Cooking up a treat at Great Yorkshire Show

It’s not just the free cheese samples, wine and cider tasting or sweet delicacies that make the food hall one of the most popular attractions at the Great Yorkshire Show; it’s also the thirst for knowledge about where and how food is produced that will see more through the door.

Former Yorkshire pig farmers Andrew and Debbie Keeble like the fact that visitors can meet producers and producers can meet their buyers in the food hall.

Although they no longer farm pigs, leaving 10 years ago when there was a downturn in the industry, the Great Yorkshire Show was the first consumer event they attended after setting up their now multi-million pound business, which supplies all four big supermarkets.

They have 30 farms supplying their sausage business, with “Debbie and Andrew’s” the number one premium brand of sausage in the UK. Despite this, they still believe it’s vital to attend to the Great Yorkshire Show to meet consumers, build contacts within other supply chains and support the agricultural industry.

“The Great Yorkshire Show is an effective event, attracting a wide range of people, and is a great shop window for your produce and enables people to find out more about it,” says Andrew Keeble.

He believes people’s focus hasn’t actually changed when it comes to food and he should know, since he receives more than 300 emails a week enquiring about their sausages “The show allows people to ask a whole range of questions like how the pigs are reared through to where the sausages are made.”

Even those enquiring about how to cook Debbie and Andrew’s sausages will be rewarded, as Debbie shows off her culinary skill in the cookery demonstration theatre. Their presence will also be seen in the show ring, as sponsors of the pig supreme championship.

Engaging with the public, and particularly with the younger generation, is apparent as they launch the “Dragons Pen” competition at the show. Based around BBC’s Dragons Den, young entrepreneurs up to the age of 25, will be able to put their budding food ideas to a prestigious panel. This includes a name from a large national newspaper, a celebrity chef, as well as Debbie and Andrew.

“We are looking for anyone to come forward that has a good food idea and has taken some degree of market research. We will then invest £30,000 in the winner in taking that product through to marketing,” he says.

But judging categories won’t just be left to experts at the show. This year, visitors will also be able to step into the judges’ shoes as the new Consumer Choice Class is launched.

Those attending will now be able to put their taste buds to good use, scoring different dairy and cheese products. But those interested are being encouraged to reserve their time slots soon, says co-ordinator of the Cheese and Dairy Show, Jayne Hickinbotham.

“If you dote on anything dairy and can give entries a run for their money, then book your time slot,” she says.

But tasting the product isn’t all you can do; seeing how the cheese is made in the first place at cheese-making demonstrations will also keep many enthralled.

Those making excuses when it comes to cooking, can now learn from the best, as celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager gets set to cook up a storm at the cookery demonstrations.

Rosemary, who is best known for appearing on TV programmes such as Rosemary Shrager’s School for Cooks, The Alan Titchamrsh Show and ITV’s Ladette to Lady, will be sharing her culinary secrets. But one we already know is that she is a supporter of regional food, fitting in perfectly with what the Yorkshire Show is all about.

Ms Shrager already has family connections with Yorkshire. So to see what local delights she will cook up visit the Game Cookery Theatre in the Country Pursuits Area at 11am and 1pm on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 July.

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