GALLERY: Hitchin Food and Drink Week

FOODIES have had much to get excited about this week in Hitchin, as a week-long programme of food and drink activities kicked off.

The food and drink week launched on Saturday with children’s day, which saw youngsters cooking pizza and playing games.

Residents were also asked to fill a giant trailer with their apples to make juice, which will be sold to raise money for the Christmas light appeal. It is thought that 500 bottles of juice will be produced.

Top chef Andrew Turner took to the stage on Sunday to show off his culinary skills in the Market Place.

Hitchin resident Andrew, who is head chef at Wilton’s in St James, agreed to be patron of the festival, which was designed to celebrate and raise awareness of local food and drink suppliers.

James Nicolas, head chef at the Radcliffe Arms, and Damien Caldwell from Halsey’s Delicatessen also produced their own dishes before the three went head-to-head to see who could cook the best omelette.

Monday saw artisan bread and cake making, and Tuesday was one for those with a sweet tooth, as local entrepreneur Dawn Fry put on a chocolate making demonstration.

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Wednesday was cheese and wine day, with a wine tasting masterclass in the evening.

And yesterday (Thursday) - the penultimate day - saw fruit and honey day, a preserves and pickle exhibition and apple core competition.

Town centre manager Keith Hoskins said: “We are providing something for people of all ages to generate footfall in the town centre, and raise awareness of all the foods and drinks that are sold, grown, and manufactured locally.”

The event was commissioned by Hitchin Initiative and Hitchin BID, and delivered by business Retail Revival.

Sally Williams, who heads Retail Revival, said: “It was put together at short notice on a tight budget, and we are eternally grateful to everyone who has supported the event.

“We expect to build on the success to deliver a bigger food festival in 2012.”

The event ends today (Friday) with an evening soiree. Tickets cost �5, and can be purchased from the Hitchin Initiative office.

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