyle Festival, sponsored by Taste Cheshire, took place over August at Chester Racecourse for the 20th year in 2022 and the event saw more people cooking and being involved in cooking than ever before. It is anticipated that 2022 will see even more wanting to take part and enjoy fabulous cooking with such wonderful chefs.
One of the event highlights is the many cooking classes and demonstrations, with all the various classes and demonstrations full for every session. Festival Organiser Briony Wilson was pleased with the response and is looking forward to seeing even more people taking part in 2022.
“In 2021 we had Adult cooking classes running all day with Chef Brian Mellor and people loved those sessions with every session full. They also got to eat what they cooked afterwards – a big bonus for all. We plan on running even more in 2022 and would advise all those attending to book on line to ensure they get a chance to take part.
The Children didn’t miss out with over 900 children taking part in the Academy of Culinary Arts Kids cooking classes teaching young children how to prepare foods and of course taste them as well. Academy Principal Chef for the North West, James Holden said that in their 13th year of providing these classes they had now taught over 15,000 children at this event how to cook, something of which they are rightfully proud.”
Over 150 food and drink Exhibitors took part with them all doing brisk business on the packed out and record Sunday with thousands of people coming through the doors. The event featured foods from right across the planet.
Festival Organiser, Briony Wilson added “We have been astounded at the cosmopolitan selection of foods which will be on offer this year. We always limit the number of similar foods to ensure that everyone gets a chance to show their products and this year we will see so many different countries represented, we are thrilled. If you’re brave enough, you can try things you couldn’t imagine. Its foodie heaven at Easter in Chester”
The Festival, which will be staging its 21st event this year has now contributed in excess of £40 million of economic benefit to the city of Chester as Managing Director, Stephen Wundke explains. “Some 20 years ago, when we approached the hoteliers of Chester with this idea we asked them when they would like a major event and they said Easter was always a disaster with everyone going away. So, we agreed to stage the Food Festival at that time. We are delighted to say that all hotels are now full over Easter and shops and restaurants in the city do a booming trade because of this event. This is something of which we are very proud. We also had over 1500 people staying on the racecourse in an event we created some years ago called Camperfest with people coming from far and wide with Campervans, Motor Homes, caravans and tents. It was certainly a challenge for them this year with conditions but it is rare you get to camp in the middle of a city, let alone one as attractive as Chester and these people keep coming back to enjoy three memorable days of food, drink and fun.”
The event wrapped up on the Wednesday after Easter with the Taste Cheshire Food and Drink Awards where over 40,000 votes were cast by customers who voted for their best Restaurant, pub, deli, sandwich bar, etc. These awards having been running simultaneously with the Food Festival and are the industry bench mark across Cheshire. The event took place at The Pavilion at Chester Racecourse with over 350 of the industry attending on one of the few nights the sector gets together to let their hair down and crown the champions.
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