The festival’s food and flora stage is where the country’s greatest horticulturists and culinary geniuses give talks and demos. The Flower and Fodder Show is held in the old servant’s basement next to the stage and a series of competitive classes are judged here over the course of the weekend. A number of limited-space events are held in the Big Kitchen.
Flower & Fodder programmer, Lucy Hyslop, lets us in on her plans for this year’s festival.
“Just who would make the best company around any food table? Who would have the right culinary chops to sparkle enthusiastically, woo an audience as well as festival staff? When it comes to plotting Port Eliot Festival’s Flower & Fodder stage, these are the thoughts that permeate every decision in the year leading up to creating a cornucopia of chefs for 2016.
In 2015, we saw a gorgeous feast with the inimitable Tom Parker Bowles, Rick Stein, Skye Gyngell, Jeremy Lee, Thomasina Miers, Richard Bertinet among a stellar line-up cranking up the heat – and laughs – on stage. With a past pedigree of Angela Hartnett, Peter Gordon and other talented culinary superstars who have joined us over the years, every year we are spoilt for choice for international talents, many found locally.
This year we’re excited to have Nathan Outlaw (author of the upcoming ‘Everyday Seafood’, he’s set for Sunday July 31), as well as a plethora of fresh and established authors bringing the very latest flavours and cooking creativity for every age and every palate… (It’s early days, but for this summer, we’re also set at this stage for a star turn by ‘Egg’ scribe Blanche Vaughan, ‘Spuntino’ and ‘Polpo’ restaurant guru Russell Norman, a chat with Sally Clarke, among many…)
There’s nothing like putting just the right petal on with our longstanding flower (and now food) competitive classes. We love our audience snipping, trimming and arranging their way in the classes wittily created by our Creative Director Michael Howells. Or grabbing heirloom and recently inspired recipes for the competition overseen by the masterful author and Telegraph food writer Rose Prince – all judged by the great and the good of the artistic and culinary worlds.
And of course, if there’s a hot flower (or flour) topic to be had, you can bet we’ll be up for a talk or two, with plenty of questions (and answers, no doubt) from the audience.
Our F&F motto is simple: Come hungry, leave sated… Are you ready to tuck in?”