Knutsford mum has the recipe for success
A mother of four has turned her love of food into a national series of festivals attracting millions of visitors each year.
And this weekend Sue Hitchen, who hails from Knutsford, will welcome more than 30,000 people to Foodies Festival in the glorious surroundings of Tatton Park.
The festivals are staged up and down the country but Knutsford is so dear to the heart of Sue she stages two events there each year – one in the summer and another closer to Christmas.
She said: “My mum, Sheila Forbes, is a former Mayor of Knutsford and was a District Commissioner for the Girl Guides. I have such fond memories of the town.
“In the 80s she ran an interior design shop on King Street and the customers were always so neighbourly. It’s a close knit community and there’s a strong bond between Knutsfordians. I look forward to returning to Knutsford every year.”
Sue started a new life in Edinburgh when she met her TV voice over artist husband Jeremy and the couple have four daughters involved in the organising the festivals.
From her base in the heart of the city, she also edits Foodies magazine and relishes every part of her job. “I spend my day choosing recipes and food images and also accept invitations to review new restaurants and bars. I love to cook and try new flavours so really it is a dream job!”
The festivals offer a chance to get out and meet people who share her passion for food.
She added: “Foodies Festival started in Edinburgh over 12 years ago because I wanted to run a family friendly food festival where you could try new flavours and foods and enjoy a really fun day out with friends and family.
“Since then we have championed street food, welcomed Michelin starred and top chefs from local restaurants, introduced local artisan producers and, more recently, encouraged unsigned music artists on the live music stage.
“This year we are taking it a step further by extending our opening until 9pm and ramping up the music stage with headliners Toploader, Dodgy and The Hoosiers.
“Tickets are selling well. We can’t wait for this weekend, there’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
Opening on Friday at 11am, the festival offers a packed programme of food-based activities, fun masterclasses, competitions and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs.
Among them will be BBC MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt, Sunday Brunch TV host Simon Rimmer, Great British Menu winner Adam Reid of The French in Manchester and Great British Bake Off finalist Kate Lyon.
There will be more than 30 delicious food stalls and a chance to sample and buy from more than 100 of the country’s finest artisan producers.
Visitors can whisk up a tasty tipple in Prosecco and Parmesan masterclasses in the Drinks Theatre or try their hand at chocolate-making, cake decorating and brewing health-boosting Kombucha tea.
They can indulge in refreshing cocktails at the Tequila Shack, Tikki Rum Bar and Gin Station or let their hair down at cream-pie throwing, cheese stretching and chilli-eating contests.
Fascinating workshops will offer an insight into gut friendly foods and the power of plant-based proteins.
Children can try their hand at making Eton Mess, Salt Dough and Rainbow Salad Stacks in the Kids Cookery Theatre run by SuperChefs.
Foodies Festival runs to 9pm on Friday, 10am to 9pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday offering a smorgasbord of entertainment.
For more information and tickets visit www.foodiesfestival.com