Just a couple of weeks now until we’re back at the Autumnal foodie extravaganza that is Feast on the Farm. Excited? Just a bit! We loved this event last year, so we were thrilled to hear it was coming back for a second helping at it’s Peterley Manor Farm home. Of course we’re a nosey bunch, so we couldn’t help but pump organisers Katy & Nadra for a little insider knowledge. Not only that, but we managed to get our hands on the showman chef that is Jon Parry of the Mash Inn to find out all his deepest, darkest secrets. Well, not really – but he is back at FOTF this year and as we were blown away by his open fire masterclass last year we wanted to know what could possibly follow it…..
So here they are with ALL the goss:
So guys FOTF is back for a second year…how exciting is that?! Who’s idea was the Feast in the first place and what was your inspiration?
It’s so exciting! We were so happy with how the first event was received we definitely felt we had tapped into something. Feast is an absolute collaboration and partnership between the two of us.
[Katy] It seemed like a no brainer to do a festival at Peterley, we are so tapped into local producers and have the perfect space that when we met Nadra all the stars were aligned to go for it.
[Nadra] I have previously produced arts festivals so I knew exactly how we could use the space to really bring to life the ethos of what Feast stands for – an outright curiosity of food and drink.
Last year looked to be an awesome success. What were your personal highlights?
Keith from Chiltern Farm Food! That man is a legend, watching him on stage with Oliver Rowe in his absolute element was just lovely. Seeing the farm so alive and so vibrant was amazing.
Mary Berry doing a guest appearance wasn’t too shabby!
You’re both super busy ladies, running your own businesses (Kitchen & Soul – Nadra and Peterley Manor Farm – Katy) and you’re also part of crack team of local foodie experts, Chilterns Food Magazine. Where on earth do you find the time to organize such a big event and what’s next for you both? Today Peterley, tomorrow the world?
[Nadra] I am trying to take Kitchen & Soul to the next level and raise investment to scale. Having just won two Great Taste Awards it has definitely spurned me on and make it my mission to create deliciously complex healthy foods that support our mental wellbeing. As for the time being, I love producing events, I truly believe that Feast on the Farm has all the components to become a flagship event and grow and grow. The area is crying out for something like this. A Wilderness at Peterley? Hell yeah!
[Katy] Feast has given us a platform to start building on the events we hold here at Peterley, as well as the festival we now run a calendar of events including outdoor cinemas, supper clubs, floristry workshops and even wild yoga. All that alongside the day to day running of the farm, farm shop, café and private events – life is busy but as Nadra says when you love something you find the time!
We’re all beyond excited about this year’s event. As we’re all good friends and no one is listening (honest), could you maybe share a few juicy morsels about what we can expect this year? 😉
Atul Kochhar’s take-over of the Yurt will be awesome, the first time anyone has ever taken it over, and an appearance from the big man himself.
We are both really excited about the Feast Lectures, there is such interest in food culture at the moment and conscious consumerism that we feel these talks will really tap into something. We both wanted to bring another dimension to the festival and hope that our mini lecture area will translate.
We are excited to be working with some awesome brands, chefs and producers some of whom are returning, some are doing more, and we are welcoming some new faces which is great because hopefully that means the word is spreading.
Jon, so great that you’re back at Feast on the Farm this year! You’re known for your alternative cooking methods and your demos were among the most popular last year. How are you going to top the campfire cooking?
Bigger fire! Hopefully going to show off some of the cool stuff we have learnt in the last 12 month’s at the Mash Inn and give loads of tips on how to get the most flavour from the fire.
How important do you think events like the Feast are for the foodie community in the Chilterns?
Super important even in a well connected community like the Chilterns. There are still many suppliers and food havens I haven’t explored yet and I’m sure it’s the same for everyone else. Always new stuff going on just round the corner.
What’s your all time favourite cooking ingredient?
Sounds silly but salt. Coarse sea salt for curing and seasoning the water for chips!!!! (Little tip there), Kosher salt for seasoning raw meat and fish and then Maldon sea salt for finishing. If you master the use of salt you can become an amazing chef and make the tastiest food going. I’m not there yet but I get a little better each day
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s FOTF?
Not setting anyone on fire again and drinking campfire gin
Feast on the Farm, Peterley Manor Farm, 6-7th October . Buy tickets at http://www.peterleymanorfarm.co.uk