Highcliffe Food and Art Festival promises weekend of exotic tastes

Highcliffe food festival
Visitors try out the fare at Highcliffe Food and Art Festival in 2018

GOAT curry, jerk chicken, Thai noodles and tikka wraps will add a spicy air to the Highcliffe Food and Art Festival this weekend.


The smells wafting down the village high street tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday will certainly make it seem like you are in a more exotic part of the world than traditional Dorset.

On hand to show just how gorgeous ethnic food can be is award-winning Indian food expert, TV chef and columnist Sarah Ali Choudhury who will host a live cooking demo.

The mum of four was running a restaurant at the tender age of 20. Since then she has been a finalist in the Indian Chef of the Year contest and is currently a judge for the Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards.

Sarah will give a live demonstration of “delicious but healthy” Indian cooking at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Another country to be showcased at the two-day festival will be South Korea. Young Joo Shin, originally from Seoul, came to Bournemouth in 2003 to study English.

She got married and settled in the New Forest where she became an artist and foodie. As a little girl, Young Joo learnt her cooking skills from her mother and has since developed her own take on traditional South Korean cuisine.

She now manages pop-up restaurants in the area, allowing people to sample her country’s dishes. Young Joo will host a live cooking demo at 3.30pm on Sunday.

Displaying a more traditional style of cooking will be the team from Brassiere Blanc in Bournemouth who will be giving Highcliffe visitors a taste of what they can expect when a branch opens in the village later this year.

The Old Galleon pub is currently being given a makeover before reopening as The Oaks, offering French brassiere-style dining.

The general manager of Bournemouth’s Brassiere Blanc, Reg Pielesz, and regional head chef Ismael Pajaro Barla will appear at the festival at 12.30pm on Sunday.

Doyenne of the cookery scene Rosemary Shrager will headline the festival this year, creating dishes from her latest recipe book at 11am and 4pm on Saturday.

If all the cooking makes you hungry, there will be food stalls offering all sorts from brownies to burgers, cakes, fudge and vegan curries.

For children there is a whole entertainment programme running on both days which will include performances by the Hoburne Hosts who appear at the nearby Naish, Bashley and Hoburne holiday parks.

For grown-ups there will be bands, singers including local star Carley Varley, and an appearance by the newly formed On Key Choir, an a cappella group who rehearse at Iford United Reformed Church.