This year, 2014, the festival takes place on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September.
The Festival encourages local food producers to show off their wares. To qualify as an exhibitor, for this annual festival, the following requirements must be met:
- all produce sold must be grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed on the Island. Or, where serving or preparing food, it must contain local produce.
- "Local" means produce from the Isle of Man.
2014 promises to be the biggest and best year yet for the event featuring:
First time exhibitors include Ballakarran Meat Company, Taylor
Made Cakes and Betty, the Peel-based vintage food caravan, along
with a pop-up restaurant called The Fish & Bottle, a
collaboration between 14North, Bath & Bottle and Little Fish
The Manx Produce Marquee will host Paddy's Fish, Robinson's Vegetables, Ramsey Bakery, Laxey Glen Flour Mills, Isle of Man Creamery, Shoprite (featuring steaks and special offers), Ellerslie Oil, Manx Pack Ltd, Noa Bakery, Green Mann Spring Water, Ballakarran Meat Company, Berries Luxury Pudding Makers & Confectionary, MostlyManx, Doggielicious, Taylor Made Cakes and Stay on a Manx Farm.
Stalls under the Villa Marina Colonnade will include Island Sheepskins, Mannbiltong, Jane's Jams, Laxey & Lonan Allotments, Coeliac Group, Dianne McCudden (local photographs and scenes), Helen Maddrell (second-hand cook books and kitchen pottery), Gavin Carter (wooden bowls and "have a go at carving" for children) and Kathryn Mitchell Ceramics.
The Manx Cookery Theatre will host demonstrations and a chance for young visitors to make bread.
Outside the Produce Marquee will be Staarvey Farm, the Apple
Orphanage van (with new product gooseberry lemonade) and Jimbo's
For refreshment, choose from Betty (pie and mash), Barista Express (paninis), Kallow Point Seafoods and Culinary Liberation (local meat and vegetarian), while the Restaurant Marquee will include The Fish & Bottle, Harbour Lights (teas and cakes) and Your Personal Wine Service (offering tastings and advice).
The bar will have beers from around the Island and there will be a stage area with music, song and dance to entertain the crowds.
Also joining the fun will be Greeba Farm Mushrooms with family activities, the Manx National Farmers' Union (farm animals and milking demos), Ballanorman Goats and Manx Litfest with partner bookseller Bridge Bookshop and storytellers.
Philip Taylor of Rock Food Concepts said: 'The Fish & Bottle will be offering a limited menu inspired by Persian street food, using local products. We will also have a range of cocktails, again inspired by local produce and local producers - so something different for the Festival this year.'
Janette Qualtrough runs Ballakarran Meat Company with her husband, Will, and explained: 'We will have small lamb boxes available to purchase at the Festival, and will be running a draw for someone to win a box.'
Elaine Taylor started Taylor Made Cakes 18 months ago after offering a pledge to make a child's birthday cake at a school mhelliah. She said: 'I've mainly been baking children's character cakes and having three young children is great for ideas. Minions and Frozen-themed cakes at the moment seem to be the most requested.'
Isle of Man Goats is home to more than 160 goats producing top quality Boer goat meat and Manx Mohair luxury yarn. 'Manx Mohair has moved on from selling natural coloured yarn and has recently launched a stunning range of colours,' said Clare Lewis. 'These are all dyed at the farm (in the kitchen) using professional grade textile dyes. Manx Mohair will be launching knitting kits at the Festival, and we hope to have available knitting wool from a local pure bred flock of Romneys. If this goes well then we will be expanding into other local pure bred sheep yarns. We've also decided to host a "Kidding Chaos" event - details and booking forms will be available at the Festival.'
The Festival is open from 10am to 5pm; adult admission costs £3, children under 16 free. Free Park & ride from Noble's Park on Saturday.
Local chefs have been competing in the I Love Manx Chef Competitions heats and the final will take place on the Sunday of the Festival.
Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, Richard Ronan MHK said:
'We have a particularly strong line-up for the heats, and I look forward to meeting the two finalists - and sampling their dishes - at the final during the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival.'
I Love Manx is a joint initiative between DEFA and the Manx National Farmers' Union. 2013's Chef of the Year was Joan Mowat from Tanroagan seafood restaurant.