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Craft Guild of Chefs announces 8th Universal Cookery and Food Festival

The Craft Guild of Chefs is delighted to announce the details of the 8th Universal Cookery and Food Festival (UCFF). The popular annual event will take place on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at Farrington Oils in Northamptonshire.

Following the huge success of this year’s festival, the 2019 8th UCFF will be themed “From the Land” and will focus on sustainability, alongside complimentary issues such as Brexit, crowd funding, local heroes and ‘Mums in the kitchen’. The new dateline of June reflects pre-harvest, in line with the chosen venue.

Established in 2012, UCFF was the brainchild of Lee Maycock, Ian Nottage and John Feeney during their time as Craft Guild of Chefs committee members. Designed by chefs, for chefs, each year the festival moves around the UK, taking the event directly to chefs in different locations. It is an excellent opportunity for foodservice professionals to gather and listen to thoughts and experiences from influential people.

Ian Nottage, UCFF director says:

“We are very excited to be heading to Northampton with UCFF 2019. We always try to tackle industry topics and historically, explored subjects such as obesity, mental health issues, disability and equality in professional kitchens. Next year, sustainability will be high on the agenda, with industry experts taking to the stage to share their experience and knowledge. Particularly in light of the current issues around the use of single use plastics in the hospitality industry.”

Nottage continues, “Indeed the choice of Bottom Farm (home of Farrington oils) demonstrates the UCFF’s commitment to sustainability as this is at the very heart of how they produce their rapeseed oil. Duncan Farrington is a passionate farmer who understands the importance of working with nature for a sustainable future, whether it be a ‘no plough’ ethos on the farm to improve soil fertility and reduce CO2 emissions, to the use of solar panels, or adopting bee friendly methods of growing crops.”

The event will include an eclectic mix of demonstrations, workshops, foraging, farm tours and live debates. The farm tour will include a demonstration of rapeseed oil combined with a factory visit. New to 2019, is a game stage, featuring deer and rabbit skinning, as well as falconry and the opportunity for clay pigeon shooting.

Farrington Oils is home to Mellow Yellow, the UK’s first ’seed-to-bottle’ producer of cold pressed rapeseed oil. A family run business, it produces a range of fine ingredients for chefs and home cooks, using their sustainably grown rapeseed oil, pressed on the family farm in Northamptonshire.

Duncan Farrington, managing director at Farrington Oils adds:

“Hosting the 2019 UCFF is a fantastic honour for Farrington Oils. We can’t wait to welcome industry leading chefs and producers to Bottom Farm for a superb culinary experience.

Duncan continues:

“We’ll be offering visitors a unique insight into how we produce our award-winning Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil during what is sure to be a brilliant day!”

The Guild’s Universal Cookery and Food Festival 2018 took place at Westlands Nurseries in Evesham, with more than 350 attendees and almost 60 exhibitors in one day. This included Craft Guild of Chefs members, partners, trade suppliers and local businesses.

With sustainability high on the agenda, it received outstanding support from its members and local services to tackle food waste. Spearheaded by Roger Kellow, government account manager at Hobart, along with UCFF, an arrangement was made for surplus food from the event to be donated to local charity Caring Hands, based at the Evesham Christian Centre in Bewdley.

The donation received was used in their drop-in diner, food bank and community pantry. Caring Hands said, “Huge thanks to Roger Kellow and all at #UCFF for your generosity and support.”

In addition to developing sustainability, the event’s total recycling rate was an impressive 54%, consisting of 27% card, 20% glass, 7% mixed plastics and cans. UCFF has ambitions to increase this percentage at the 2019 festival and upcoming plans to include food waste from exhibitors is also in the pipeline.

Nottage adds, “As well as being a fun day out for chefs and foodies alike the UCFF always has education at its heart. We believe that by chefs meeting and talking to farmers, growers, foragers, fishermen and industry experts in so many fields they can learn so much, particularly about sustainability. Hopefully they can then take some of those learnings back to their own kitchens to help them become even more sustainable in their day to day working lives.”

Ticket price is £120 +VAT. This includes food and drink throughout the day (breakfast, lunch and refreshments), along with a BBQ and evening entertainment.

Early bird ticket price: £99 +VAT. Offer ends 31st March 2019.

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