FROM the secrets of the world’s most complex cocktail, to the chance to sample its tastiest street food, the Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival is ready to serve up a treat next week.

The 10-day annual extravaganza features top-class chefs, open-air cookery workshops and themed events.

In the festival hub of Bournemouth Square, foodies can enjoy a demo kitchen, world and street food markets, and fare from local farmers and producers, all accompanied by live music.

Culinary delights include freshly prepared Thai noodles, curries, sushi, Normandy crêpes and wood-fired, hand-stretched Neapolitan pizzas cooked to order in under 90 seconds.

There are French tarts, German salamis, Greek cheeses and Italian ice creams.

As part of the street food theme, authentic Mexican tacos will be served straight from a fully fitted kitchen built into a 1962 Routemaster double-decker bus.

To add to the melting pot of international cuisine, a dedicated Spanish night will feature live performances in a fiesta style atmosphere of music and dance.

For those who like their cocktails, there is a competition featuring the best bartenders in the locality mixing Dorset’s Best Bloody Mary.

Festival organiser Patrick Marmion, said: “It’s a fascinating drink with competing claims on its origins and optimum content.

“The extensive choice of potential ingredients makes it a contender for being the world’s most complex cocktail.

“Our friendly competition will seek out the best combinations.”

Bournemouth and Poole College will also be holding open-air cooking workshops involving budding chefs from local schools.

Alongside the food and drink will be live jazz, folk, blues, soul and rockabilly music, a traditional Chinese Lion costume dance, drumming and martial arts demos, and a festival DJ.

Patrick added: “As well as what’s happening at the festival hub, we have lots of participation from local restaurants and hotels with free tastings and cooking demos. We couldn’t stage this festival without support from businesses in and around Bournemouth so I thank them.

“It’s all about celebrating great food in a fun way against the fabulous south coast destination that is Bournemouth.”

The festival takes place from Friday, June 20 to Sunday, June 29.

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