Food festival needs new recipe

The launch of Fylde Food Festival at Tiggis Restaurant, St Annes. From left, Steve Shepherd (head chef-Tiggis), Councillor Sue Fazackerley (portfolio holder-leisure and culture), Mr Frank Speak (consort to the Mayor of Fylde), The Mayor of Fylde Councillor Heather Speak and Viv Wood (Fylde Borough Tourism Officer).
The launch of Fylde Food Festival at Tiggis Restaurant, St Annes. From left, Steve Shepherd (head chef-Tiggis), Councillor Sue Fazackerley (portfolio holder-leisure and culture), Mr Frank Speak (consort to the Mayor of Fylde), The Mayor of Fylde Councillor Heather Speak and Viv Wood (Fylde Borough Tourism Officer).

FYLDE’s leisure supremo has admitted a food festival may need a new recipe if it is to continue after a mixed reaction from restaurateurs and diners to its revival.

The Fylde Food Festival has been back on the menu under a new title over recent weeks after a break last year which followed a decade-long spell as the Feast for Ten.

Promoted by Fylde Council, it offered specially-priced menus to encourage local diners into eateries at a time of year which is traditionally quiet.

As well as the chance for diners to vote for their favourite restaurants in various categories, new features this year under the Festival banner included afternoon tea promotions and a cupcake decorating competition involving local schools.

But other new elements, including the quest to find the best sausages and pies made in the Fylde and a celebration dinner had to be cancelled because of a lack of support.

“We thought there were really exciting new ideas this year and we are grateful to everyone who supported the event,” said Coun Sue Fazackerley, Fylde Council’s portfolio holder for leisure.

“We have had enough feedback from customers for the awards in various categories to go ahead but many aspects of the event have been disappointing and we will be talking about what happens next.”

Paul Webster, chef patron of Green’s Bistro, St Annes, one of the restaurants taking part, said: “It did not go very well for us. We served one table of five, one table of two and a table of one. Only the table of one was not a regular customer.

“We would still be happy to do it next year, but maybe it should be more publicised a little earlier, say before December so we could give out flyers to all the 
Christmas parties.”

John Lorenzini, proprietor of Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Freckleton, said: “It went very well and we got some good reaction from people in the restaurant. The food festival has been in existence for many years and we are happy to support it. It’s a good idea and helped promotions in January.”

Emma Bell, manager of the Bell and Bottle at Newton-with-Scales, said: “We had heard about the festival, but I must say we didn’t know that much about it.

“I couldn’t really comment any further as it wasn’t something we were heavily involved in.”