Cooking for you at Treefest, by Charlotte Pike

Charlotte Pike is the founder of the award-winning Go Free Foods and a regular contributor to Hello! Magazine’s food blog. She cooks great tasting treats with a diverse range of ingerdients and will be cooking live in the Food Hall at Treefest. Here, she looks ahead to the month of August and what she’ll be cooking at the festival…

Charlotte Pike
August is one of my favourite months of the year food-wise. It is a month in which to enjoy and make the most of fresh, local produce. August is a month when cooks and growers are almost overwhelmed with an abundance of delicious fruit and vegetables.

Cooking with local seasonal ingerdients
I’m incredibly excited about cooking for you at this year’s Treefest event, and there could not be a better month of the year for this event to take place. I’ll be making the most of local, seasonal produce in my demonstration, and showing you some delicious ideas that you will be able to try at home for yourselves.

We don’t know what the weather will be doing this August, do we? The wonderful thing about this time of year however, is that you can make the most of the seasonal produce and adapt it to what you want to eat. If the weather is hot, as it should be, then there are endless possibilities with lovely light salads, using fennel, cucumber, chicory and watercress which are all at their peak at this time of year – you need not spend much time in the kitchen. But if the weather is less kind to us, you can still enjoy the flavours of August – I like to make a lovely light marrow stew, with generous quantities of garlic, tomato and seasonal beans. Served with some fresh local fish, it is heavenly.

Here in Gloucestershire, we are spoilt for choice on a culinary level, and I do make a point of trying to source as much of my food as possible from local growers and farms, and also some from the wild. The local hedgerows are laden with elderflower, cobnuts and blackberries throughout the summer months – just keep your eyes peeled and you will find plenty of food for free. If you see a car driving slowly down the lanes, with a driver staring intently at the fruits and flowers in the hedgerows, do wave – it may just be me!

I look forward to seeing as many as you as possible at Treefest this year.

Useful links
Visit the Treefest website for more info and great value early bird tickets:
www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt-treefest

Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum go free to Treefest:
Find out how to become a member…

Charlotte Pike’s Go Free Foods:
www.gofreefoods.co.uk

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