wellsfoodfestival.bighams.com 10 & 11 October 2020
Wells Food Festival with Charlie Bigham’s is a unique food festival, giving artisan producers from the South of England the opportunity to reach a wider audience, via its virtual shopping experience – open for business now.
The festival programme includes live streamed masterclasses, cook-alongs and talks by Charlie Bigham and his team of master chefs, plus a guest appearance by MasterChef judge William Sitwell.
At-home festivalgoers can sign-up to a live drawing workshop with renowned illustrator Emily Sutton, who also creates Bigham’s distinctive packaging, flower arranging with Georgie Newby, artisan florist and flower farmer at Common Farm Flowers, as well as music by blues band Harlem Rhythm Cats and a photography competition.
Wells Food Festival with Charlie Bigham’s is a collaboration between premium food brand, Charlie Bigham’s, and one of the UK’s most respected small food festivals. The partnership aims to support artisan food businesses and help them thrive after a challenging year of sales.
Charlie Bigham began his business nearly 25 years ago, cooking up his first dishes in his kitchen at home in West London. These artisan roots connect Bigham’s with today’s small and independent food and drink producers, many of whom have been adversely affected by the cancellation and postponement of local food festivals.
2020 has been a difficult year for small food and drink businesses, who also face additional challenges due to many food festivals being cancelled - their primary opportunity to generate sales. Our aim is to help this artisan community by bringing the Wells Food Festival to a virtual national audience, giving foodies across the country the chance to support and buy direct from the South of England’s finest makers.
Our top priority has always been to support artisan producers and put them at the heart of the festival. This year it seems more important than ever. Thanks to the support of Charlie Bigham’s, we firmly believe 2020 will be remembered as the year Wells Food Festival went above and beyond to champion amazing food from across the South of England.
Food and drink producers interested in exhibiting should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Inspired by his travels and love of cooking, Charlie Bigham started making meals for local delis, back in 1996, with the sole aim of creating really delicious dishes for foodies – putting in all the care and attention that you would if you were to cook them yourself. Using top quality ingredients, his goal was to help people steal back some quality time by doing all the dinner prep for them. Charlie Bigham’s selection of dishes now has over 60 delicious meals, made and sold exclusively in the UK, including bestsellers such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Lasagne and Fish Pie.
In 2017, the brand expanded into Somerset with a purpose-built food production campus in Dulcote, built into a disused quarry and named Quarry Kitchen. Charlie Bigham’s employs more than 300 people in the Somerset area and actively contributes to a number of local initiatives, including the Wells Food Festival, Wells Carnival, Cheddar Valley Food Bank and Mid-Somerset Show.
So far in 2020, Charlie Bigham’s has launched its first range of sweet ready-to-bake dishes – Proper Puds – and been named by YouGov as the UK food and drink brand most recommended by its customers.
Wells Food Festival celebrates Somerset’s rich farming and artisan food and drink producers as an annual food event, now in its eighth year. Historically, 15,000 visitors have enjoyed the free one-day event spanning the medieval Market Place, the Palace Green and Moat and the Recreation Ground of England’s smallest city.
For 2020, a virtual Wells Food Festival running over the weekend of 10 and 11 October will provide a regional voyage of food discovery in-lieu of the live event which has had to be postponed until 2021. Run by volunteers, Wells Food Festival is a Community Interest Company, a limited company set up for the benefit of the local community.