Picture Gallery: Food and Folk Festival at the Weald and Downland Museum

THE smell of delicious food wafted through the air at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum’s Food and Folk Festival.

Held over the bank holiday weekend (May 3-4), the festival attracted more than 4,000 people from across the area to sample the very best of produce from the south east.

Chef, Rob Silverstone, cooking. ''Food and Folk Festival at the Weald and Downland Museum.''Picture by Allan Hutchings

Chef, Rob Silverstone, cooking. ''Food and Folk Festival at the Weald and Downland Museum.''Picture by Allan Hutchings

Director of the museum Richard Pailthorpe said the event was a huge success.

“It went really well considering the weather on Sunday,” he said.

“Nevertheless lots of people came along. Antonio Carluccio gave, in his own inimitable way, a very good talk and answered a lot of questions from the audience to do with cooking.

“It was great to see a number of local producers.

“Our food festival has been going since about 1989 but this was our first food and folk festival, and it went down very well.”

Crowds filled the Southern Co-operative cookery theatre for talks and demonstrations which came from author and chef Rob Silverstone, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Sara Jayne-Stanes, and chef and condiment creator Patrick Le Mesurier among others.

Renowned Italian cookery writer and broadcaster Antonio Carluccio delighted the crowds at his seasonal talk, which was followed by a question and answer session.

And it wasn’t just the adults with the cookery conundrums.

One youngster in the crowd asked Antonio what the most useful kitchen utensil was, while another asked what desserts could be made from strawberries.

Alongside the stalls selling everything from wood fired pizza to marshmallows, cider and sausage rolls, there was a host of entertainment and activities for the whole family.

Visitors found themselves fully immersed in the food and folk weekend as they enjoyed cider tasting, blacksmiths demonstrations, a Tudor kitchen and Medieval living history.

The next event at the Weald and Downland Museum is the wood show on June 20 and June 21.

The two-day event will celebrate the uses of wood, with wood craft demonstrations, a working wood yard, teams of heavy horses carrying out forestry tasks, exhibitors and displays.