The windy weather on Sunday 10 May, didn't deter almost four thousand people from turning up for the first ever Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink. With numbers exceeding all expectations, visitors flocked to the event which was held in a grand marquee at the harbour. Stalls offering fresh quality local food and pop-up restaurants all did a roaring trade.
Writer and broadcaster, Kirsty Wark demonstrated her culinary skills using wild garlic from Ballantrae beach foraged by Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. Trump Turnberry’s Executive Chef Munur Kara shared his tips for cooking locally caught mackerel while Andrew Beattie of the Cook School Scotland worked his magic on local lamb and chicken. Howard Wilkinson spoke about how Dunlop cheese has just gained Protected Geographical Status (like champagne) and the concept of “Slow Food”. Pop-up restaurants provided by Glenapp Castle, Marrbury Smokehouse and Drumbreddan Hog Roast served hundreds of meals over the day. Fantastic live music – creating just the right atmosphere – was provided by the Pulse Jazz Combo.
Festival Co-ordinator, Susan Crosthwaite said:
“The Festival has exceeded all of our expectations. We had hoped for around two thousand people, and almost double that number attended. The work we did with children and staff at Ballantrae and Colmonell Primary schools on healthy eating was on display for all to see.”
“It was a great day for stallholders and local restaurants. Visitors had the chance to sample a huge range of quality food from this area. It shows that a small village like ours can put on a major popular event"
The Festival was inspired by Ballantrae’s exceptional lamb, beef and seafood produce, and we attracted a wide range of producers from across South West Scotland. We're playing our part in helping to deliver Scotland’s food strategy in this Year of Food and Drink. We plan to build on our success through the Ballantrae Farmers’ Markets planned for 16 August and 4 October. We also hope to be able to run another Festival in 2016.
The organising group is indebted to all of the volunteers from the village who helped to make the Festival a success, to the stallholders who provided such excellent examples of quality local produce, to the visitors who came along, and to our Festival partners who helped to make it happen.”
The Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink was organised by the Ballantrae Development Group which is a sub group of the Ballantrae Community Council. Supported by the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, the Festival received funding from South Ayrshire Council and the Community Food Fund.