Woking Borough Council
Civic OfficesGloucester SquareWokingSurreyGU21 6YL
Telephone: 01483 755855
17 September 2013
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Thousands of visitors to Woking Town Centre enjoyed a culinary `feastival' this weekend (13-15 September 2013) despite the wet weather, as the first Woking Food and Drink Festival is hailed a resounding success.
The free mouth-watering three-day event, featured an assortment of 40 high-quality food and drink stalls, live culinary demonstrations from TV and local prestigious chefs, cookery-related workshops for children, BBQ cook-off sessions and all topped off with a healthy portion of live entertainment.
Hosted in the newly refurbished Jubilee Square in Woking Town Centre, the three-day celebration of food and drink showcased the very best of the area's producers, chefs and restaurants, as well as attracting a range of regional producers to the town.
Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: "I'm delighted to say that The Woking Food and Drink Festival was a resounding success. Whilst visiting the event, I thoroughly enjoyed the international cuisine on offer, along with the live cookery demonstrations at the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre, which featured some of our best local chefs and well known TV chefs.
"The festival created a real buzz around the town centre, with Woking Shopping reporting a significant increase in footfall over the weekend, which will not only raise the profile of Woking but is good for business, good for residents and good for Woking. On behalf of the Council, I'd like to thank the sponsors, without whom the festival could not have taken place, along with the volunteers and project team behind the festival."
Highlights included Natalie Coleman, BBC MasterChef 2013 winner, showcasing her culinary credentials when she took to the Tante Marie Culinary Academy Theatre on Saturday 14 September, and Jo Wheatley, TV Baking 2011 winner, rose to the challenge when she took to the stage for two delicious baking demonstrations on Sunday 15 September.
Young chefs rolled up their sleeves to create their own chocolate creations and put their palates to the test in a series of tasting and healthy eating sessions, courtesy of Woking Shopping.
Attendees had a slice of the baking action when they took part in the Festival's baking competition judged by TV Baking winner, Jo Wheatley. Entrants dropped off their `baked beauties' at ChristChurch on Sunday and Claudia Nocci was chosen as the winner for her coffee and meringue sponge cake. Claudia, who is originally from Italy and now lives in Woking, won a place on one of Jo's cookery classes, held in her own home in Essex, along with a signed copy of her book, A Passion For Cooking.
Claudia, said: "I'm so honoured and really happy to have won this competition, especially as it was judged by Jo Wheatley. This recipe is one of my favourites and I'm so glad Jo agreed!"
As well as foraging amongst the artisan stalls and tucking into some flavoursome plates from street food vendors, visitors to the Festival enjoyed live acoustic music from the Phoenix Cultural Centre, which created a relaxed atmosphere for everyone.
Cllr Gary Elson, Woking Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Promoting the Local Economy, added: "Woking continues to go through exciting changes and the newly refurbished Jubilee Square was the perfect location for Woking's first Food and Drink Festival. I, alongside the thousands of visitors who attended Woking Food and Drink Festival, enjoyed tasting the quality products and dishes on sale and felt the live demonstrations were a highlight of the event. Like all Celebrate Woking events, it was free to attend and had something for all the family. I hope the Festival will be the start of many more to come."
To find out more information about Woking's first Food and Drink Festival, please visit www.wokingfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk or follow @WokingFoodFest on Twitter.
Win £50 of Woking Shopping vouchers - what did you think of the Festival?
If you attended the event and would like to take part in a short survey for your chance to win £50 worth of Woking Shopping vouchers, please complete the Woking Food and Drink Festival survey here.