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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Success of Dalton food festival fires public up for more

THE astonishing success of this month’s One Week Only charity food festival has convinced organisers the public has an appetite for more.

Lake District Farmers has announced that what was originally conceived as a one-off event will return in some form next year.

The news comes as the Evening Mail can reveal the five-day gala has raised at least £30,000 for charity, with the final figure due in the coming weeks.

Lake District Farmers managing director Dan Austin said the feedback from both diners and chefs had effectively forced the hands of organisers.

“Everybody wants to see us do it again,” he said. “We seem to have created something quite incredible in terms of the money we’ve raised and the response we’ve had.

“I believe we’ll be doing it again, but we just have to confirm the number of days we’ll be doing it over.

“We need to get our heads together and see what we’re capable of doing, because it was a hell of a task doing five days.”

The event was created to raise money for community organisations and groups close to the heart of businessman and philanthropist Ray Armstrong.

Mr Armstrong helped turn Lake District Farmers from a struggling company into one of the best meat suppliers in the country.

Drawing on its contacts in the upper echelons of the country’s restaurant industry, Lake District Farmers secured the services of a string of decorated chefs.

Mr Austin said organisers were delighted to expose local food lovers to ingredients and cooking styles that are not readily available in Furness.

He said: “I walked past every table every night and did not have one complaint – all the feedback was extremely, extremely positive. And every single one of the chefs have said they want to come back and do it again next year, too. They really enjoyed interacting with the people of Barrow andCumbria.”

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