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Festival of Flavour

Be transported to foodie heaven as some of Suffolk’s finest chefs conjure up delectable dishes over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. Here’s all you need to know about Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival. . .

Zack Deakins, 1921 Angel Hill (15275225)
Zack Deakins, 1921 Angel Hill (15275225)

It’s a delicious thought that in Bury St Edmunds town centre, you’re never more than a couple of minutes’ walk from a multi-award-winning eatery. There’s close to 90 restaurants, bars and cafes, serving 14 different international cooking styles, and many of these will be showcasing their fare at the eighth Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival, a free event, which takes over the town centre for two days this month.

As well as the popular Cookery Theatre, there’ll be around 100 stalls, many selling tasty local produce, plus lots of family friendly activities, including face painting, fairground rides, a mini farm and an urban beach. You can find out more about the festival, which runs Sunday, August 25 to Monday, August 26, at ourburystedmunds.com/foodanddrinkfestival

Meet the chef

Zack Deakins, award-winningChef Patron at independent fine-dining restaurant 1921 Angel Hill, will be demonstrating his culinary expertise in the Stoves Cookery Theatre at midday on Sunday, August 25. Zack, who has clinched the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards Best Restaurant title and Best Customer Service award in 2018, tells us why he is so passionate about his profession. . .

Where did you train to be a chef?

I have worked in a few restaurants but the three key places would have to be Lola’s in Islington, London with Elisha Carter; Martin Wishart’s in Leith, Edinburgh and The Bildeston Crown, Suffolk with Chris Lee.

What led you to 1921 Angel Hill

When I moved back to Suffolk the aim was always to eventually set up my own restaurant. When Paul Bailey gave me the opportunity at 1921 it seemed like the perfect time and place. I love Bury St Edmunds and the building we are in is just beautiful. Fortunately, I have a very understanding wife in Annie, so we just went for it.

1921 Angel Hill, Lemon Tea (15275233)
1921 Angel Hill, Lemon Tea (15275233)

Tell us your favourite dishes at the restaurant and at home. . .

I love fish, cooking and eating it. We have a turbot dish on at the moment with pickled artichokes, iberico ham and pistachio, which I am very fond of. I also love working with shellfish. Lobster, langoustines, scallops and crab always get me excited.

As for home I have to be honest and say I don’t cook much. We live above the restaurant so Annie always says upstairs is her kitchen and downstairs is mine. Luckily she is a great cook so I don’t complain. I do enjoy cooking a roast chicken dinner at home though. It is food that I find very comforting and I suppose that is because it is a different style of cooking to the restaurant.

1921 Angel Hill, Truffled Celeriac (15275237)
1921 Angel Hill, Truffled Celeriac (15275237)

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Cooking first and foremost, but I love to be busy - and living and working in a restaurant certainly means I am. Also my amazing staff keep me going and ensure that no day is ever boring.

What plans do you have for the restaurant?

To keep growing and improving, to keep pushing forward. I am extremely proud of how far we have come but you can never relax. There’s always room for improvement.

Who is your hero chef and why?

All the chefs I have worked for have been inspiring and also many of those I have worked with. Anyone creative; they don’t have to be famous, just proud of their product and good at making it. I admire creativity and dedication more than anything.

How do you spend your spare time?

With Annie and our two daughters. We have Charlotte who is 2½ and Evelyn who is almost 1, so they keep us more than busy!

Chef’s Corner

Get inspired as this trio of gastronomic wizards don their whites to cook up a storm in the Stoves Cookery Theatre. . .

Nick Nairn

A familiar face on our TV screens for nearly 25 years, Nick Nairn is a champion of Scottish cuisine as a chef, cookery school owner and food campaigner. His TV credits include Ready Steady Cook; Wild Harvest; Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen. His first restaurant saw him become Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef in 1991. He’ll be making his festival debut on Sunday, August 25.

Dean Edwards

Dean Edwards (15275229)
Dean Edwards (15275229)

Since leaving his job as a digger driver to pursue a career in cooking, effervescent Dean has become a household name, with regular slots on ITV’s Lorraine. He found fame on Masterchef Goes Large in 2006, and has gone on to pen three cookbooks and appear on various TV cookery shows including Take On The Takeaway, Market Kitchen and The Big Eat. He’ll charm the crowds on Monday, August 26, alongside Scott Taylor, of award-winning independent eatery, The Angel Hotel.

Pascal Canevet

Pascal Canevet. Maison Bleue (15275231)
Pascal Canevet. Maison Bleue (15275231)

Hot on the heels of winning Restaurant Chef Award from the Craft Guild of Chefs in June, Pascal Canevet, Chef Patron of fine dining restaurant Maison Bleue, will display his artistry on Sunday, August 25. His restaurant is one of the town’s most decorated, regularly picking up accolades; it was named Restaurant of the Year in the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards this year and in 2018 won two World Luxury Restaurant Awards.

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