Ipswich: Suffolk Show to launch new Eat Street catering offer

QUALITY food and drink will play a bigger part than ever at the heart of this year’s Suffolk Show, organisers said yesterday.

The catering offer at the annual showcase event, which takes place this year on June 1 and 2, will be transformed with the launch of “Eat Street”, a new avenue lined with stalls producing a wide-range of freshly-prepared meals.

It aims to build on the success of the popular Food and Drink Experience, again to be sponsored this year by Adnams, which offers show-goers the chance to sample and buy local products and ingredients to try at home.

Chris Bushby, executive director of the Suffolk Agricultural Association, which organises the show, said Eat Street would offer “an alternative to burgers and sausages”, with visitors able to choose from an international selection of food-styles and then enjoy their meal at picnic tables.

“It’s the place to select, purchase and consume, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or supper after a long day,” he added. “It will be a real eating experience, surrounded by people showcasing their food.”

The show will also reflect the increasing interest in food grown at home, or on allotments, with information and advice available in a new Gardening for All marquee within the Flower and Garden area, and seasonal food will be to the fore in this year’s FarminAnglia demonstration area which will be themed “The Farming Calendar”.

The popular Cookery Theatre will also feature again this year, with chefs taking part including Galton Blackiston from Morston Hall in Norfolk, “coastal chef” Chris Crubrough, Franck Pontais from Halesworth and Madalene Bonvini-Hamel from the British Larder at Melton.

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Livestock will also play an even more prominent role in the show, with cattle judging moving from behind the cattle sheds to the more centrally-located Bucklesham Ring, previously exclusive used for light horses.

It will be a particularly important show for the Red Poll, East Anglia’s native breed of cattle, with the International Red Poll Cattle Society Congress being held in Suffolk for the first time this year, and the breed’s classes at the Suffolk Show being judged by two leading breeders from Australia.

Within the Grand Ring, a demonstration by personnel from the Wattisham Flying Station will again head the programme of entertainment, this year featuring a simulation of the support provided for ground forces on tours of duty in Afghanistan.