Dales celebrates its food heritage ahead of Tour de France

Darlington and Stockton Times: One of North Yorkshire's many local products, Yorkshire Wensleydale, being made at the Wensleydale Creamery, in Hawes. A food festival in Wensleydale has been celebrating artisan producers One of North Yorkshire's many local products, Yorkshire Wensleydale, being made at the Wensleydale Creamery, in Hawes. A food festival in Wensleydale has been celebrating artisan producers

SOME of the top produce created by North Yorkshire’s many small food producers was celebrated at a burgeoning food and drink festival.

Thousands have flocked to the Dales Festival of Food and Drink in Leyburn, which featured more than 80 stalls featuring products made by artisan food producers, farmers and growers. About 40 different beers were also available to sample at the event and top chefs talked visitors through numerous dishes in the festival’s food theatre.

Gary Verity, head of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire, gave a talk on how the Tour de France Grand Depart was secured for the county.

Visitor numbers were expected to at least match the 12,000 visitors who attended last year’s festival.

The event continues tomorrow (Monday, May 5) when Swinton Park’s Michelin-trained chef director, Stephen Bulmer will be demonstrating how to forage for ingredients to create dishes such as dandelion-flower bhajis, wild garlic pesto and nettle risotto and author Gervase Phinn will be providing entertaining snippets from his time as a schools inspector in the dales.

Running alongside the food and drink festival was the Dales Festival of Arts, taking place in the centre of Leyburn.

A Guinness world-record breaking dance performance which wowed crowds at the Olympics, was performed in the town.

The Dance we Made holds the world record for the most choreographers for a single dance and, as well as being performed in London and New York and other major events.

The spectacle was brought to Leyburn on Sunday, May 4 and will be performed again tomorrow (Monday, May 5) with help from members of the audience.

Tomorrow’s highlights will include the Bare Toed Dance Company, performing an aerial dance at the festival. They will also be inviting children and their families to have a go in their aerial cocoons and trapeze workshops for children and their families.

A range of art workshops will also be running and work by local artists on display.

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