Thousands flock to food & drink festival

Thousands flocked to the two day Ballantrae Food Festival despite the poor weather.
Thousands flocked to the two day Ballantrae Food Festival despite the poor weather.

Almost 3000 people attended the fourth Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink, ignoring the weather and determined to enjoy the award winning attraction in the grand marquee at Ballantrae harbour.

Food and drink stalls offered the very best produce from local suppliers and from further afield; bakery goods from pies and breads through to brownies and cakes; meats and smoked sea-food; herbs, spices and sauces; cheeses; chocolates; jams; beer, gin, cider, wine and whisky.

Street food, including a mouth-watering range of stone-baked pizzas, burgers and sausages, a hog roast, juices, ice cream, beers, gin and artisan coffee were popular as people enjoyed the stunning views of Ailsa Craig and Arran.

Demonstrations, food and drink related discussions and tasting sessions were led by experts including Wendy Barrie of The Scottish Food Guide, John McCreadie of Glenapp Castle, Lindsay Guidi of Home Cook School in Maybole, Massimo Lisi (UK champion mixologist and barman) from Craignelder Hotel, Stranraer, Craig McInnes, master distiller from Pixel Spirits at North Ballachulish, Jim Anderson of The Salt Pig and forager Szymon Szyszczakiewicz. A wide range of topics were covered, from the creation of Ballantrae Gin through to the use of salt and seasonings in food preparation.

Live music was provided over both days by local group ‘The Spuds, who also entertained at the dance in the village hall in the evening. The Energy Agency took along their ‘Juice Bikes’ so people could produce pedal-powered juices while the band played.

Chair of the organising committee, Mhairi McKenna said: “We were delighted by the support we received from the local community, funders, sponsors, the stallholders and of course the visitors from the village and further afield; all of whom helped make it such a success. I would like to thank everyone for all the hard work and long hours they have given to the project.

“Ballantrae’s Festival of Food and Drink is becoming a firm favourite in the ‘foodie’ calendar. Plans are already afoot for making next year’s event even better.”

The Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink Committee was supported by The Ballantrae Trust and its development officers, a team of local volunteers, and worked in partnership with food and drink professionals from across Ayrshire. The festival received funding from Ballantrae Community Fund; Carrick Futures, Killgallioch Community Fund and Connect Local Regional Food Fund.