I was pleased to be able to write a mini review for the Shoreham Chili Fest 2013 for the Chilefoundry. The event took place on Coronation green, just off the high street. This festival is close to my heart as I live in Shoreham so it’s only a short walk and it was at this festival I was welcomed officially into the Chile foundry review team!
The first day of the festival was fortunate to fall on a market day making the event feel many times larger and also bring in the crowds. Being in the centre of the heat wave also helped, especially after the rainy wash out at a previous festival. Shoreham Chilli Fest contained some welcome chilli festival regulars such as Grim Reaper foods, Edible Ornamentals, Mr Vikki’s and Burning Desire Foods, alongside some interesting new additions into the market with some creative ideas.
This year also saw the chilli eating contest hosted by the Clifton Chilli Club. The contest had the usual amusements with those giving a try against those who have asbestos mouths! An interesting addition to the competition was some Sichuan Flower Peppercorns from China Spice. If you have never tried them, they are an unusual experience, opening up your taste buds and increasing salivation.
Add an extra hot viper chilli into the equation after some of these and the results are quite intense.
Unfortunately the competition was not on a raised platform meaning anything from a couple of rows back had no view. This would be an easy improvement for following years.
I did meet up with the winner of the chilli eating competition afterwards. He was absolutely fine, and he was even skipping out to the hot sauce vendors to buy a bottle of 1million SHU extract to wash down the chillies he had just eaten!
To keep everyone entertained there was a band as well as a range of drinks available including chilli milkshakes. Numerous food stalls were spaced in-between all the chilli tasters giving a nice layout and flow to the event. The giant marquee provided shelter from the sun and outside several picnic tables catered for a sunny spot and families. Shoreham has some beautiful views out over the water, the increased number of stalls at this years event unfortunately blocked these views. A slightly altered layout could provide a picnic/eating area with a view. Though would this mean sacrificing one more chilli tasting stand… a tough choice.
This festival is growing in size and popularity year by year and I hope it continues for many more. Due to its location the event can never grow too big. If you’re after a large chilli event and a full day out then this festival is not for you.
If you like little towns and street markets, combined with a chilli head kick, then drop buy for a lovely day out. If you come by car, parking will be a challenge, coming by train is easy and the station very close.
I enjoy this mini festival, if you come down one year hopefully you will too. I look forward to 2014