The heatwave will continue into the first weekend of August, the 3rd & 4th, when the third Great Dorset Chilli Festival takes place in the relaxed surroundings of the Earl of Shaftesbury’s St Giles Park in stunning Cranborne Chase. The Park will be steaming with chilli farmers and chilli sauce makers displaying their produce. Chilli experts give talks on chilli plant growing, local chefs demonstrate recipes using chilli. Competitions, music, beer and cider, talks, interesting food (it’s not all hot!) and activities for the children.
Chilli Cook Off Heat:
New this year is the the Dorset heat of the 2013 Chilli Cook-Off Championships (Sunday only). The Chilli cook-off is run by the UK Chilli Cook-off Association and is becoming a national phenomenon, all run in aid of the CLIC Sargent children’s cancer charity. Teams of amateur chilli chefs compete to cook the best chilli over a 4 hour period, with the winner taking a £250 cash prize and securing a place in the grand final in September where the winner will be sent to Las Vegas to compete for £25,000 prize!. This is serious competition, and with 9 teams entered so far the heat will be on.
Each team’s combination of spices is a closely guarded secret, as is the method of cooking. Often a team will have a special secret ingredient, which may surprise you if you found out what it is.
The Chilli Plant competition:
Sponsored by chilli and vegetable seeds specialists Simpsons Seeds in Wiltshire has also been immensely popular, with over 70 people applying in February for a pack of free chilli seeds in order to germinate their plants in good time for the competition. There are two classes this year, an open class and a class for the Numex Twilight variety; a striking ornamental chilli developed by the University of New Mexico. Judging takes place on Saturday and the winner of each class takes home a handsome trophy. For many, the highlight will be the chilli-eating competition taking place each afternoon, where contestants subject themselves to rounds of increasingly hot chillies, with the last man, or woman, standing winning the competition.
Chilli plant exhibition:
We will exhibit over 30 varieties of prime specimen chilli plants which were recently exhibited at Hampton Court Flower Show by Joy Michaud of Sea Spring Seeds where she won a Bronze Flora award. Joining us at the festival for the first time will be local chefs Luke Stuart of White Pepper Cookery School and Julia Cotton of Julia’s Kitchen Cookery School who along with regulars Mat Follas of The Wild Garlic Restaurant in Iwerne Minster and Mark Hartstone of La Fosse Restaurant in Cranborne will be giving cooking demonstrations using chillies. Other speakers include Joy Michaud of Sea Spring Seeds in West Bexington who developed the famous Dorset Naga chilli, which was once crowned the world’s hottest chilli, and Matt Simpson of Simpsons Seeds.
Once again we will be running the chilli sauce competition for professional producers, judged by the public, which offers a small taste of the huge range of sauces, jams, chutneys and pickles on sale from the enthusiastic stalls holders.
Throughout the weekend there will be falconry flying displays, fire juggling, face painting, tree climbing, performances by Alfredo the Magician, bouncy castles and the opportunity to have your caricature drawn.
Other attractions include live musical performances by Big Joe Bone, steel band Pantasy, gipsy jazz with Petites Annonces and local skiffle band Quinns Quinny. Local beers and ciders will be on offer and hot food stalls have been selected to showcase the best of popular local and international cuisine.
The event is open from 10am to 5pm both days
Dogs on leads are welcome
There is no camping available
Reduced advanced tickets available online at www.greatdorsetchillifestival.co.uk before noon 29th July
Now we have a pair of tickets to give away to either day of the festival. To be in with a chance of winning these tickets, all I need you to do is comment on this article with your name, simple as that.
You will find that to place a comment, you will have to give a valid email address, this will be the email I will use to email the winner. It will not be visible on your post. The competition is open until next Tuesday 30th July at midday, and the winners email address will be passed to the organisers so they can email the tickets to you.
Email addresses given will not be used for any other purpose or passed on to any other organisations.
All those who add their name as a comment to this post will be put in a hat and a winner will be chosen by my 7 year old son on Tuesday. Good luck!