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Juggler among the attractions at popular three-day food festival

PUBLISHED: 15:28 06 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:43 06 October 2019

Juggling chef Ian Merchant entertained visitors at Aylsham's Saturday farmers' market. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Juggling chef Ian Merchant entertained visitors at Aylsham's Saturday farmers' market. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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The three-day Aylsham Food Festival proved a popular success in its 14th year with hundreds enjoying the great choice and extra entertainment.

Juggling chef Ian Merchant entertained visitors at Aylsham's Saturday farmers' market. Picture: Ella WilkinsonJuggling chef Ian Merchant entertained visitors at Aylsham's Saturday farmers' market. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

The festival is organised by Slow Food Aylsham and Cittaslow, and boasts a variety of attractions and stalls selling an array of home produce.

Slow Food promotes local food and traditional cooking and links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment.

Patrick Prekopp, one of the organisers, said: "It went extremely well and we've been pleasantly surprised with the turn-out, especially with the rain on Sunday.

"The dinner on Friday night at Aylsham High School, where the youngsters cooked and prepared the food, was very well attended, and on Saturday we had a lovely day with the juggling.

The spread at Saturday's farmers' market, as part of Aylsham's Slow Food Festival. Picture: Ella WilkinsonThe spread at Saturday's farmers' market, as part of Aylsham's Slow Food Festival. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

"It's very hard to say what the attendance was but we had 200 for the dinner and the Big Slow Brunch, which were ticketed. The farmers' market was one of the best attended we've had.

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"This is our 14th year, so for the 15th, next year, we will do everything with a bit more of a celebration.

"We're still proud of the community spirit in the town, and people supporting Slow Food, and a community event."

Among the many attractions was 'Juggling Chef' Ian Marchant and his Culinary Capers, who entertained visitors to Saturday's Farmers' Market.

Clad in chef's whites he performed feats with fruit, vegetables, and crockery, in the town hall.

Popular local chef Derrol Waller also demonstrated his cookery skills and entertained visitors at the farmers' market.

The festival was launched on Friday, October 4 by Charlie Hodson, of Norfolk Food Heroes and co-organiser of the Big Sausage Bash in Aylsham, and Steve Thorpe, former head of the catering school at City College, Norwich, and now ambassador for the hospitality, tourism and leisure industry. They were guest speakers at Friday night's dinner.

Popular foods for sale included luxury bread, fish, fresh wild rabbit and partridges, artisan scotch eggs, and visitors could also tuck into Thai and Indian cuisine, washed down with Panther real ale from its brewery in Reepham.

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