PROVING that you can never have too many cooks, the Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival kicks off today with an array of chefs ready to tantalise your taste buds.

Now in its fourth year, the festival is a feast for the senses and food lovers of all ages.

For the next ten days, Bournemouth Square will be transformed into a buzzing festival hub with street markets, live music and cuisine from around the world.

During the weekend of June 27-29, there is an array of talented chefs ready to work their magic in the demo kitchen, some assisted by their own children, cooking everything from cupcakes to cocktails and burgers to baby food.

On Friday, June 27, Mark Hartstone, proprietor of La Fosse in Cranborne, will be serving up a delicious combination of ‘Pigeon and Mussels’ at noon. On Saturday, June 28, demos will include ‘Ready Steady Reuse’ with Bournemouth Waste and Recycling at 1pm.

Lee Moreton from Dorset Charcuterie, will be challenging the audience to take the sausage-making challenge at 3pm.

On Sunday, June 29 at noon, Matthew Budden, a father-of-three and executive chef at Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel, will be revealing the secrets of making great baby food.

Following up at 1pm, food writer Sue Quinn, from Southbourne, will be hosting the Kids’ Kitchen event with her children Ruby and Ben.

Sue, who wrote The Kids Only Cook Book, said: “This is the first time I have been involved with the festival and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Kids Kitchen has all the ingredients to feed the imagination of little chefs.

“We will be showing children how to make mackerel burgers and then a dessert from my book called energy bliss balls. Hopefully this will inspire them to cook more with their parents.”

Coral from Rex’s Heavenly Cupcakes will also appear in the Demo Kitchen on Sunday, where she will be inviting children to create their own cool confections from 3pm.


Other Bournemouth Food and Drink Festival highlights include a stirring Spanish night with live music and dance performances.

Bournemouth and Poole College is holding open-air cooking workshops.

And providing a feast for the ears will be live jazz, folk, blues, soul and swing acts, including The Land Girls, a 1940s-style duo, who will be singing songs from The Andrews Sisters through to Vera Lynn.

Festival organiser Patrick Marmion said: “The Demo Kitchen will have a real family feel to it this year and we are looking forward to inspiring cooks of all ages.

“We also have many events taking place around the town, with visitors able to enjoy a starter, main and dessert in different locations on the Four Restaurant Hop in Westbourne, Cocktail Masterclasses at 1812, and a Festival Food Quiz at Flirt Cafe.

“So come along and bring the whole family – just make sure you are hungry.”

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