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A weekend of fantastic locally produced food was the focal point for Penrith on a Plate, a two-day event held last weekend (21/22 July) in the historic market town. Over 50 local eateries and food producers took part, highlighting the quality local produce the District has to offer. The event was organised through the Vitality of Penrith Group, with the support of Eden District Council’s Communities Team. The Council’s Town Centres Officer, Annabel Candler, said: “Establishing a quality food and drink event in Penrith to promote the fine local produce and eateries in the District has been a goal for the Vitality of Penrith Group. I am delighted that local restaurants and food producers wholeheartedly supported Penrith on a Plate and really made the town centre come alive. We have received very positive feedback from people who attended and the businesses who took part. We hope to repeat the event in the future.”
On Saturday 21 July over 40 local eateries and producers took part, many making special dishes and tasters for the public to try on stalls across the town centre. A Farmers’ Market was held in Market Square, whilst on Middlegate Serious Dough and Booths supermarket were creating a tasty aroma with a wood fired pizza oven and a local produce inspired barbecue.
Richard Sykes, Store Manager for Booths in Penrith said: “We were delighted to take part in Penrith on a Plate, this was a real opportunity to showcase the quality local food producers, that Eden has in abundance. On our stall, we had local damson jelly to accompany an array of cheeses, Booths’ sausages and beer from Tirril Brewery.”
Josie Moore from Serious Dough, who created a stir at the event with their wood-fired oven creating handmade pizzas, said: “Penrith on a Plate was a real success and everyone was buzzing about it. I really appreciated the opportunity to get involved in this event, it was positive for us. I hope we can get involved in any future activities.”
Town Crier Barry McQueen announced Penrith on a Plate activities across the town with his hunting horn and bell. The Town Crier put Penrith’s hostelries to the test with his Ye Ancient Ceremony of Ale Tasting, which the George Hotel and Board and Elbow participated in, each receiving a certificate for their ‘Most Palatable Ale’.
On Sunday 22 July, the Main Course of Penrith on a Plate was served up with cooking demonstrations by top local chefs Yelly de Jong, Purple Sage Creative Catering, Annette Gibbons, John Crouch and Peter Sidwell all using quality local produce.
TV Chef Peter Sidwell, said: “It was great to see people out in the town centre sampling the quality local food offer at this new event. Quality local ingredients are the linchpin of my cooking. I tried new dishes from my restaurant’s menu, which are simple enough for people to try at home and included Potted Cumbrian Salmon, with chili, lemon and fennel bonded together with pasta.”
An array of fine food was provided for visitors and local people to try by eateries and vendors including Foundry 34, Serious Dough, Costas Paella and Rheged’s Airstream Caravan. Stalls for Penrith Show, Newton Rigg College, Eden Foodival and PACT added to the event. Entertainment for all ages included live music, activities by Crafty Monkeys and family entertainment from Stu-di-doo.
The Vitality of Penrith Group and Eden District Council would like to thank all the local businesses, food producers and entertainers who took part in Penrith on a Plate including:
Booths, Deniz Kebabs, Lakeland Embroidery Kitchen Wear, Penrith and Eden Museum, Stu Di Doo, Steven Salkeld – Musician, Scrummy Spuds, The Wine House, Foundry 34, The George Hotel, Cranstons, Blue Jay Way, Spice Club, The Lounge, The Devonshire Arcade Collective – Barbecue, Rob the Cod, La Salsa, Carricks of Penrith, Eden Fair Trade Network, Lel’s Food 4 Thought, Garden of Eden, Sharon's Antiques, Red Rooster, Penrith Lottery, Eden House of Cakes, Eden Foodival, Calico Trike Tours, PACT, Penrith Town Band, Five Café, Starfruits, Brough Castle Ice-cream Parlour, Fairly Famous Family, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Deer n Dexter, Annette’s Lakeland Kitchen, Brackenfell Rare Breeds, Winters Tarn, Crags Country Bakery, The Moody Baker, JandJ Grahams - Breads and Scones, Low Howgill, Turks Head, Newton Rigg College, Penrith Show, Crafty Monkeys, Rheged's Air Stream Caravan - Street Food, Food Link Cumbria and Costas Paella.
Penrith on a Plate was part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas, which is managed by DEFRA. The Vitality of Penrith Group and Eden District Council is working with local businesses and attractions to improve the vitality of the town centre by hosting more events.