VIDEO: Bakers serve up a treat as ex-soap star joins party

Celebrity chef Sean Wilson’s appearance at Leighton’s third Big Lunch on Sunday was the icing for the organisers.

The Leighton-Linslade Town Council event in the High Street attracted about 4,000 visitors who enjoyed the many treats on offer - and the sunshine.

Great Leighton Bake-off, Big Lunch 2015

Great Leighton Bake-off, Big Lunch 2015

This year’s food festival theme was well received with enough food stalls for every pallet and taste bud including Italian, Chinese, hog roast, Caribbean, Thai, American plus traditional afternoon tea and much more.

Even those with a sweet tooth were able to choose from frozen yogurt, fudge, churros, donuts, cookies and cupcakes and more. In addition many local trade stalls also took to the street with various wooden kitchen equipment, pampered chef, herbs, chutneys and pickles and handmade crafts.

The Women’s Institute also ran the Great Leighton Bake-off competition which was judged by Sean Wilson, ex-Coronation Street actor, chef, author of the Great Northern Cook book and now an independent cheese maker.

Town clerk, Mark Saccoccio said: “Sean showed a convivial nature chatting to visitors and stall holders alike, especially the cheese trader at the Italian market stall. We couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant visitor to our town. And how great that the winners of the bake-off were supported by our local businesses who provided the prizes.”

Live music was performed throughout the day by The Inside Job, Band Harmony and Ska Amanaga and a terrific dance act from all the children at Dance Energie.

Those taking a stroll through the crowds were entertained by a French chef stilt walker, the Foodies dinner ladies double act, Sheriden the dog chef, and the Mad Hatter photo booth. KidsOut also provided face paints and both TACTIC, Fairtrade and The Children’s Trail provided activities and workshops.

Many families enjoyed having their lunch within the designated seating areas and the double decker bus bar was a great attraction in the High Street.

Results: Victoria Sandwich 1 Julie Wyman, 2 Sonia Coombs. Men’s class 1 Mark Martindale, 2 Colin Aldous. Decorated cakes 1 Jessica Hopkins, 2 Fiona McGarvie. Children’s cupcakes (5-9) 1 Natasha Scott, 2 Amelie Muir. Children’s cupcakes (10-16) 1 Tactic, 2 Olivia King.

Mr Saccoccio added: “The Economic Development team worked really hard to pull the event together and the Food Festival has certainty put Leighton Buzzard on the map and made it an enjoyable place to live and visit.”

The Partnership Committee (both the Town and Central Bedfordshire Councils) have funded the event for the past three years with previous events including the Medieval Banquet and the Wild West lunch. Funding has also been agreed by the committee to host the event annually from 2015-2020 on the first Sunday in June.

> If you’d like to provide your feedback on the event, contact Jo Martindale LLTC Partnership Officer on 01525 631911. Also take a look at the calendar on the town council website for forthcoming events www.leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk

Results: Victoria Sandwich 1 Julie Wyman, 2 Sonia Coombs. Men’s class 1 Mark Martindale, 2 Colin Aldous. Decorated cakes 1 Jessica Hopkins, 2 Fiona McGarvie. Children’s cupcakes (5-9) 1 Natasha Scott, 2 Amelie Muir. Children’s cupcakes (10-16) 1 Tactic, 2 Olivia King.

See the June 9 LBO for pictures from the event.