Arrows point way to ‘Best of British’ show time

IT’s an event that promises to bring the “Best of British” to one of the country’s most spectacular stately homes.

And preparations are well underway for this year’s Chatsworth Country Fair, which will begin at the estate, seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, on Friday, August 31.

Attractions at the three-day event will include a display from the Red Arrows on Saturday and Sunday, as well as displays by freefall parachutists and two gun teams from the Musical Drive of the King’s Troop.

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One of the main draws for gastronomes, however, will be the Fine Food Village offering demonstrations from chefs such as James Martin, Lesley Waters, Alan Coxon and Rachel Green, all cooking with seasonal produce sourced from the area.

Lincolnshire-born Ms Green is a stalwart of the fair and also author of the Chatsworth Cookery Book, from which she will be demonstrating some of her favourite recipes.

From 14 generations of farmers, she says she is passionate about cooking with local and seasonal produce – and added that she intends to “fly the flag for Chatsworth” during her demonstrations at the fair on Saturday, September 1.

The chef, known for television programmes such as Kill It! Cook It! Eat It! and Farm of Fussy Eaters, said: “I first became involved with Chatsworth when the Dowager Duchess was still living there.

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“She’s a real trailblazer in that she was the first person to push the farm shop.

“She told me that everybody thought she was mad for doing that, but she wanted to showcase everything that was produced on the estate.

“Since then, I’ve demonstrated cookery with the Duke and Duchess over the years and have been to the country fair several times.

“It’s a fantastic event, a really great family day out.

“I’ll be demonstrating various dishes and also trying to support the local food producers that will be exhibiting there as well.

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“It’s really key to use the best of British, such as the cheeses, local ales and other produce from the area.”

During the three days of the fair, demonstrations will be running from 11am to 5pm every day in the Aga Rangemaster cookery theatre.

Yorkshireman James Martin, currently on screen as presenter of BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, will be on stage throughout Sunday, and signing copies of his new book.

Another chef showcasing her skills will be Lesley Waters, well known for her regular television appearances on Ready Steady Cook, Great Food Live, and This Morning.

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A Chatsworth spokesman said: “She likes to cook seasonal food whenever possible and her simple, modern style creates dishes that are easy to recreate with stunning results.

“Lesley will be at the fair on Friday, and also has a new book out.

“Always a favourite in the demo tent at Chatsworth, Alan Coxon ‘The Food Archaeologist’ has established a reputation as one of the world’s favourite TV chefs and presenters, with exceptional knowledge of the earliest origins of ingredients.

“As Chatsworth Country Fair is a special place for 
Derbyshire-born Alan, he has chosen to launch his new 
product at the fair in the form of a cold-pressed extra virgin Macadamia nut oil.

“Alan will be at the fair on Friday and Saturday.

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“Chatsworth’s own Steve Smith will also be on stage on Saturday. Steve joined the Devonshire Arms in April 2008 and very quickly regained the coveted Michelin Star for the Burlington restaurant in Bolton.”

Chefs from the Derbyshire and South Yorkshire area will also be joining the line-up, including Simon Bradley from East 
Lodge Hotel in Matlock; 
Max Fischer from Michelin-starred Fischers in Baslow and Rupert Rowley from Rowley’s, also in Baslow.

The Chatsworth spokesman added that the weekend promised to be “England’s 
most spectacular annual outdoor event.”

“It delivers a taste of the countryside with have-a-go classic country pursuits such as clay pigeon shooting, archery, crossbows, catapults and target golf.

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“Meanwhile, animal lovers are spoilt for choice with pony rides, dog agility demonstrations, mounted games, birds of prey, gun dog tests and sheep dog trials. There are even some ferrets to meet.

“Spread over several acres of beautiful parkland on the banks of the River Derwent, England’s biggest country fair has something for everyone.

“There are more than 300 trade stands, rural crafts, an old-time fairground full of traditional rides that are always popular with children, Highland dancing, vintage vehicle displays and dozens of hot air balloons.”