Foodies and families can look forward to some food science inspired sessions for the first time in a cross over with Stirling Science Festival (14-16 October).
Forth Valley Food and Drink coordinator and cook, Carolyn McGill will be running an introduction to molecular gastronomy workshop as part of the festival programme.
The free session on Friday 15th October will be aimed at budding chefs, aged 10 and up.
Carolyn said: “We’re going to have fun exploring the physics and chemistry of cooking. We’ll be creating edible pearls, spheres and foams with produce from our local larder.”
She added: “Molecular Gastronomy might seem a radical style of cookery, but it’s easier than you think.
“So, if you want to be the next Heston Blumenthal or dream of opening a Michelin Star gastro restaurant in Stirling one day, then come along and get started on this new adventure in gastronomy.”
Rox Madeira of Trossachs Wild Apothecary in Aberfoyle will also be running two events with a natural science theme, including one on fermentation.
Rox said: “We’re now learning the amazing benefits of including fermented foods in our diet, such as better immunity and improved mental health. But it isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s something our ancestors across many cultures have always done.
“There are many well known foods that are fermented such as yogurt, coffee and chocolate. Fermentation breaks down sugars to create interesting and complex flavours."
This year’s hybrid programme features a mix of online and in person events.
The festival kicks off on Saturday 9 October with a special farmers’ market event at Knockraich Farm, Fintry (home to Katy Rodger’s Dairy) from 10am-2pm, showcasing local produce.
This will be closely followed by a hands-on kitchen medicine workshop on Sunday 10 October from 2-4pm at West Moss-side Farm, Thornhill with Rox Madeira of Trossachs Wild Apothecary; showing people how to make remedies from common store cupboard items.
The foodie action continues on Monday 11 October with Cook School on the Road, a cook along at home experience with The Inn at Kippen and Old Leckie Farm broadcast live from Gargunnock.
Whilst on Tuesday 12 October, Camphill Blair Drummond’s Bakery at the Castle team will share their scoring and bread braiding tips for more beautiful loafs via Facebook.
Tuesday also sees the first of Allanwater Brewhouse’s special run of live festival events, with an introduction to The History of Brewing in Forth Valley. This will be followed by a gin tasting evening on Thursday 14 October, cider making on Saturday 16 October and a local beer, jazz and pizza night on Sunday 17 October.
Music is also on the menu on Thursday 14 October when locals will be able to dine out in style with the Christie Quartet at The Woodhouse, Kippen.
Friday’s highlight is a free molecular gastronomy workshop with Forth Valley Food and Drink Coordinator Carolyn McGill, who will show youngsters how to create quirky dishes such as strawberry tagliatelle with raspberry pearls.
While on Saturday 16 October Rox Madeira of Trossachs Wild Apothecary will run her second festival event at West Moss-side Farm, a hands-on workshop demystifying the ancient art of fermentation.
Sarah Heward, Stirling’s new Food Tourism Ambassador and founder of The Real Food Café in Tyndrum, said: “Forth Valley Food Festival is jam packed with fabulous sounding sessions for all manner of ages and interests. It's a must visit event with something for everyone, showcasing the very best that the region has to offer.
“I am privileged to have been recently appointed as the Scottish Food Tourism Ambassador for Stirling and Forth Valley. I'm eager to start working with individuals and businesses across the region, such as these great examples, to help build our reputation as a must visit food tourism destination.''
A special food trail map has also been developed by Forth Valley Food and Drink network, to encourage locals and tourists to explore Forth Valley’s finest urban and rural food and drink destinations on bike or foot. While Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER has also made funding available to participating food and drink businesses.
Douglas Johnston, Chair of the LEADER Local Action Group, said: “This is our fourth and arguably most important festival year. Our local food and drink businesses need our support now more than ever to bounce back from Covid-19. We hope the festival and map will encourage people to discover and savour the fantastic cuisine on their doorstep.”
For further information about this year’s festival and to book visit: www.forthvalleyfoodanddrink.org/festival