Tom Kerridge and foodie professionals from across the UK flocked to Sawbridgeworth for PX+ Festival hosted at Duchess Farms
Residents of Luxford Place and Sun Street wondering what the loud music in the fields behind their houses last weekend was, might like to know that thousands of foodie professionals had decamped from all over the UK and as far afield as Australia to eat, drink, be merry in Sawbridgeworth over three days.
Globally renowned chefs, bakers, butchers, cheese makers, sommeliers and mixologists including celebrity chef Tom Kerridge and Polpo Founder Russell Norman came for the PX+ Festival, which was hosted at Duchess Farms. Now in its second year, the event was created to encourage the hospitality industry - from commis chefs and kitchen porters upwards -to share ideas and experiences, and of course food and drink. The industry that likes to party was also catered to by Island Records, Camden Acoustic club, Vox Box and the Experimental Cocktail club, who put on a roster of DJs throughout the night.
At £60 for the day (£120 for a weekend), prices are comparable to Standon Calling - but tickets were only available to over 18s in the industry. Besides The Chequers in Matching Green, local foodies were thin on the ground - but Oscar Harding, who runs Duchess Farms with his brother George, said that he hopes to open it up more next year. "I feel more confident to open to local people now," he said. "You want something to be really good if you are going to invite the neighbours."
Around 2,500 attended the event, with 500 camping on site, including Sean Williams, a chef who is creating his own outdoor dining experience in Surrey called Sean In The Woods. "There aren't many times when the industry can get together," he said. "When we're cooking we're too busy. If you're in the industry you can come and listen to people at the top of their game. It inspires the next generation."