GROWERS, brewers and chefs are hoping to showcase the many flavours of a west Suffolk market town at a ‘festival of food’ this summer.

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Local businesses are banding together to stage the first “Taste of Sudbury” Food and Drink Festival on June 23.

The aim of the event, which is being organised by the new voluntary and non-profit- making Sudbury Town Team, is to celebrate the abundance of food produced on the Essex/Suffolk border.

Co-organiser Jane Hatton said if it is a success, the festival could become an annual occurence.

She said: “Our aim is to promote the best food and drink provided by producers and restaurants in the local area. We would eventually like to make it a regular date in Sudbury’s calendar to rival Aldeburgh Food Festival and take inspiration from the ‘Taste of London’ restaurant showcase.

“The idea is also to encourage people to shop local and to be aware of what’s available on their doorsteps.”

Foodies of all varieties are being sought to take part in the festival and several have already signed up including Mauldons Brewery, Scutchers Restaurant in Long Melford, Handmade by Hadley’s ice-cream producers from Colne Engaine and Brookfarm from Brent Eleigh, which produces meat from heritage cattle.

Also on board is The Secret Garden restaurant in Friars Street, Sudbury. Co-owner Stephane Chapotot said: “We use local and organic produce whenever we can and this accounts for at least half of our menu.

“We think the festival is a great idea because it will highlight all the great things Sudbury has to offer gastronomically.”

The event will take place in and around historic St Peter’s Church, with stalls and marquees set up on Market Hill. There will be a rolling programme of events between noon and 6pm, with cookery demonstrations and a ‘ready steady cook’ challenge between two local restaurants.

Mrs Hatton added: “The reaction so far has been really enthusiastic, so we would urge anyone who is interested in joining the event to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Call Jane Hatton on 01787 468634 for details.

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