Showcase for our county’s food and drink

GASTRONOMIC community leaders have come up with a recipe for success to protect and showcase traditional Derbyshire village food and drinks.

Tideswell School of Food hosted the launch of the Peak District & Derbyshire Food & Drink Guide 2011 and rolled out campaign plans to encourage more visitors and residents to use the village’s produce, food providers and eateries.

The Taste Tideswell campaign received £400,000 of National Lottery funding to set up the school, on Commercial Road, and its efforts to support local producers and preserve the village way of life are to be featured in a BBC television programme.

Tim Nicol, Taste Tideswell director, said: “We’re going to boost our local food economy because villagers have been worried the retail economy was approaching a dipping point.

“Tideswell is not a village in need but wants to stop any problem before it starts. We want to develop our artisan food industry, reputation and the Taste Tideswell village brand by reconnecting people with food and where it comes from.”

The campaign is urging local producers to share, sell, make, cook and grow produce

so it effectively goes from plot to plate and is encouraging residents to cook with local products.

Producers within 30 miles of Tideswell who show respect for the village, help others and produce quality goods will be awarded the Tideswell Trust quality mark.

Those wishing to use the school – which began running courses in January – can benefit from half and full-day specialised courses and enjoy using its community nursery garden, nano-brewery and lounge.

Tideswell School of Food director Philip Ward said: “By helping people produce good local produce we’re helping to sustain local businesses.”

The BBC will be highlighting Taste Tideswell in a programme to be screened in the summer showing how village life can be revived.

Visit Peak District and Derbyshire tourist board, Derbyshire County Council and food providers joined forces to help set up the school and help Food & Drinks Guides Ltd produce its Peak guide.

Deputy chief executive David Thornton said the school and the guide were an example of what could be achieved by groups coming together.

Editor Sally Webb, of the Food & Drink Guides’ Peak guide, said: “We’ve been producing guides for ten years but this is our first for the Peak District and the first produced with a local authority and a tourist board.”

The guide is available from tourist centres and food and drink venues and events including Tideswell Food Festival, on May 7, Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair, on May 21 and 22, Derbyshire County Show, on June 26, and Bakewell Show, on August 3 and 4.

Those interested in Taste Tideswell can visit www.tastetideswell.co.uk and www.tideswellschooloffood.co.uk.

l What are your favourite Derbyshire food and drink delights? Email news@matlockmercury.co.uk.