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Foodie frenzy at Barnes Food Fair

This year’s Barnes Food Fair will take place on Saturday 15 September and will be offering everything from cookery demonstrations, to stalls selling the best in local and organic produce. We talk to Barnes Fair organiser Charlotte Sharpe-Neal to find out what’s in store for visitors

What can visitors expect from this year’s fair?
Barnes Food Fair is a community event for foodies and their families organised by Barnes Community Association. You can expect to sample a wide selection of food and drinks while chatting to the producers and listening to live music – all accompanied by some sun (fingers crossed!)

Why is Barnes such a great focal point for the fair and what makes Barnes such a foodie community?
Barnes is well known for its independent shops and its residents are lucky enough to have a butcher, cheese shop, fish shop and two independent greengrocers. People appreciate good quality food and are interested in trying unusual foods. Its local restaurants are also very popular and we are delighted to welcome the chefs from Rick Stein, Barnes and Sonny’s Kitchen to our cookery demonstrations.

What elevates this food fair from a weekly food market to a celebratory festival?
Barnes Food Fair lets you sample food from Colombia, Thailand, Spain, Morocco, El Salvador and many more in a welcoming atmosphere where you can also chat to the producers and find like-minded people. Inside the tent, you’ll find a wonderful selection of food from independent small businesses to enjoy and you shouldn’t miss a tea or coffee-inspired cocktail from Orange Pekoe’s Cocktail Tent. There’s also a Champagne bar and beer from Barnes’ local brewery too.

What kinds of stalls will be there?
Inside the marquee, there are a selection of speciality foods to sample and take home – including organic olive oils, honey, flapjacks, marshmallows, chocolates and cakes. Paxton & Whitfield are offering cheese sampling and there’s top class wine from Southern France and Portugal. We also have an excellent selection of homewares and interior stalls to browse through. There are street food vans and gazebos with barbeques in the outside area.

Tell us a bit more about the cooking demos we can expect?
We are delighted that Raymond Blanc – chef director of Brasserie Blanc on Fulham Reach as well as Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons - is heading up the cookery demos this year, although his demonstration is full up. Other local chefs to look out for include Ian Salmon from Rick Stein, Barnes, who will be demonstrating food and seafood dishes, Phil Howard (Sonny’s Kitchen) who will be concentrating on marinades, sauces and dressings, and Paul Merrett (The Victoria, East Sheen) who will shar inspirational vegetarian recipes.

Will there be any notable attendees to look out for?
We usually see some Barnes celebrities popping by and this year The Mayor of Richmond will open the event officially. Our chefs will also wander around the event.

What other entertainment will be there on the day?
The music on the bandstand begins at 11am and includes a barbershop chorus, rock and roll bands and Verity & Violet - long established favourites of Barnes Food Fair. There is face painting for children and a stall selling pocket money toys.

What stall are you looking forward to sampling most?
I shall enjoy an oyster before finding out what goes into a salvadorean pupusa. I will also sip an espresso martini and ignore the calories in a homemade Sicilian cannoli! I plan to stock up on raw honey, Cypriot olives, British cheese and the best chocolate brownies..