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Michelin star chef demos, live music & bags of foodie fun at the Stone Food & Drink Festival

Taking place over the weekend of Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July, the 2023 Stone Food & Drink Festival, sponsored by Drac Group, promises visitors an experience where they’ll ‘Eat, Drink, Shop, Learn and Enjoy’ with a mix of fabulous food stalls, great live cookery demonstrations, tastings, live music and family fun.

Despite moving from its ‘spiritual’ home of Westbridge Park this year to nearby Kibblestone Scout Camp due to development work, the team behind Staffordshire’s original gastronomic gathering is determined to put on a great show.

Celebrating Staffordshire’s culinary talent

With one of its core aims being to celebrate Staffordshire as a foodie destination, this year’s Demonstration Kitchen, sponsored by Aston Marina, features an impressive line-up of homegrown heroes. Heading up the bill is the youngest ever 2 Michelin Star chef and 2020 Great British Menu champion, Niall Keating who, born and bred in Staffordshire, will be joined on stage by the Head Chef from his flagship Lunar Wedgwood restaurant, Craig Lunn. The pair will headline at 3pm on Saturday 12th; showcasing dishes inspired by their joint love of food, travel, life, sustainability, local produce and working with some of the finest restaurants in the world.

Other chefs taking the stage on Saturday include Adam Smith, who heads up the kitchen at the Dog & Doublet Inn at Sandon; Ben Manifold, Senior Sous Chef at No.26, Aston Marina; Jake Lowndes of Stone’s Michelin Guide-listed Little Seeds and BANT Registered Nutritionist Eva Humphries, otherwise known as the Wholefood Warrior. Sunday’s line-up includes James Cracknell, Head Chef at The Moat House in Acton Trussell; Head Chef at Aston Marina’s No.26 Lee Lawson; Sous Chef Stuart Bruce from The Woodlands Restaurant at The Chase Golf & Country Clubu; Amarpal Harrar of iCookIndian and Oksana Harris from COOK! Ukraine. All cookery demonstrations are included within the festival’s gate price, with no need to pre-book.

Get a taste of Staffordshire – and beyond…

In addition to Live Cookery Demonstrations, there’s a packed programme in the festival’s Talks & Tastings Tent, sponsored by local engineering specialist IEIS. Here you’ll find everything from local brewery beer tastings to cocktail making masterclasses, tips on foraging, the art of creating authentic Indian dhals – and pretty much everything in between. There’s also the chance to learn the stories behind some of the festival’s fabulous producers, with lots of tasting opportunities along the way.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll find a host of Street Food stalls proffering global flavours, as well as the Butcher’s Block pop-up restaurant for those seeking a more refined dining experience. Drinks wise, a host of pop-up bars serving coffee, gin, cocktails and fizz alongside great local breweries and artisan cider producers will ensure you remain well-watered whatever your favourite tipple.

Shop till you drop – then party!

The festival’s Gourmet Marquee will once again feature a host of gastronomic delights – from cheese and savoury snacks to exotic rubs and cooking sauces, enticing spirits and sweet treats. Meanwhile, a new Home & Garden Marquee will see a hand-picked selection of traders showcase luxury goods for the home and garden.

When you’re done shopping, head to the Live Music Stage, jointly sponsored by Granville’s of Stone and Barlow Motors, where a great line-up of local bands will entertain the crowds. Saturday’s acts include local performing arts students from Rooftop Studios, The Black Tie Bandits, Legends of Sound, Rock Choir and Brass Monkeys. On Sunday, Vibealicious, Block Jeans, Rock Choir and Hello Felix will provide the party soundtrack.

Families with young kids, meanwhile, will also find plenty to keep them entertained – the Little Foodies’ Zone includes a Children’s Farm stand and Panic! Family Circus, both of which offer free activities over the weekend, with circus rides, face painting and slushie-building fun also on offer.

To make getting to the event as easy as possible, free shuttle buses, sponsored by Stonegate Wealth Management, will ferry visitors from several stops around Stone town centre to Kibblestone, while on-site parking and a nearby Park & Ride service are also on offer.

The 2023 Stone Food & Drink Festival will take place on Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July. Tickets are now available online at www.stonefooddrink.org.uk – £12pp/day (£10pp online before 30th June) or £20pp for a 2 day pass (£18pp online before 30th June) – accompanied under-16s get in free.

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