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A brand new festival for Norfolk promises delicious treats for foodies

PUBLISHED: 18:56 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:56 31 August 2018

Richard Hughes of The Assembly House in Norwich launches a new food festival (C) Chris Taylor

Richard Hughes of The Assembly House in Norwich launches a new food festival (C) Chris Taylor

Copyright christaylorphoto.co.uk

A new food festival in Norfolk will include a one-man show from top restaurant critic Jay Rayner, a chocolate-themed high tea, visits from celebrated chefs, a parade of puddings, a food writing workshop and The School of Chocolate.

Karl Goward of Shepherd's,Westminster (C) Assembly HouseKarl Goward of Shepherd's,Westminster (C) Assembly House

Food fans can rejoice: there’s a brand new festival bringing a fresh flavour to autumn in the east.

The Assembly House Food Festival will be hosting a glut of delicious events throughout September, October and November which includes a return of the much-loved Noverre Cinema for a one-night pop-up to show Chocolat (complete with a themed chocolate High Tea served in the restaurant), a visit from feared and revered food critic Jay Rayner and guest chef appearances from master game chef Jose Souto and Karl Goward, head chef at the politico’s favourite Westminster haunt, Shepherd’s.

Those who want to refine their food writing can take part in a workshop with expert Andy Lynes, a food writer for national newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Independent and the sweet-toothed can enjoy The School of Chocolate where they can learn all about the food of the (Mayan!) Gods.

There will be a Parade of Puddings, a one-man show from Norfolk Food and Drink Patron and Chef Director of The Assembly House in Norwich Richard Hughes and a demonstration from game expert Jose Souto, who will be showing his knife skills with fur and feather.

The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich. Photo : Steve AdamsThe Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

“We were really keen to create a festival that really celebrated food of all kinds,” said Richard, who has been cooking professionally for more than 40 years and has worked in kitchens across the region, in London and at Michelin-starred venues.

“Karl is, without a doubt, my favourite chef working in the UK today; his food is what you’d choose to eat every day of the week. His style is all about the quality of the ingredients being allowed to take centre stage - he’s a chef that all cooks should look to for inspiration so I am particularly pleased to bring him back to Norfolk to cook.

“We’re bringing experts in their field to the festival, from Gary Hunter who is an expert chocolatier to Jose Souto who is a leading authority on game and food writer Andy Lynes and critic Jay Rayner. It’s a festival for people who love food - eating it, making it, talking about it and writing about it!”

For full details, visit www.richardhughescookeryschool.co.uk/classes/type/food-festival-2018

Chocolate Ambassador and head of Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway Gary Hunter. photo: Steve AdamsChocolate Ambassador and head of Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway Gary Hunter. photo: Steve Adams

Highlights of The Assembly House Food Festival:

September 21: Chocolat High Tea, served in The Assembly House restaurant with sittings from 5pm and created by master patissier Mark Mitson, the tea promises to tick all the chocolate boxes and will be served before guests can cross the hall to watch Chocolat in the Noverre. The tea will include House speciality Gateau Opera, chocolate éclairs, billionaire’s shortbread shot and triple chocolate chip cookies. The Assembly House Trust will be screening Chocolat at 7pm: “The Food Festival is a great excuse to revive one of Norwich’s beloved cinemas,” said organiser Sam Leonard. Cinema tickets are priced at £10 and can be booked online at www.assemblyhousetrust.org.uk/events

September 23: Game Masterclass and Game Lunch with Jose Souto: A master in his field (quite literally) keen deer stalker and falconer Jose Souto will lead guests through fur and feather as he demonstrates his art with sustainably-sourced wild meat. A chef at the House of Commons for 11 years and with stints at The Ritz and The Savoy Grill under his belt, Jose is one of the UK’s leading game chefs with an unrivalled knowledge of how to cook game, its harvest and preparation. The demonstration will be followed by a lunch inspired by Jose’s work.

September 29: An Introduction to Food Writing with Andy Lynes: A half day, hands-on interactive workshop in which food, drink and travel writer Andy Lynes will lead guests through a series of short, enjoyable writing tasks that will help them hone the skills they need to produce memorable, entertaining and informative work for reviews, newspaper articles, blogs and so forth. Andy is a columnist for several national newspapers and magazines and the author of four books on food - a Masterchef semi-finalist, he is co-founder of Brighton’s Best Restaurants awards and OctoberBest.

October 4: Dinner with Karl Goward of Shepherd’s of Westminster: There’s regularly a hint that the head chef of the politico’s favourite restaurant in London has a link to Norfolk - just look at the menu and spot the produce from the county! Karl spent three years working alongside legendary nose-to-tail chef Fergus Henderson at St.John and opened St.John Bread and Wine. He has worked in New York at The Spotted Pig, Prune and Soho House and brings more than 20 years of experience to Shepherd’s of Westminster. Born and bred in Norfolk, he attended Norwich City College and regularly returns to the county. His menu for the festival includes Cromer Crab and heirloom tomatoes with warm spiced butter, whole grilled Norfolk quail and blackberry and apple trifle.

October 17: David Clayton’s Parade of Puddings: Perfect for the sweet-toothed, this is a night for serious pudding lovers! Join BBC broadcaster and ‘proper pudding lover’ David for this special evening alongside The Assembly House team who will serve up a dozen or so proper puddings (after a main course or two!).

October 23: One Man in his Apron, Richard Hughes: An evening with Richard with canapés and fizz (free ticketed event, limited capacity).

November 18: The School of Chocolate with Gary Hunter: A morning dedicated to the cocoa bean, presented by the UK Chocolate Ambassador Gary Hunter, with a talk on the history of chocolate, a delicious demonstration and, of course, a tutored chocolate tasting. Gary is an ambassador for Callebaut chocolate, a judge at the World Chocolate Masters and head of the oldest, most prestigious cookery college in the UK, Westminster Kingsway. Gary will also create a decadent chocolate themed Afternoon Tea with head pastry chef Mark Mitson to enjoy after the demonstration.

November 29: The 10 (Food) Commandments by Jay Rayner: Award-winning restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Jay Rayner is bringing his one-man show to Norwich which tackles the really big questions, like whether it is ever OK to covet thy neighbour’s oxen (it is), eating with your hands (very important indeed) and if you should cut off the fat (no).

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