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Fine Food Festival to launch at Great Comp Gardens near Borough Green

By Angela Cole

Lovers of fine food and matching surroundings will be well catered for with a new festival.

The Great Comp Fine Food Festival, which will be staged at the garden, near Borough Green, on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16, has been launched as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations this year.

The event will see a cookery theatre delivering hourly demonstrations amid the floral and fauna of the gardens.

Great Comp Garden is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year
Great Comp Garden is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year

The theatre will be run by culinary maestro Matthew Kearsey-Lawson, head chef and owner of Kent Fine Foods, who will bring a line-up of foodies to entertain across the weekend.

Matthew says: “I’m excited about this new event at Great Comp. The cookery theatre will add a really entertaining dimension to the proceedings with talks by food authors and demonstrations by top chefs and food producers. Visitors to the event will be able to try out the produce from exhibitors on-site and they will also be able to enjoy lunch, wine, gin and cheese tastings.

“We will have something for everyone including a newly-launched vegan and vegetarian range of foods from a Kentish producer.”

Matthew Kearsey-Lawson will be at Great Comp Garden Picture: Steve Crispe
Matthew Kearsey-Lawson will be at Great Comp Garden Picture: Steve Crispe

Rosemary Williams, author of Prep That Fish will be giving a live demonstration on how to prepare seafood. Rosemary is the granddaughter of Stanley Holbrook, a well known shellfish merchant in Kent, he was known for The Holbrook Method of preparing seafood. Bruce McMichael, food writer, Penshurst Farmers’ Market manager, and owner of The Lemon Grove will be among the guests on the first day.

There will also be the chance to learn how to cook with cobnuts from Potash farm with Matthew, hear from Hilary Steel, BBC presenter, on vegan and vegetarian foods, and food blogger Jo Banks will be presenting Alive with Flavour, about inspiring and educating through food. There will also be a festival quiz on both days at 3.30pm, with prizes donated by stall holders.

Exhibitors also include Medway-based Copper Rivet Distillery, O’er the Moon, Squerryes and Riverford Organic. The aim for organisers is for the event to feel like a live television show with food demonstrations and talks given on the hour and commentary throughout the weekend.

Copper Rivet Distillery will be at the new festival
Copper Rivet Distillery will be at the new festival

William Dyson, curator at Great Comp, said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming the best foodies in the county. It should be a really tasty weekend with our exhibitors and cookery theatre guests.”

The festival is on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 from 11am to 4pm at Great Comp Garden. Tickets cost £8 and £3 for six to 17-year-olds, with under fives going free. For details go to greatcompgarden.co.uk

Curator at Great Comp, William Dyson Picture: Sean Aidan
Curator at Great Comp, William Dyson Picture: Sean Aidan

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