Gallery: Food festival a triumph for Suffolk

THE third Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival ensured Suffolk lived up to its reputation as a destination for people who love good food.

Russell Claydon

THE third Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival ensured Suffolk lived up to its reputation as a destination for people who love good food.

The weekend's activities at Snape Maltings were the culmination of a ten-day festival to champion the importance of supporting local food markets.

And last night organisers hailed the showcase of the county's award-winning produce “a huge success”.

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Thousands of visitors flocked to the picturesque grounds nestled on the side of the River Alde to test out the vast array of mouth-watering produce on display from over 70 Suffolk food and drink producers.

More than 5,000 people were given an insight into where the delicious food comes from, as well as picking up culinary tips from cooking demonstrations.

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London's most respected chefs also stamped their seal of approval on the event by putting in their requests for invites to next year's festival early. Crowds were wowed by their skilled cooking using fresh, local ingredients from nearby stalls.

William Kendall, one of the festival's directors and a food producer himself, said: “Rose Prince (the Telegraph food editor) described it as 'Britian's most successful food festival' in her preview and I think that sums it up - it's not bad to have that said after just three years.

“It has been a huge success and our best attended yet, with a truly amazing atmosphere.

“It is not just a group of people selling their wares, it is about a county where food is at the centre of its culture. Farming and food production matters here.”

Alesha Gooderham, who owns Snape Maltings with her husband, added: “It was a wonderful festival and a great celebration of local food.”

British food writer and food and drink editor of the Guardian, Matthew Fort, was among the guests of honour, which also included Fergus Henderson, Tom Aikens, Mark Hix and Tom Parker Bowles.

Lady Caroline Cranbook, the festival's president and renowned food campaigner, was involved in a lively debate on the relationship of supermarkets and local food production.

She said of the 10-day event: “It has been the most incredibly successful festival and passed all expectations.

“The chef's demonstrations were wonderful and they are queuing to come back here.

“I really think this is putting Suffolk on the map.”

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