Fife foodies set for Crail

Thousands of visitors flocked to Crail Food Festival  in 2014 ' now plans are underway for this year's event.
Thousands of visitors flocked to Crail Food Festival in 2014 ' now plans are underway for this year's event.

Crail Food Festival organisers are gearing up for this year’s event in June – and they’re urging Fife food and drink producers to join them.

They are kicking off with a public presentation tomorrow (Thursday) when organisers will reveal some of their plans for the 2015 festival – Crail’s fifth – and give producers the opportunity to sign up to the event.

Already on the agenda is a special supper to launch the festival, a producers’ market, meet the producer workshops, children’s activities, harbour festival, cookery demonstrations and a host of other ingredients forming a recipe for food, drink and fun for all ages.

Several new elements will be introduced, including the EAT Neuk initiative, which has an education and training theme encouraging youth participation, in a series of pop-up food outlets supported by industry-led work experience.

This is in keeping with the festival’s involvement in the Year of Food and Drink, the theme of which in June will be the future of food, with the spotlight on youth development, and a focus on skills and innovation.

Graham Anderson, who runs the Honeypot Guest House & Tearoom in Crail, is looking after this year’s programme.

He said: “The public presentation offers an opportunity to those operating within the food and drink sector to meet local business owners and residents and help us shape the festival content to the benefit of everyone.

“Attendees will be able to learn first hand about the opportunities for 2015, when we plan that trading capacity will be up by 20 per cent.”

The festival focuses on local producers and suppliers, giving visitors from far and wide a taste of the exciting and diverse produce of the East Neuk – from cheese to chillies and jam to gin.

Last year, 5000 visitors flocked to Crail to celebrate local food and drink and the event was nominated for a Community Spirit Award at the Scottish Event Awards in October.

More than half of the festival-goers came from outside Fife, many of them staying for up to a week in the region and generating extra income for the area.

In 2014 a Food Trail led families around Crail’s food delights, while The House of Sugar hosted a Crail inspired 3D cookie art installation created by local company Sucre Coeur.

More than 50 local participants took part in the two-day festival, which also featured a special Tasting Theatre with demonstrations from local chefs.

They included Masterchef semi-finalist Scott Davies from St Andrews restaurant The Adamson.

Also featured was a Food Market with free food sampling all day, and a range of stalls around the harbour.

The public presentation, which will also review the impact of the 2014 festival on the local area, takes place in Crail Kirk Hall, Marketgate South at 7.00 pm on January 8.