"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. "- Luciano Pavarotti
This weekend marks the opening of the Grassington Festival, a 15-day celebration of Music and Arts, and with highlight performers including Jools Holland and 80s girl band, Bananarama.
“Food now is an art and an important part of our culture,” says Grassington House Executive Chef, John Rudden, who over the past few years has taken part in open-air food demonstrations in the marketplace, and worked with the festival organisers to present a different level of enjoyment for festival-goers.
“We work in a fully set-up kitchen in the middle of the square, so come rain or shine, we present thirty minute slots throughout the day, to audiences of between 60-80 people. It’ showcasing local producers, it’s great, and it’s a growing part of the festival.”
This year award-winning local cheesemongers, The Courtyard Dairy, will have a stall in the independent food stall, as will Yorkshire Chorizo.
“Thanks to kitchen specialists and festival sponsors Howdens, we have a ‘live’ kitchen, and so we can make our demonstration very realistic, very hands-on, and with plenty of nibbles to try. This year I’m going to share some of the secrets of our salt-baked leg of lamb, which is one of our most popular dishes in the restaurant. It is cooked for 14-hours, so the audience will come in on the end of that, but they will get an understanding of the preparation, how we create these dishes from scratch, and how they are dressed and served. I love this part of the festival and it’s just another highlight of the diversity on offer.”
John Rudden will open and close the demonstrations on Sunday 18th June, with Grassington House slots at 10.30am and 2.30pm.
This is swiftly followed on the Monday by a day of demonstrations to local school children, who will be making pasta and generally having lots of fun with food, from 11am in the square.