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Ludlow Food Festival Experience

Foodies were this week treated to the ultimate Gourmet Lifestyle experience whilst visiting the Ludlow food Festival.

Chefs Table

Chefs Table Restaurant, Ludlow Food Festival '09

With record breaking visitors estimated to be in excess of 20,000 over the 3 day event, now in its 15th year, it was hard to see any signs of recession in the Midlands – Many of the revellers travelled from all over the Country to enjoy this gastro extravaganza, but the majority were from the Midlands conurbation. With over 140 independent producers, displaying and sampling their wares inside the historic Ludlow castle, visitors were spoilt for choice. The ‘Indian Summer’ also offered visitors the opportunity to sit out and enjoy one of the hottest weekends of the year – the lucky ones were able to sit in the stylish and convivial surroundings of the ‘Chefs Table Restaurant’ created by Gourmet Life Midlands Dining Club, and operated by the Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury.

The concept was the brainchild of Midlands Premier Dining Club Gourmet Life Director James Day
, who has been visiting the Ludlow Food Festival for many years. Following requests by visitors and VIP’s over recent years who wanted to enjoy quality local cuisine but with the trappings of full hospitality in a relaxing setting, away from the hustle of the buys food tents and marquees.  James, with his growing reputation for his focus on premium dining venues across the Midlands, and support of local producers, and his relationships with many of the regions’ top chefs, was approached by organisers to create such an area. With very short notice he created the Chefs Table Brand, through his Leisure Marketing LTD design agency, and invited local suppliers, producers, and restaurateurs to contribute ingredients for dishes, accompaniments, and even top AA Rosette chefs for complete dishes and even demos over the weekend.

Chefs Table Food

Chefs Table Food

Midlands and the Marches – Through James’ commitment to the regions producers, providers, and diners he set himself the task of ensuring all dishes served were sourced from within a 50 mile radius. “It was a real task to contact all our gourmet-life members, and co-ordinate the ingredients, and create the dishes for the three days. I am pleased to say the response was overwhelming from all concerned. With a choice of 6 starters from our ‘Midlands Taster Platter’ and 14 mains, our guests really were spoilt for choice – Even the salt and pepper was from our friends at Halon Mon Salt in Anglesey, who recently featured in the Hairy Bikers BBC TV series.” Other contributors included Bings Heath Smokery Nr Shrewsbury, Just Oils in Staffordshire, Mr Moyden’s Cheeses, Fareground Marinades, Greenfields Farm Shop, Telford, Keith Aldersons Meat, Bridgnorth, De Greys of Ludlow, Prices’s Bakers, Ludlow, Brock Hall Farm Goats Cheese of Bridgnorth, The Newly formed Charcuterie Company of Much Wenlock, headed by Marcus Theamans (previously Wenlock Meats) Kits Kitchen pickles, marinades and chutneys of Worcester, and Award Winning Tanners of Shrewsbury, and Ludlow, and Wenlock Water of Church Stretton.

Top chefs and contributors –

James added   “Many of our dishes were also created by our chefs many AA Rosette level including Stuart Phillips of the Hundred House Hotel Nr Bridgnorth, Dave Jaram from Fishmore Hall Ludlow, Tim Wesley from Hadley Park Hotel Telford, Daren Bale from the Elms Hotel Worcestershire and Stuart Leggett from the Stewing Pot Hereford, also Alfonso Ruiz from Casa Ruiz Bridgnorth, and Suree Coates from the King and Thai Broseley. All the dishes were co-ordinated, with many additions by accomplished Moroccan chef Mbark Jbara from the Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury – Owner of the Lion Hotel, and Operations Manager of the Chefs Table Restaurant Howard Astbury added “When James approached me to operate his restaurant I jumped at the chance. The Ludlow Food Festival really is a special event, and we were keen to enhance the experience for the thousands of visitors, and hopefully judging by the positive feedback from 400 plus customers over the 3 days, we exceeded their expectations.”

Philippe Boucheron, Taking in the rays, BEFORE taking in some wine!

Philippe Boucheron, Taking in the rays, BEFORE taking in some wine!

British Wine tastings were offered by ETM’s very own wine writer and broadcaster Philippe Boucheron, who regularly entertained the diners with his tales of workd travel, tastings, and experiences, oh, and some considered reviews on some of the UK’s finest wines, including Wroxeter Shrewsbury Vineyard. More on Midlands Wine HERE

Presentations and Demos – The Chefs Table also hosted presentations and demos from top chefs, including ‘Wonder Kid’ Choclatier Louis Barnett of Shropshire based Chokolit. See an extract form his main stage presentation Coming Soon!

For more details on the Midlands Dining club visit or to enquire about similar events, and potential bookings for festivals email James

Chefs Table Restaraunt, Ludlow, operated by the Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury

Chefs Table Restaurant, Ludlow, operated by the Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury

Local Producers & providers to the chefs Table Restaurant:

Ludow Chefs Table Suppliers

Ludow Chefs Table Suppliers

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