Festival is two days of heaven for food lovers

Kevin Porter

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The secrets of the chef will be revealed to food DIYers at Port Solent’s Open Kitchen event this weekend.

Anyone who wonders how their restaurant meals are put together and would like to participate, watch demonstrations or shop in a food market will find something of interest at the two-day food celebration.

Some of Port Solent’s restaurants will be opening their kitchens and holding workshops. Visitors can make pizzas at Zizzi, create starters at Dragon Marina and Rimjhim and mix up a jambalaya at Chiquito.

Children can get stuck into some sundae-making at the Harvester and for adults there will be beer tasting at The Sir Alec Rose pub and Flambé Steak Diane and red wine tasting at Watermark.

The event also features demonstrations from community chef Robin Van Creveld, who has planned themed menus entitled Meze Magic and Nautical Nibbles.

Meze Magic includes beetroot gazpacho with garlic croutons and cumin kissed yoghurt, devilled mackerel served on sour dough rye bread with smoky aubergine pate, halloumi and pepper kebabs and rose infused apricots with Greek yoghurt and honeyed almonds.

Among the Nautical Nibbles are bruschetta with smoked fish pate and teriyaki tuna with pepper stir-fry and spicy noodles.

Robin, who runs educational and community development programmes as well as workshops, courses and classes, will be encouraging people to cook with local and seasonal produce and hopes to boost their confidence in the kitchen.

He says: ‘I like to cook with food that is seasonal and sustainable. Mackerel is great because it’s very local and plentiful. Tuna isn’t so much but I wanted to do something with that because people find it undaunting.’

He wants to encourage more people to make fish dishes at home and believes the fishmonger holds the key to home-cooking confidence.

‘It’s like your local butcher or grocer. The fishmonger can offer advice and tell you where the product has come from. And they can give you filleting tips or do it for you.’

There will also be a food market with cakes, preserves, plants, pizza, olives, sweets, pastries and more at the event on Saturday and Sunday.

Port Solent Open Kitchen runs daily between 11am and 5pm. Information on workshop and demonstration times is available at portsolent.com/open-kitchen-2012.

n Workshops must be booked. Call (023) 9221 0606, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or e-mail lisa@portsolent.com.

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