A warm welcome from Rick Stein
It’s extraordinary to think that it’s the tenth anniversary of Padstow Christmas Festival. Looking back to the first one in the Seaman’s Mission and Padstow Institute, with just one or two demonstrations, to what it is now with two enormous marquees on the quayside and demonstrations by chefs from across the country, it really is a testament to the popularity of the event.
As ever, we have a fantastic line-up of chefs including Angela Hartnett, Michael Caines, Brian Turner, Roy Brett, and Tom Kerridge.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico this year and am so inspired by the country’s cuisine that I’ll be cooking a Mexican fish dish at my demo.
The food forums are also a real highlight for me. The topics are fun, sometimes controversial – but always interesting.
Above all, it’s a rare chance to catch up with many of my favourite chefs. The buzz in the back of the demonstration kitchens is electrifying. There’s something intensely exciting but nerve-racking about waiting to go on stage and hearing the applause for someone very talented who’s on before you, and hoping you can do as well.
Padstow is decorated with Christmas lights, and there’s lots of lovely pubs and restaurants to enjoy. It’s the place you’d really want to be on a weekend in December. The festival is one of those events where everyone seems to be in a thoroughly good mood, probably because there’s so much great food and drink on offer.
The harbour seems to come alive and is a perfect venue for the four-day Christmas party. Every year, the festival seems a little larger – last year, we attracted more than 50,000 visitors. But don’t worry, it’s never going to get too big; it’s the small scale of it which makes it so special.
A warm welcome from Paul Ainsworth
It’s hard to believe that it’s ten years since the first Padstow Christmas Festival. It seems like it was only yesterday when I was doing a demo in front of about 15 people at the social club!
When people ask me what the festival’s like and whether it’s worth a visit, my advice is always the same: just do it. The festival never disappoints. It’s a magical winter wonderland and, for me, feels like the official start to Christmas.
It’s a great way to learn from an impressive cast list of some of the best chefs in the country, and to start stocking up on the huge selection of produce from incredible artisan stalls in the Christmas market.
It’s so important to remember, though, that the festival would be a pipe dream if it wasn’t for the wonderful volunteers who give up so much of their time to make it happen.
A warm welcome from Nathan Outlaw
It’s that time again! Now set firmly on the Cornish calendar, for me Padstow Christmas Festival signals the beginning of the festive season.
What better way to start the celebrations than having the opportunity to try (and buy!) lots of lovely food and drink ready for those parties and family get togethers? And of course, there’s the chance to buy gifts which are just a bit different, as well as being treated to entertainment from various singers and demos from well-known chefs.
So here it is, everything you need to get you into the Christmas Spirit. Enjoy!