Taunton Feast Food & Drink Festival 2019
After three days of Michelin starred chef dinners, Feast 2019 finished on a high Saturday 31 August with Stephen Terry (the Hardwick in Abergavenny), Stephane Delourme (Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant), and Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park). And the increasingly popular artisan food & drink market on Castle Green saw a fantastic turnout with more than 15,000 visitors.
The festival launched last Thursday with a Pop Up Feast featuring Jude Kereama (Kota), Louise McCrimmon (Harvey Nichols Bristol), James Mason (Coast Events), Olivier Certain (Duende) and Longman’s Cheese, who fed more than 100 guests, accompanied by superb drink options from Joseph Perrier, Brazz cocktails, Vine Wine, Bradley’s soft drinks and Rock Gin. Guests were welcomed at the official opening by local cricketing legend, Marcus Trescothick and Somerset County Cricket teammates, including Tom Abell.
Friday’s Feast saw Michael Caines (Lympstone Manor), Chris Cleghorn (The Olive Tree), and Josh Eggleton (the Pony & Trap) take control of The Castle’s kitchen to delight over 80 guests with a gala 4-course dinner, sponsored by Somerset Larder. Joined by The Castle’s own, Liam Finnegan, the evening was a culinary showcase of the very best that the West Country has to offer, with wines personally selected and introduced by Paddy Magill of Vine Wine.
The Saturday artisan food & drink market welcomed thousands of visitors over the course of 8 hours and created a wonderful festival atmosphere on Castle Green with live entertainment, kids’ activities and a dizzying array of food and drink producers, all eager to show their skill and give advice on the best way to enjoy their products at home.
The weekend culminated with the final feast on Saturday evening, featuring kitchen legend, Stephen Terry who created a mouth-watering starter of Roast Diver Caught Scallops. But the surprise star of the evening was Matt Peters, head pastry chef from Lucknam Park, with his Manjari Chocolate Crémeux – an exquisite plate handcrafted in full view of guests, using a turntable and molten chocolate, swirled in what can only be described as a virtually perfect zen circle.
“Feast has been a tremendous success this year,” says Liam Finnegan, Director of Food & Beverage at The Castle Hotel and founder of the festival. “We were overwhelmed by the support we’ve received, all of the guest chefs who came to take part, and a very special thanks go to our two main sponsors, Arthur David and Somerset Larder for helping us to create such an amazing event for Taunton.”
“We’d also like to thank Joseph Perrier,” continues Liam “who supplied all the Champagne for the weekend and for hosting a Champagne tasting on Saturday in aid of Love Musgrove.”
In its third successful year, Feast food and drink festival in Taunton has been visited by some of the region’s top named chefs and has helped to raise money for local hospital, Musgrove Park. “It’s good to give something back because Taunton is a fantastic community and our hospital plays such an important role in the lives of area residents,” says Liam.
“That’s a wrap,” says Liam, “We can’t wait for Feast 2020!”
Images courtesy of Clayton Jane Photography.