What is happening at West Dean Chilli Fiesta 2010

by Hot Juan on August 3, 2010 · 3 comments

in General Information

West Dean - Matt Simpson

West Dean - Matt Simpson

This year the West Dean Chilli Fiesta is bigger and longer than ever before, with over 300 varieties of pepper on display in the Walled Kitchen Garden, this event is a must visit for all Chilli lovers, but there is lost to do to entertain the rest of the family and the kids including some of the great music from Salsa band “Latin Fiesta” and sound system “Salsa Twist”, their is even a Egyptian dance group “Spirit of Ishtar” performing on the Picnic Lawn Whilst on the Front Lawn it falls to Cuban band “Pena” and Miguel Angel Plaza’s “Salsa Magic” sound system assisted by beautiful belly dancer, Nasira, to keep the toes tapping. In addition you may bump into the wandering minstrels of “Mariachi Tequila” anywhere around the site.

Also don’t miss the traditional Punch and Judy on the North Lawn at 11.00am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm and 3.30pm and face painting on the Picnic Lawn in aid of Children on the Edge.

Chilli Growing Demonstrations (11am, 1pm and 3pm)

These half hour presentations are being held on the North Lawn adjacent to the Plant Sales area. You can find out from experts how to grow your own chillies at home.

Chilli Cookery and Home Herbalism Demonstrations

Join food writer, Rosemary Moon, at the cookery tent on the Picnic Lawn for free cookery demonstrations showing you how to make sensational spicy summer dishes.

Pickled and Hot. Two great ideas for your home-grown heat! Red tomato chutney and an Anchovy and chilli dressing come dip.
The Red Hot Earl. Giles Thompson of The Earl of March at Lavant and Singleton’s The Partridge Inn, cooks simple but posh with chillis in restaurant style.
Chilli Medicine. Turn your favourite spice into a pain relieving ointment to keep those stiff joints moving – with local herbalist Steve Taylor.
Chillis, Spanish style. Great with olives, almonds, fish and even oranges, find out how the Spanish use chillis in their seasonal food.
Chilli Medicine. Turn your favourite spice into a pain relieving ointment to keep those stiff joints moving – with local herbalist Steve Taylor.
What’s Hot, What’s Not? A tutored tasting of peppers by the Michauds of Peppers By Post, breeders of the Dorset Nagra chilli and firm believers that flavour comes first, before heat!
Pigs and Peppers. There are lots of people keeping pigs in Chichester. What makes this so rewarding and why is pork so good with chillis? Find out while Rosemary prepares some salami-style sausages for air-drying.
Curry tonight? Rosemary’s choice of Chilli Fiesta curry this year will be a brand new recipe featuring lots of spice and her favourite local sweetcorn. It’ll be sweet and spicy.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Edible Ornamentals August 5, 2010 at 11:52 am

Yes, I remember visiting the fiesta in 1996. It was a small event with a great atmosphere. The chilli pioneers where there – Dodie from the Cool Chilli Co. Joy and Michael. A lady selling cards and plants plus a gentleman selling cider. There was a Thai restaurant serving food. I think Hot Headz where there as well. It was a small event taking place in the barns. How it has changed! See you all there tomorrow. Joanna


avatar Hot Juan August 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Hi Matt

Now it seems everyone loves chillies I am sure Jim and Sarah are probably to blame..

I still have the BBQ, but little else from those early days.

See you in a few days.



avatar Matt August 3, 2010 at 5:31 pm

A look at this morning’s e-mails included one from West Dean organizers, listing who was where, how people were to get in, where all of the necessary facilities for exhibitors, it really made me think back a few years.
For example, when we, (Simpson’s Seeds), first had a stall there, this was in 2001, there were only 3 of us on the picnic lawn, that was us, West Deans Chilli plants, and a gentleman called David Floyd with the Chile Foundry. I tried counting all of the names on e-mailed list, and I think it was 158! Well last year I think there were 90 odd, but I may be wrong. What does all this mean, well we all know how popular chillies have become, and sometimes I think Sarah Wain and Jim who started this should receive some kind of honor?
In my first year, visitor numbers were approx 2,800, which was a very pleasant number, as it meant that we stallholders were able to answer every question posed to us, as well as ask our neighbors to look after our stands whilst we nipped of for a drink or sample some of the food available. Last year numbers were 19,800, and if I may say so it had become a bit like a rugby scrum. What will this year’s festival be like? Well the fun will go on for three days, and I do mean fun, for those visiting the range of entertainments on offer is truly staggering. More than one music stage, belly dancer’s, wine tastings, and even a wandering Mariachi Minstral.
It will be a weekend of driving and early starts, 5am on the Friday, and a total of 600 odd miles, and whilst my time at the Fiesta will not be like a visitors as its mainly spent behind a stall it will be the usual madness, and all I can say is “Bring it on!!”
I also remember that David had an amazing BBQ, looking like an old fashioned steam train, which produced some amazing, and very welcome bacon butties.


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