Emsworth Food Fortnight ready for final course

A huge turnout for Emsworth's community seafood lunch / Picture by Derek Martin
A huge turnout for Emsworth's community seafood lunch / Picture by Derek Martin
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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Full yet? Not quite? Have no fear... Emsworth Food Fortnight has yet to taste its final course.

The culmination of the town’s part in this year’s British Food Fortnight is this weekend all about community.

It features an open-air harvest festival with the donation of Emsworth’s food mountain to the Beacon Food Bank.

That’s after the ‘A Thought for Food’ market, a real celebration of Emsworth and local producers with something for everyone – food, wine and entertainment.

The market takes place on Saturday (Oct 7, 10am-4pm) in South Street and celebrates all that is great about Emsworth; its food heritage, local producers, independent High Street and its community.

The stallholders at this unique market have one thing in common; apart from being local, they all have a story to tell. There will be a range of more than 25 stalls, enjoy sampling and buying everything from ale to wine, from fresh fish to chocolate, and everything in between.

This is a special community harvest festival service with Emsworth churches and schools. You can bring a food item and help in the building of the Emsworth food mountain for the Beacon Food Bank.

Included are:

* 25 local food and drink producers, with fare ranging from local sausages to Hampshire chocolate milk;

* The Acoustic Fields stage with entertainment from 11.30am – acts include Emsworth’s Ukulele Orchestra, Diddi Dance and the welcome return of local band – Heronshaw;

* The Southern Co-operative on site focussing on local produce;

* Montezuma’s Chocolate offering samples of their fabulous confectionery;

* A chance to meet the Emsworth Schools ‘Scarecrows’ – made by local schools to help celebrate the harvest;

* The Beef Shack – featuring the ultimate sandwich;

* Fish preparation demonstrations with Fresh from the Boat;

* Vineyards of Hampshire Pavilion – taste the sparkling wines that everyone is talking about;

* The Blue Marine Foundation, who will have a stand demonstrating what they are trying to achieve in the Solent Oyster beds;

* A food court area to sit and watch the market and catch a bit of entertainment;

* A chance to have you photo taken with the Emsworth Lob-STAR

Alistair Gibson of the Food Fortnight organising team sad: “This is in many ways the very heart of Emsworth’s British Food Fortnight and rather like the community itself, this is a market very much with a strong sense of place.”

Also on Saturday, Emsworth hosts:

* Gin Tasting: Sample a range of exquisite gins from Artisan Gin Distillers from the south of the UK. No charge. There is no need to pre-book. Midday-2:30pm Portal, Dingwall & Norris Wines, 48 Main Road, Emsworth.

* Photography at the Kitchen Table, with Duncan Shepherd: A workshop exploring lighting, composition and camera techniques for still life photography with an emphasis on creativity and craft. It’s £39 per person and includes homemade cake and information sheets to take home. Pre-booking essential. At Tuppenny Barn 10am-2pm.

Sunday sees the Boost of Kindness Harvest Festival from 11.30am to midday in St Peter’s Square.

This is a special community harvest festival service with Emsworth churches and schools. You can bring a food item and help in the building of the Emsworth food mountain for the Beacon Food Bank.

Everyone is welcome, so come and reflect for a moment and give thanks for all we have while enjoying live music, school choirs and the great harvest hymns.

This year the food mountain will be donated on behalf of Emsworth by two local primary school pupils, Ben and Lewis Druvari, both nine years old, who set up a sweet stall at St James’ Primary School using their own money – and used the proceeds to buy food for the Food Mountain collection.

The final weekend of the fortnight also includes another chance to grab an Emsworth British Food Fortnight 2017 canvas bag and find a little surprise from Montezuma’s inside. Plus there are special menus and regional dishes in many of the restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Emsworth British Food Fortnight aprons and ‘The Lobster Republic of Emsworth’ T-shirts are available to purchase. They will be available at the market on Saturday.

LAST WEEKEND’S HIGHLIGHTS

Tickets may have sold out in 28 minutes but the weather decided not to play ball for the Community Seafood Lunch – but with wonderful British ‘never say die spirit’ the whole event was literally picked up and held at Tuppenny Barn (pictured at the top of the article).

It proved to be a more than satisfactory venue and while not perhaps having the views of Emsworth Quay it certainly put the lunch into the very heart of a local food producer and created a lovely atmosphere.

Some 80 guests were treated to a fabulous three-course seafood lunch prepared by some of Emsworth’s real Food Heroes - the chefs from Fat Olives, 36 on the Quay, Blue Bell Inn, the Brookfield Hotel and Emsworth Cookery School.

Everyone who prepared and served the lunch gave their time and all the proceeds will be going to this year’s local good causes – St James Primary and Emsworth Primary schools.

It looks to be in the region of £1,000, which is wonderful achievement and shows just what an impact Emsworth British Food Fortnight is having on the local community.

Watch out for coverage of the final weekend of Emsworth Food Fortnight in The News and Chichester Observer