In the enchanting coastal town of Dartmouth, October brings with it a gastronomic extravaganza that food enthusiasts won’t want to miss. The Dartmouth Food Festival, spanning three delightful days, promises a perfect blend of culinary delights against the backdrop of this picturesque locale. This event is a jubilant celebration of the finest food, beverages, and culinary talents the South West has to offer, and it’s designed to cater to every palate. What’s more, many of the festival’s offerings won’t cost you a dime.
The festival kicks off on Thursday, October 19th, with a dedicated Children’s Day. Local primary school children get the chance to explore the world of food and its connection to the environment through a series of engaging and hands-on workshops.
At the heart of the festival lies the exquisite Royal Avenue Gardens, serving as a hub of activity. Here, you’ll discover an array of street food vendors dishing out tantalizing delights, ranging from dim sum and bao buns to vegan mac’n’cheese and nourishing bowl food. As you wander further, you’ll find yourself on the charming Embankment and Old Market Square, where over 80 stalls await. These stalls are brimming with locally-sourced, top-quality ingredients, including award-winning cheeses, handcrafted preserves, delectable artisan doughnuts, locally-made chocolates, and aromatic artisan coffee. Best of all, you won’t be charged an entry fee to explore these culinary wonders.
The festival plays host to an impressive line-up of special guests, from internationally acclaimed chefs to celebrated writers and critics. This year’s roster boasts household names like our Festival advocate, the award-winning chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks, along with Matt Tebbutt, Mark Hix, Richard Bertinet, Jane Baxter, and Orlando Murrin. Local culinary heroes like Elly Wentworth from The Angel, James Goulding from The Pig, and Nick Evans from Rick Stein’s Cookery School will also shine in the lively Chefs’ Demo Tent.
For those with a penchant for wine, experts like Susy Atkins (Sunday Telegraph), Will Lyons (The Times), and Fiona Beckett (The Guardian) will delight your palate with their enlightening wine tastings. If wine isn’t your cup of tea, don’t fret, as local spirits like Salcombe Gin and Hattier’s Rum will offer masterclasses at the Royal Castle Hotel.
One of the festival’s highlights is the Food Matters program, a series of engaging discussions and debates. This year’s topics include regenerative farming, sustainable eating, and the role of aquaculture in solving our food supply challenges. Distinguished speakers such as Professor Tim Spector, Guy & Geetie Singh Watson, and Henry Dimbleby will grace these sessions.
Browns Hotel will once again be the venue for a range of Tasting Sessions. These sessions provide a unique opportunity to delve deeper into various food subjects, with topics this year encompassing charcuterie, chocolate, Sharpham cheese, and fermented foods. Renowned author Kathy Slack will also discuss her book “Tales from the Veg Patch” in conversation with local Cooking School owner, David Jones. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider signing up for one of our Pasta Making or Sushi Making workshops, hosted by Coastal Cookery.
As many of our events are free, the support of sponsors, friends, and visitors is crucial to maintaining this accessibility. We kindly request a small donation for our official program, and you’ll find donation points at select events.
Looking ahead to next year, 2024 will mark our 20th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, we’re crafting a special commemorative book that will weave together recipes, images, and stories collected over the past two decades. This book will be dedicated to our founding Patron, the late Joyce Molyneux.
If you’d like to contribute to this extraordinary project, please visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/dffcookbook
For further details, information, and tickets, visit our Festival website, where you can also subscribe to our newsletter, or connect with us on our social media channels:
Don’t miss out on this delectable experience; join us at the Dartmouth Food Festival for an unforgettable culinary adventure!