Events

Over the Sunday the 3rd and Bank Holiday Monday the 4th of May 2015 is the Eastnor Chilli Festival, which is held with the beautiful backdrop of Eastnor Castle, which is well worth a tour, providing a great location for one of the first chilli festivals of the year.

Easton Castle Chilli Festival

To get an idea of what to expect you can also read our reviews of the 2012 and 2013 events.

You can get details of this festival from the Easton Castle Website

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The Clifton Chilli Club is hosting a Chilli Night at the South Bristol Sports Centre, so if you are near Bristol please pop along, entry is free.
Chilli Night

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Now just when you thought the Chilli Festival season was well and truly over, in just under a month the very nice people at ColaRebell are hosting the last sole chilli event of the season (or should that be the 1st of the new season?) Anyway it is called The Burton Winter Chilli Festival and is being held in a brewery….yes a brewery, the National Brewery Centre to be precise so you are guaranteed at least two things, chilli and alcohol!

The day is promising to have 30 of the very best chilli traders in the country selling their wares, like Grim Reaper Foods, Burning Desire, and Hot-Headz to name a few but Derek from ColaRebell informs me that there are a few trader spaces still available so if you want your products on sale, please make contact with Derek as soon as possible, and as we are in the run up to Christmas, there will be plenty of people looking for that perfect gift for the Chilli Head in the family!

Tickets are on sale from the Burton Winter Chilli Festival website, but tickets are limited due to the venue so again Derek advises me if you are thinking of coming, please pre book your tickets to avoid disappointment, as if all tickets are pre sold there will not be any tickets on the door. Each ticket will also entitle you to £5 off a case of ColaRebell Maxx Chilli.

Our reviews of both ColaRebell’s flavours are here

So what can else can you expect on the day? Well the UK Chilli Cook Off Association will be holding one of  their 1st heats of their new season, team places still available and can be booked through the UKCCA website. If your team wins, then you scoop the £250 prize and go through to next years grand final with a chance to compete in Las Vegas representing the UK in the World Food Championships.

The day will also include the obligatory Chilli Eating Competition organised by the nutters from Bristol, the Clifton Chilli Club boys.

There is also the opportunity to taste some of the best beers available and take a tour around the Brewery.

So with less than a month to go, make your decision to come along, whether as a trader or ticket holder and book now!

There is a rumour that Father Christmas will be making an appearance too.

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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.

header_logoAnd we have a pair of tickets up for grabs, read on for more details.

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!

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