The award-winning Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink will return as a live event this summer - and organisers are calling on growers, producers, retailers and chefs to join the celebration of southwest Scotland’s gastronomic scene.
During Covid-19 the festival was reformatted as a digital event, with several thousand visitors engaging online in 2020 and 2021. Last year’s festival included the global flavours of the UNESCO Biosphere network, as Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere led a panel of guests in discussion about sustainable local delicacies from Norway, Finland and Germany.
Among the participants from closer to home were Dunlop Dairy, Glenapp Castle, Bladnoch Distillery and Blackthorn Salt in a programme that included Chris Saunders’ gin workshop, a Scottish Cheese Trail, and foraging with Galloway Wild Foods.
This year’s event will take place over the weekend of 11-12 June and the Ballantrae Trust is now inviting applications from food and drink businesses that would like to attend. As in previous years the festival programme will include a lively variety of workshops, tastings and demonstrations alongside a two-day food market.
A member of Ballantrae's organising group, Dr Mhairi McKenna, expressed her delight at the physical return of the festival:
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors to Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink in June, and especially to helping reconnect Scotland’s producers, retailers and customers, for whom this has been such a challenging couple of years. I don’t think there is any better way to move forward than by coming together to celebrate and share our local food and drink.”
Marie McNulty is the Business Development Officer with the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere. The return of Ballantrae is something that her organisation is particularly excited to see:
“Our UNESCO Biosphere has a longstanding relationship with Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink as we work in partnership to promote sustainable produce and give a platform to some truly innovative local enterprises," McNulty explained.
"Ballantrae became South Ayrshire’s first Biosphere Community at the beginning of 2022 and the festival this summer is something that the village can look forward to as a showcase of what local passion and pride can achieve.”
For more information about Ballantrae Festival of Food and Drink please visit: www.ballantraefoodfest.com