FOOD lovers had plenty to get the mouth watering in Leamington at the weekend.
The 11th annual Leamington Food and Drink Festival took place in the Pump Room gardens on Saturday and Sunday.
The festival lived up to its reputation as one of the country’s best autumn food festivals with a spoilt-for-choice range of exhibitors dishing up tastes from near and far, from local beer, cider and wine to global cannoli, jerk chicken and churros.
A feast of local chefs showed off their culinary skills with demonstrations in the Live Kitchen over the two days – but it was time for the best amateur cooks to shine on Sunday with the the return of Home Cook of the Year.
A record number of entries to the competition, run by Aubrey Allen with festival organisers BID Leamington, made it tough to pick three finalists to go head-to-head in a three-course cook-off.
Tim Robbins, a University Hospital Coventry doctor from Leamington, was crowned this year’s champion.
Tim said: “I’m a little bit shocked. I was not expecting it by any means but I’m really delighted. It’s been such great fun and I would encourage anyone to enter next year.”
Alison Shaw, project manager at BID Leamington, was delighted at the success of the festival.
She said: “With the diversity of exhibitors this year, it really has lived up to its reputation as one of the best food festivals around.
“Many of the exhibitors sold out on the first day and had to replenish their supplies overnight which is a great sign of how well it’s gone.”