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Get out the glitz – Norfolk Food and Drink Gala

In our June 2018 Proudly Norfolk column, we spoke to the Norfolk Food and Drink team as they prepare to holds a fab-u-lous gala dinner. They gave us the low down on what’s going to be on the menu and what to wear

Tell us a little about the evening on July 6
The Patrons’ Gala Dinner is a fabulous evening of mouth-watering food prepared by our four patrons, chefs and restaurateurs, Richard Hughes, Richard Bainbridge, Nick Mills and Chris Coubrough. Furthermore, it will take place in the wonderful surroundings of Norwich Cathedral Close, as the evening will be held in a marquee in the grounds of Norwich Lower School, overlooked by the magestic Norwich Cathedral.

How many years has it been going?
This is the second time we have hosted such a dinner, the first time being in 2016. We hope that it might become a biennial event for Norfolk Food and Drink but its success is entirely dependent on the incredible support it has received. This year we are so lucky to have been sponsored by fantastic local business Norwich Cosmetic Clinic, and Norwich School have very generously supported us by giving us the fabulous venue. In addition, all wines have been sponsored by NW Brown and we have also had support from Creative Sponge and Redmonds Luxury Print. Our superb cheeses have all been donated, along with chutney from Candi’s Chutney and coffee from Javabean and flowers from English Peonies. As if this wasn’t enough, The English Whisky Company has kindly donated a bottle of Nelstrops PX Port for every table!

What’s the idea behind it?
Norfolk Food and Drink is a not for profit organisation, which has been running for 14 years and offers free advice and support to the county’s food and drink industry. We receive no public funding or grants for the work we do so our future is dependent on our incredible sponsors and any funds we are able to raise. So the Patrons’ Gala Dinner is aimed at raising awareness and funds for the work we do.

Who is providing the food?
We have canapés created by Chris Coubrough of Flying Kiwi Inns; the starter prepared by Richard Bainbridge, Chef Proprietor of Benedicts Restaurant; the main course from Chris ‘Buzz’ Busby and the team at Brasted’s; and dessert created by Richard Hughes, Chef Proprietor, The Assembly House Norwich and owner of Richard Hughes Cookery School, and Kate Barmby, Champion of Norfolk Food and Drink.

What can we expect to eat?
Where possible, the food has been locally sourced and whilst we don’t want to give the menu away, we can confirm guests will be enjoying Thornage Hall potatoes, Norfolk Quail, and local fruit and veg, as well as a magnificent cheese board consisting of Baron Bigod, Fielding Cottage, Mrs Temple’s, Nortons’ Dairy and Ferndale.

Anything else we need to know?
Throughout the evening, guests will have each course introduced to them by the patrons, along with a wine pairing masterclass from the team at Adnams. In addition, there will be live music and entertainment from Tommy Winn; and an auction of incredible prizes, many with a food and drink theme, hosted by Chris Bailey!

How can we get tickets?
Tickets are £100 per person and include an Adnams drinks reception with G&T and fizz, a three course meal, all wines courtesy of NW Brown, a cheese board, Port and coffee. For details on how to book, please contact Anna Stevenson, Coordinator for Norfolk Food and Drink, email 

Most importantly – what should we wear?
Black tie – this event is not the night to hold back, so get out the glitz!

Published in Feast issue 27 – June 2018

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