The countdown to this year’s Deeside Local Food Festival has been kick-started with a soup-making workshop. Festival organisers, The Mixing Bowl, hosted the workshop for two of their charity partners – Inspire and Charlie House – on Saturday 17th August.

A group of participants from both local charities learned how to prepare four different kinds of soup, before sampling their culinary creations.

The budding chefs whipped up delicious bowls of soup with a decidedly international flavour: minestrone, Greek lemon chicken with orzo, smoked sausage and white bean with vegetables, and cheesy corn chowder.

The workshop was held at Inspire’s HQ on Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen. The charity provides a range of services for people with learning disabilities and additional support needs across the North-east. A number of people supported by Inspire and their staff took part.

Charlie House is the Deeside Local Food Festival’s main charity partner this year, and will be holding a fundraising stall at the festival, as well as running a hand-bikes activity for both disabled and able-bodied riders. The local charity supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions in the North-East. Several siblings of children supported by Charlie House, accompanied by their parents and carers, enjoyed the afternoon of foodie fun.

Festival organiser, Rachel Gambro, explains how the workshop came about:

“Collaboration and community involvement are themes which run through the very core of the Deeside Local Food Festival. We have always worked closely with local charities and community groups, giving them opportunities to raise awareness, and much-needed funds, as an integral part of the festival. This year, however, we embraced the idea of collaborating with our charity partners, not just on the day, but also in the run-up.

“Our soup-makers were wonderful – full of enthusiasm and passion for good food. Their soups were absolutely delicious too, and we thank them all for making the day such a success. We look forward to welcoming them back to the festival on Sunday 15th September.”

Leigh Ryrie of Charlie House said: “We were delighted to be involved in the soup workshop. This was an opportunity to work alongside another charity whilst educating and giving key life skills to children of the families we support. Charlie House look forward to attending the Deeside Local Food Festival and letting people know more about our current services, Big Build Appeal and support available in the North-east.”

Andrew Reid of Inspire added: “The people we support love to get involved in any new activity but those that involve food are always particularly well-received and they had great fun making – and of course trying – all of the different soups. We are really looking forward to the Food Festival next month. A number of the people we support have attended before and really enjoyed it and I am sure this year will be no different.”

On Sunday 15th September, the Deeside Local Food Festival, will return for its fifth successive year. Taking place on the last day of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, the Festival will feature a staggering 74 food and drink businesses, 92% of whom hail from Aberdeen City and Shire. This year the festival will take place at Cults Academy, Quarry Road, Cults.  At the heart of the event will be an expanded local produce market, where over 50 stalls will showcase and sell locally produced food and drink.

As well as the local produce market, there will also be an array of workshops, demonstrations with local chefs, talks and tastings running throughout the action-packed day. Their taste-buds suitably tingling, visitors will have a variety of options for lunch in a street café, whilst listening to live music from local artists.

Children will be well catered-for, with a number of activities lined up just for them, including food related games, activities, crafts and quizzes, as well as hands-on cookery workshops.

To find out more visit: www.deesidefoodfestival.co.uk.