The Bakewell Baking Festival

After Attending The Bakewell Baking Festival, REBEL Contributor Chloe Evans Wanted To Find Out More

Chloe Evans || August 31st

Following The Bakewell Baking Festival I caught up with Paul Morgans, the festival director behind TBBF and asked him a few questions.

I started with the basics; TBBF didn’t start from nowhere, so when did it begin, what is the purpose and what are the aims? Morgans explained how the first festival was on the 8th-9th June 2013, just a mere three years ago. We spoke about how the main aims were to ‘promote Bakewell to a wider audience’. Morgans is a part of the Bakewell Town Council and ‘instigated a bid for Portas Pilot funding’ and even made a film to support it.

Morgans spoke to me about how pleasing it was that this year’s event was able to incorporate more street theatre, and how the comedy night has now become a fixture for the weekend festival, something I think is a brilliant idea and makes the festival even more diverse that will draw in a larger range of people. He also added that they plan on adding a cultural stand to the festival which is something that both the visitors and local community are getting involved with. He also told me how an art competition was also held – A Birthday Cake for the Queen – with Nadiya presenting the prizes, this involved the local junior schools and proved to be very popular, and Helen’s Trust, a local charity, are also involved with the festival – “we’re getting there” he claims, a modest statement to say the least.

I spoke in my previous article about TBBF about the beautiful vintage theme that covered the whole festival and I was intrigued to find out how it came to be, Morgans response hit the nail on the head – “We think vintage and baking work really well together, capturing a quintessentially British feel, something nostalgic, warm, charming and safe, like Bakewell really”. He also told me that the vintage element is something that they would like to grow further as they love vintage style, and I couldn’t agree more, I love vintage styles and it definitely comes hand in hand with baking!

The next thing on my mind was the food, because come on, it’s hard to forget good grub – “We hand pick each food supplier and they come from all over the UK, we try our hardest to ensure that they all offer something a little bit different and have a homemade quality to them. We also encourage them to dress up their stalls in a vintage way as the ones who do, not only contribute to the look of the festival but generally have a better trading weekend. Next year we will have prizes for best dressed stall. Next year’s festival is to be held 12th – 13th August 2017 and we are looking into the possibility of holding a smaller Xmas event next year. But only if it feels right and we can do something that is a bit different. It’s important to us that we create a festival in the true sense of the word and not just a food market”.

And of course, we discussed the main marquee, Morgans explained how they always try to get a ‘good cross section of bakers to represent as many different baking styles and techniques as possible’. And also how ‘Edd and Stacie have been with us from the beginning and the baker brothers Tom and Henry have been here for the last 2 years and they bring their family and make a weekend of it. This is exactly what we’re looking for and working towards as we want to expand the festival into something that will be much bigger in not just size but in concept and we really need bakers to love what we’re trying to do, something that is more than just a food festival, something that is about creating memories, eating healthy food and getting everyone baking. The problem we face is that we always want them all back again as we love them all. We’d love to see Nadiya back as she was really great not just super popular but she fitted in well behind the scenes and it was lovely to see her and Edd have time for a good chat, something that they’ve never managed before. So yes, it would be great to see Nadiya back again, but she is really, really busy so hopefully our dates will tie in with her availability and who knows what great bakers we’ll see come to the fore from this year’s GBBO. It’s one of our favourite bits of the festival, organizing the line-up”.

It was really interesting catching up with Morgans and with the GBBO back on our TV’s we can keep an eye on any of the bakers who could make an appearance at next year’s TBBF!