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There may have been speed trials on Madeira Drive but in the centre of town the throttles were jammed wide open as September's food festival swung into top gear. In Jubilee square Come Dancing winners Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova opened the proceedings with help from Brighton's mayor Anne Meadows and young local Latin dancing champions Lydia Thompson and Ellie Tew. Food festival sponsors Discovery Foods had turned Jubilee square into little Mexico, with the wonderful smell of fajitas and tacos cooking, colourful festoons and pinyatas and a mariachi band where Darren and Lilia gave a salsa dancing lesson to the enthralled crowds.

New Road was packed with stalls selling the most fabulous local foods, wonderful vegetables, cakes, breads and meats with teas, cocktails and wines and champagnes to wash it all down with.

In Pavilion Gardens the Live Food tent was thronged with eager crowds to watch cooking demonstrations by a star studded group of chefs, and sample the results. Antonio Carluccio topped the bill with a wonderful mushroom risotto, but many of the top Brighton restaurants including Drakes, Hotel du Vin, The Grand and Fishy Fishy took part, as well as sponsors Discovery Foods.

As evening fell the foodie fun didn't stop - the marquee in Pavilion Gardens welcomed guests to "Make Your Case" in which wine experts Andrew Kay and Henry Butler made a case for, asked assembled guest to choose from, six wines they presented were the best. The wino was accompanied by platters of charcuterie, cheeses and breads from Thornes Foods. The result of the wine tasting: a resounding win for Stopham Estate, which was rather fitting as the wine grower happened to be amongst those in the audience!

The food festival continues throughout September. For details of upcoming events visit

All photos ©Julia Claxton. Copies can be purchased for personal use through this website. For press and commercial use, and all other enquiries or to commission photography please use the contact page to get in touch.

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