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Cambridge welcomes new 'gastro Glastonbury'

The UK's biggest celebration of food and drink is on its way to Cambridge for the first time with a mouth-watering mix of top chefs and music acts to whet the appetite.

The crowd-pulling Foodies Festival, dubbed the country’s 'Gastro Glastonbury', descends on the city's historic Parker's Piece from June 28-30, with chart-toppers Scouting for Girls, MasterChef finalist Alex Rushmer and double Great British Menu winner Daniel Clifford, both based in Cambridge, headlining an all-star menu.

Also confirmed this week is MasterChef 2019 contestant Delia-Maria Asser, the 28 year-old police officer who made it through to the all-female final.

Visit Cambridge and Beyond says the city is excited for its very first helping of the much-loved Foodies Festival which is expected to draw more than 25,000 people.

And with Cambridge having one of the most thriving vegan movements in the UK, partly down to the influence of the university's vegan society, there will also be plenty for vegetarians to get their teeth into, including the festival's brand new Vegan Beer Tent.

Foodies Festival's Cambridge debut will also dish up more than 200 exhibitors and award-winning artisan producers, a Street Food Village, Cakes and Desserts Theatre, Kids Cookery School, Healthy Living Area, Chef’s Theatre and Food and Drink masterclasses, as well chilli eating contests and the first ever Dog Arena with fun competitions.

For the second year running, the festival is supporting Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) with tickets raising money for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis.

Festival director Sue Hitchen said: "Foodies Festival has been visiting major British cities for 12 years and in that time it’s grown into an event not only for foodies, but for families and people of all ages. 

“We're so excited to be coming to Cambridge for the first time this year. The city has a vibrant food and music scene which makes it a natural fit for the festival so we can't wait to arrive in June.”

Emma Thornton, CEO of Visit Cambridge and Beyond, said: “Visit Cambridge and Beyond are delighted to welcome the Foodies Festival to Cambridge.

"Cambridge is fast becoming a must-visit foodie destination and we are excited that Foodies Festival have recognised this with their decision to bring their festival to our city.

"Some of our best known local chefs, including Daniel Clifford, Tristan Welsh and Alex Rushmer, will be joined by cooking and musical talent from across the county for a fantastic weekend for all the family.

"It is sure to be a great day out for both locals and visitors to the city, showcasing a different side to Cambridge, and we look forward to supporting the event.”

Emma Heiling, President of Cambridge University Vegan Society, says the city's vegan offer is growing rapidly and is delighted to see that being celebrated at the Foodies Festival.

She said: “We are so happy to hear how many vegan options and guests there will be at the Foodies Festival this year in Cambridge.

"There has been a huge rise in the number of people moving towards veganism in the past few years. We have certainly already seen a big shift in Cambridge alone this year, with three new vegan places having opened since January and a big increase in vegan options in other restaurants.”

Along with MasterChef finalist Alex Rushmer, who has recently opened a new restaurant in Cambridge called Vanderlyle, Great British Menu star Daniel Clifford of city's Michelin-starred Midsummer House will also cook up a storm.

Daniel said: ‘I am really excited to be taking part in this year’s Cambridge Foodies Festival.

"Cambridge is such a wonderful place to live and work, from its old buildings to the big open green spaces dotted throughout the city, but the food and drink scene has been through a rapid rise in recent years and Foodies Festival is such a fantastic way of celebrating food as a community.

"I am looking forward to showing the people of Cambridge some of my favourite dishes from Midsummer House, as well as teaching visitors a few of my tips and techniques that visitors can then replicate at home in their own kitchens."

Also appearing at the festival is Cambridge-based chef Tristan Welch of Parker's Tavern and nutritional therapist Eva Humphries aka the Wholefood Warrior.

As well as headline act Scouting for Girls, popular Cambridge cover band Indietones will also be playing the festival's Musicians Against Homelessness stage along with host of emerging bands and soloists. 

An excited Scouting for Girls said: "All of us in Scouting for Girls are very excited to be playing Foodies Festival.
"We love food! We love Festivals! We love music! What is not to like? We'll be playing all our favourite hits to end what should be a perfect summer’s day.

“We’re very proud to be headlining the Musicians Against Homelessness stage in support of Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.

“Homelessness is a growing problem all over the UK and every penny raised helps save lives. We are looking forward to seeing many of our fans there."

Musicians Against Homelessness provides opportunities for up-coming talent while raising funds for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis in the process.

Foodies Festivals, staged up and down the country, will provide a major platform with more than 400 acts appearing during the series.

For every ticket sold, the festival will make a donation to the cause. There will also be merchandise on sale giving a further boost to funds.

Tickets, including VIP packages, are now on sale.

Visit www.foodiesfestival.com or call 0844 9951111

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