The Devon Fire and Spice Festival comes to Powderham Castle on 18th & 19th August for a celebration of barbecuing , chillies and spice. This fiery weekend takes place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th August, set between the castle ramparts and the Exe estuary, and this themed food festival will focus on hot sauces, spice rubs and mixes, chilli plants, barbecues, smokers and barbecue sauces, with plenty for the non-chilli lover too.
For those with a competitive nature, the organisers are encouraging entries into the barbecue competition on the Saturday, where teams compete throughout the day to produce the best chicken, burger, ribs, plus a “freestyle” round of the chef’s choice. The winner’s prize is a ProQ Frontier smoker/BBQ from Hot Smoked in Wellington, worth £287. On the Sunday the chilli cook-off takes place whereby the teams have to cook a chilli-con-carne from scratch in 4 hours. Run by the UK Chilli Cook-off Association, the winner of this Devon heat of the competition will go on to cook in the national finals, the winner of which qualifies to cook at the World Food Championships in Alabama, USA.
In addition to this each day is rounded off with the chilli eating competition on the music stage run by the Clifton Chilli Club. Always a crowd pleaser, the contestants eat rounds of increasingly hot chillies. The contestant who can take the heat the longest wins, with the audience encouraging them all along the way.
Organiser of the Devon Fire & Spice Festival, Miles Halton says “It’s not just about the heat of chillies, or about being able to grill a sausage outside, it’s the flavour that counts. The use of chilli in cooking doesn’t have to make you sweat, and likewise having a barbecue doesn’t have to mean an endless diet of burnt bangers. The options are limitless”. With this in mind there is plenty for the milder palette too, with artisan cooking sauces and local cheeses, woodland-reared pork sausages, artisan breads, oils and of course brownies, flapjacks and fudge for the sweeter tooth. “These are not just any old brownies or flapjacks though”, says Miles, “these are local, gourmet versions made by artisan producers. We try to engage local companies to show off the regional produce as much as possible, but with specialist products such as some of the best artisan chilli sauces we cast the net wider and one of our traders comes from as far afield as Cumbria.”
For barbecue aficionados there will be a selection of the latest smokers and barbecue hardware, plus fire pits and outdoor and indoor woodburners. Garden ironwork, wooden chopping boards and hand-painted kitchen ceramics offer great shopping options.
Combining the beautiful setting of Powderham Castle with live music, local beers, amazing streetfood, barbecue and conventional cooking demonstrations, talks on growing chilli plants, a chilli plant exhibition by the South Devon Chilli Farm, bouncy castles and facepainting, this is a fun day out for all the family.
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