Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Taste Cumbria food festival will generate millions for economy - claim

Millions of pounds will be pumped into the Cumbrian economy, thanks to the third Taste Cumbria Food Festival this weekend.

Marie Whitehead photo
Marie Whitehead

The two day event, in association with Cumbria Life magazine, will take over Cockermouth this weekend in what organisers are promising is the “biggest festival yet”.

Taste Cumbria was set up as part of the flood recovery work for Cockermouth, and is funded by Defra.

Marie Whitehead, events director for CN Events, which is managing the logistics for Taste Cumbria, said last year’s festival saw more than 20,000 visitors descend upon the market town – and brought in an estimated £5m to the local economy.

“We are delighted to have won the opportunity to deliver the logistics for the event this year, which has been challenging but really good,” she continued.

“The thing we are most proud of is that other than one part of the equipment, everything else has come from north and west Cumbria; the staff, equipment and entertainers.”

Despite the torrential downpours and minor incidents of flooding, organisers are thrilled that they have not cancelled a single event.

However, the main stage will now be on Main Street, and the Ready to Eat and Kids Area has moved from Memorial Park to Bitterbeck Car Park.

Famous names will be attracting many of the visitors, as they vie to see TV celebrity chef James Martin cook up a culinary storm or Simon Rimmer, chef presenter of Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, present a food demonstration packed with flavour.

Observer food critic and regular on BBC’s One Show Jay Rayner will recount some of his worst restaurant experiences, followed by a performance of the very best food-inspired jazz standards, and Cumbria’s own Michelin starred chef and winner of the Great British Menu, Simon Rogan, will set up a unique ‘pop-up’ restaurant at the heart of the festival.

Writing for the Taste Cumbria programme, Mr Rogan, of L’Enclume in Cartmel, said: “We have an abundant range of incredible produce produced on our doorstep. It is my hope that at the Taste Cumbria Food Festival, you will be able to share our love of fresh, seasonal produce that abounds in the Cumbrian countryside.”

Many of the ticketed events have already sold out, but there is a host of other free activities to keep families entertained.

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