New exhibitors will join old favourites at the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival at the Villa Marina Gardens on 16 and 17 September.
A fresh feature of the event is Tent up Top, a pop-up venue on the top of the Villa Marina Colonnade.
It’s collaboration between festival regulars The Alpine and new business lewislewis, bartenders for functions and events.
‘By day we’ll be offering cocktails filled with local ingredients, alongside the Alpine’s legendary salads/sandwiches,’ said founder Jamie Lewis. ‘By night, we’ll be hosting an exclusive, pop-up, Tiki-style barbecue dinner, complete with more exotic cocktails, a cute soundtrack and Tiki vibes.
‘One of our aims is to bring fun and exciting one-off events to the Island to provide that element of escapism that so many residents desire, but without the need to travel away. What better place to host this event than one that celebrates all things Isle of Man food and drink?’
Sarah Giummri said:
‘We are a family-run business focusing on fresh home cooking in our two, 100-seat restaurants. Our stand will host demonstrations and giveaways, with games for children and lots to taste, of course.
‘We hope to see existing customers and meet new people, too, and I certainly can't wait to taste all the Manx goodies on offer. We are proud to be part of such a superb Island event and hope to make it part of our annual calendar.’
Euan’s Country Kitchen is another first time-participant. Euan Campbell-Ross and Ellen Theron promise tasty and nutritious meals to people living independently, including the elderly and immobile.
‘We have both had personal experience in the caring world and our business has grown out of a need to help people,’ Euan said. ‘Our meals are tailored for each client and delivered personally each week.
‘We look forward to being a part of the festival.’
Paula Garland’s health food company Paula’s Kitchen – which specialises in gluten, dairy, refined sugar and additive-free foods – will also take part in the festival for the first time.
‘The festival is a fantastic event and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to be able to showcase my passion for good food and my health food business,’ Paula said.
‘I’ll be selling my range of healthy, hand-baked granolas, one of which includes dried Manx strawberries, hand-made raw chocolate brownies decorated with edible rose petals, and raw energy balls. I will also be offering free tasters and a competition.’
The Eatery in Douglas, which opened 18 months ago, is joining those offering food and drink to the festival crowds.
Owner David Paramor said:
‘We buy from local producers who really care and use our experience to create a menu where you can nourish or indulge in a relaxed atmosphere.
‘We can’t wait to let loose some of our latest street food ideas at the festival.’
The Secret Pizza Co will be better known after its first festival, where it will serve wood-fired pizzas using the best local ingredients from its tiny Piaggio Porter van, Paulo.
‘We’re passionate about food and have been very fortunate to appear at some of the biggest and best events in our first year, for us there are none bigger than the food festival. It's a chance for all the incredible local producers and street food creators to come together and showcase what our small Island offers,’ said owner Tom Rowe.
Festival goers will also be able to sample produce from a dairy high in the hills above Sulby.
Aalin Dairy is known for its milk delivery service to the north and west of the Island but its thick, natural yoghurt is winning fans, including Great Taste Awards judges, who recognised it this year.
Carl Huxham said:
‘Although our yogurt is available in supermarkets, we wanted to showcase our product at the festival and allow the public to meet the family behind the farm.
‘We will be offering samples so people can experience the yoghurt for themselves, while promoting our Manx milk.’
The Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival is open from 10am to 9pm on Saturday 16 September and 10am to 5pm on Sunday 17 September.
Tickets cost just £4 (day) and £5 (weekend) for adults, with admission free for under 16s, and can be booked via www.villagaiety.com or purchased on the gate.
For information about the festival, visit www.gov.im/food, follow the festival on Facebook via Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival 2017, on Twitter @iomfoodanddrink and on Instagram at isleofmanfoodanddrink.