DESPITE disappointing weather crowds turned up in their thousands to Asker Meadows for the Bridport Food Festival at the weekend.

The event, that is run entirely by volunteers, runs in partnership with Bridport Round Table Beer Festival and celebrates the locally sourced food and drink that is on offer.

More than 50 local food and drink producers and suppliers, the majority from within 25 miles of Bridport, set up shop at the festival.

It adopted the theme of ‘Reducing Food Waste’ this year and is estimated to have welcomed well over 5,000 people through its gates.

Chair for the Bridport Local Food Group, Kathy Dare said: “A highlight for me was welcoming people back to Asker Meadows after two years and seeing whole families coming to enjoy and celebrate with us local food and drink.

“The continued generosity of local businesses who kindly make the event possible by becoming sponsors, and the many food and drink businesses who provided us with the most amazing prizes for the raffle which raised circa £1,000 which will be shared between two charities, the Burnt Chef Project, a charity started in 2019 to provide mental health support to the UK hospitality trade and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.”

Not running for two years gave organisers time to rethink the layout of the field, Ms Dare added: “We used more of the field and decided not to have the traditional Food Producers Tent to enable people to trade and shop outside in the fresh air. We also added live music and entertainment to the programme which was all very well received.”

The cookery theatre, which was ‘buzzing all day’, was home to a number of local chefs who cooked up delicious seafood dishes that were sold to members of the audience in aid of the Fishermen’s Mission.

“The help and support we both receive from the Bridport Town Council, in particular the Town Surveyor Daryl Chambers and his team, is exceptional, the event certainly wouldn’t be able to go ahead without them.

“It was a great crowd, and we thank everyone who came, and to all the contributors who make the festival such a success.”