Record sales at Gloucester Quays Food Festival VIDEO
CELEBRITY chef Gino D'Acampo had a "fantastico" time flirting with the ladies of Gloucestershire.
Starring in cooking demonstrations at the Gloucester Quays food festival on Saturday, his style was described by one onlooker as "80 per cent flirting, 20 per cent cooking".
Not that the ladies in the audience seemed to mind.
The I'm A Celebrity winner told The Citizen: "I'm delighted to be back in Gloucester and cooking in such lovely scenery. It was an easy decision to return this year because the people are so friendly and I remember being really impressed last year by the standard of food amongst stallholders."
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He added he was still in talks about opening a new restaurant at the Quays. Saturday Kitchen star James Martin spoke of his passion for the city at the festival yesterday.
He said: "I come here quite often as I don't live too far away in Winchester. The great thing about this food festival in particular is cooking amongst so much heritage. We are here right next to the canals and you have great produce on your doorstep."
The pair helped draw in an estimated 70,000 on Saturday and Sunday alone. Stalls sold out in record time on Saturday and another 40,000 were expected to attend yesterday.
With bands on stage, coconut cocktails, Pimm's and Champagne for sale as well as trinkets and food items to take home, many people stayed into the evening.
The Fresh and Fruity smoothie stall closed for 20 minutes on Saturday while they restocked, and Stephanie Rainey said: "We thought we were prepared for a busy day but we had to rush out for more ingredients."
It was the same story at The Fresh Lemonade Company.
Stallholder Charlotte Thomas said: "We completely sold out in record time. It was the most we have taken on one Saturday."
Stroud's Food Emporium reported it sold 220 kilos of chips on Saturday and had to restock from a wholesaler mid-afternoon, while Gloucester's Farmhouse Deli had to send out for supplies from its shop in Northgate Street.
Sharon Jessop, of the Simply Strawberries stall, said: "We don't normally do food festivals but this one has been fantastic and we will definitely come back next year."
Cake maker Joe Sexton, of the Little Round Cake Company, who sold out by 3.30pm on Saturday, said: "I had to close up the stall and drive back to Shrewsbury and bake more cakes for Sunday."
Shane Wardle, 34, of Tredworth, said he found Gino D'Acampo's demonstration inspiring and returned the next day with wife Sharon, 32, to see what James Martin had to offer.
He said: "I have travelled to a lot of food festivals and I can honestly say this has been the best yet."
Trish Lawrence, 45, from Matson, said: "I came yesterday and there was so much going on that I felt I needed to come for a second day. It has been fantastic."