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Tamworth Food Gusto Festival

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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Tantalising treats to tempt the tastebuds
Shoppers venturing into Tamworth will have no problems getting re-fuelled when the town hosts its first ever food festival.

The Tamworth Food Gusto Festival takes place over the weekend of Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September when dozens of unique and artisan food producers and businesses will ply their trade over the two days.

Sticky Fingers Cafe, Tamworth Food Gusto Festival
Sticky Fingers Cafe one of dozens of exhibitors at the festival

More than 60 businesses have signed up to take part in the first ever Tamworth Food Gusto Festival, which promises to offer food lovers the chance to sample and buy a range of top quality tantalising treats.

Tamworth's Town Team, Destination Tamworth, has joined forces with Food Gusto, based in Ashby de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, to organise the event.

Held within the attractive Tamworth Castle Grounds, visitors will be able to discover everything from hand-made crisps and pastries to organic pate and pickles and specialist ice cream.

And there will be plenty of liquid refreshments to wash it down with, including locally brewed beer.

Tamworth Castle Grounds, Tamworth Food Gusto Festival
Tamworth Castle Grounds to host first ever food festival

The Castle Grounds will be transformed into a foodie's heaven with the main food festival arena made up of creative food producers giving people the chance to sample the finest culinary delights from across the region.

The event will have something to offer people of all ages, with children's activities, live music and a beer tent selling specialty ales - with hot food all day, samples and demonstrations designed to tantalise the taste buds.

The event will also showcase live cookery demonstrations, a cupcake competition and live music.

International personal chef Simon Smith, who has worked in top London restaurants and also appeared on several TV shows, such as This Morning and Market Kitchen, will be carrying out live cooking demonstrations throughout Saturday 12 September, giving people top tips for simple 'easy-entertaining' recipes.

Simon Smith, chef, Tamworth Food Gusto Festival
Chef Simon Smith will be treating visitors to cookery demos

Simon will also be judging a cupcake making competition with people of all ages invited to bring something to the table, with prizes being awarded for the adults and children who cook up the most impressive and tasty treats.

Participants are asked to bring just one cupcake to the festival marquee before 11.30am on the Saturday, where they will be displayed throughout the day before judging at 4pm.

Exhibitors range from Melbourne Sweets and Treats, and Chocolate Perfection Ltd, to Leicestershire Handmade Cheese, and The Gin Emproium.

Sticky Fingers Cafe, Tamworth Food Gusto Festival
Mike Harvey on board one of his special ice cream bikes

And there will also be a place for Tamworth-based Sticky Fingers Café who will be bringing their unique range of homemade gelato ice creams to the event, scooped up fresh from their quirky ice-cream bikes.

Mike Harvey and his daughter Carol Tatlow set up the business just over a year ago after seeing ice-cream being made at an agricultural show. Hooked on the idea, Mike went for training and bought his own machine which he now uses to produce tubs of ice-cream from his café in King Street, Tamworth.

Samantha Panton of Tamworth Town Team said: "This event is all about raising the profile of Tamworth and complementing the many great facilities and attractions we have to offer with something a bit different.

Tamworth Food Gusto Festival, Tamworth Castle Grounds
Enjoy fine food in the Castle Grounds over the weekend

"There are lots of quality and niche purveyors of food and drink in the region and this is about showcasing these businesses and offering people a taste of that quality."

Entrance to the Food Festival area will be charged at £1 per adult while under-16s (accompanied by an adult) get in free of charge.

For more information please go to
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Why? Fine quality food to taste in lovely surroundings
When: Saturday 12 September to Sunday 13 September
Phone: 01827 709581
Where: Tamworth Castle Grounds, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7NA
Cost: Free
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