A record number of visitors descended on Horsham to have a big nibble on local produce at the town centre’s annual food event.
Thousands of people went along to The Big Nibble, which is organised by Horsham District Council and Horsham Markets. There were around 50 specialist local produce stalls on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1.
Horsham Markets Operator, PJ Aldred said: “We were overwhelmed with the amazing response from visitors who attended this year’s Big Nibble.
“The event showcases some of the best of our local producers, many of whom are already regular features at the weekly Thursday and Saturday Local Produce markets in the Carfax.
“It is very rewarding to see that The Big Nibble has grown into one of the most successful food festivals in the south thanks to the team effort put in by the council and other partners.”
Large crowds gathered on Saturday to watch open air live cooking demos as part of the ‘Live Food Show’.
Top chefs Matt Gillan, Steven Edwards and 14-year-old Jordan Powell (winner of the RIBI National Young Chef of the Year) all from South Lodge Hotel, Ben Bokor-Ingram of The Lamb Inn, Francesco Raciti of Carmela Restaurant, Almara Miah of Zari Bar and Restaurant and Mark Wadsworth of Crabtree Inn all presented live demonstrations.
There were also demonstrations made by traders from Horsham’s weekly local produce market including Sarah Cuthbertson of Just Brownies and Veryan Young of Verygoodfood.
Saturday also saw the return of the ever popular Horsham Beer Trail, sponsored by The Black Jug in Horsham. The trail saw a record breaking 344 people sampling a whole range of real ales in 11 of Horsham town’s pubs and bars as well as from the Hepworth beer tent in the Carfax. There were more businesses involved than ever before and double the number of beer trailers than last year.
Cllr Roger Paterson, Horsham District Council’s Cabinet member for the Local Economy, told The District Post: “It’s great to see how the Food and Drink Festival grows every year and makes the Horsham District such a tasty place to live.”
On the Sunday, The Big Nibble introduced The Great Horsham Bake Off. Horsham’s home bakers flocked to the Forum with over 200 entries in ten baking categories, with everything from bread and biscuits to tarts and cup cakes. Separate classes included technical challenges and those for children encouraging bakers of all abilities.
Organiser and local foodie Hilary Knight said: “The standard of baking skills shown was incredibly high and was testament to the amazing cooking talents present in Horsham’s homes.
“I have received so much fantastic feedback it is clear that there is a real appetite for this type of competition to be repeated.”
Those who went to The Big Nibble can win a prize by completing an online survey. For the chance to win enter your feedback at www.surveymonkey.com/s/bignibble2013 before Friday, September 13, 2013.
The Big Nibble kicked off a whole month of food-related events as the Horsham District Food and Drink Festival will run from now until September 29.
For more information and to download the year round local produce guide, visit www.horshamlocalproduce.co.uk or call 01403 215264.