Somerset's fine foodie offerings
PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 June 2014
Barry Mellor Photography
In the latest of our columns from the BBC, Stephen Leigh talks about Somerset's vibrant summer food scene
It’s almost May and for someone like me whose job, as well stomach, is ruled by food it’s one of my favourite times of the year.
The ‘hungry gap’ is well and truly over and the rich bounty of the county’s finest seasonal produce is starting to appear in abundance.
It’s in the coming months that Somerset’s amazing reputation for the best of food really comes into its own.
From farm grown fruit and veg, to local cheeses and ciders, anyone lucky enough to live here can feast on the finest of foods without racking up any food miles!
With all the great local produce it’s not surprising that Somerset can boast The Somerset Cider Brandy Company and traditional cheesemakers’ Westcombe Dairy among past winners of Radio 4’s Food and Farming Awards.
And this May sees two Somerset food growers vying for the BBC Food and Farming Award’s title of Outstanding Farmer of the Year.
Luke Hasell runs Somerset’s Community Farm, a volunteer led farm that educates local people about where their food comes from. While, Frome dairy farmer Neil Darwent is nominated for his dedication to promoting lip smacking, grass-fed milk that’s good for the customer, the cow and the countryside.
And Luke and Neil won’t be the only food heroes representing Somerset at major BBC events happening in the South West this May. The BBC has picked the region to host its biggest ever free, educational food festival, The BBC at Bristol Food Connections – happening across the first two weeks of the month.
Our contribution to this new, South West food showcase will feature a completely free festival in the city’s harbourside. For a great day out, you’ll be able to learn how to cook affordable family suppers from a host of celebrity BBC chefs in our 500-seat Stars’ Kitchen, be in the audience for live radio recordings and top children’s stage shows and get hands-on in our three activity tents.
And loads of Somerset stars will be there for the first weekend; including legendary Bath chef Martin Blunos, who’s putting on two fish-themed food demos, Bath based Katy Ashworth, the star of Cbeebies’ show I Can Cook, who’ll be entertaining your little ones with live sing-along performances and even Bath Rugby Union who’ll put your family through its paces in the sports nutrition tent!
For more information, search Bristolfoodconnections.com
* Stephen Leigh is the Series Producer for BBC at Bristol Food Connections
BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Points West will be broadcasting about “Food Connections” throughout the Festival. There’s a chance to be in the audience of three BBC Radio Bristol programmes as they broadcast live across the West, go to www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours for more information and for tickets to BBC shows and demonstrations. The BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards will be held on Thursday 1 May in Bristol.