In the count down to this year's Flavour Fest, which runs from 1-3 June, Chris and James Tanner give an insight into the last 15 years of the South West's largest free food and drink festival.

You’ve both been involved with Flavour Fest since it launched in 2003. How did your involvement in the event come about?

We’d opened Tanners restaurant back in 1999 and were keen to promote our business and the city of Plymouth as we were working hard to make Plymouth a food destination and shout about it!

What is it that makes South West produce so special?

The South West has an abundance of stunning produce, it really is a larder on our own doorstep and we are constantly being spoilt for choice.

How has Flavour Fest has evolved over the last 15 years?

Flavour fest has evolved immensely over the past 15 years, each year it gets bigger and better and it’s the team behind it that instils the passion.

What sparked each of your passions for food?

For us both, it’s the quality of seasonal ingredients and being able to make people happy when it comes to food.

What is new on the menu at the Barbican Kitchen this season?

At the Barbican Kitchen we have always written the menu around the seasons. We are currently making the most of the stunning wild garlic available to us, beetroots, lemon sole and the spring lamb. It’s an exciting season as Mother Nature wakes from the winter.

What is your favourite recipe from your cook books and why?

One of our favourite recipes is the 6 hr slow braised lamb shoulder with onions and balsamic vinegar. The flavours are amazing and it’s a great sharing dish.

Any advice/tips for those looking to start a career in the food industry?

Be prepared for the hard work involved and make sure you train/work with the right people. It’s important you learn your craft properly.

What are you looking forward to most about this year’s Flavour Fest event?

We are looking forward to Flavour Fest as it is a great opportunity to showcase the city and its food offerings as well as its producers/suppliers. It is a fantastic event.

What do you love about Plymouth?

Next year we celebrate 20 years of trading in the city and for us it’s been interesting to watch and be part of that development we are now feeding the next generation of foodies along with our superb team, many of which have been with us for over 12 years now.

What’s your favourite Flavour Fest moment?

There’s been a few over the years but a poignant moment was saving David Fitzgerald’s fingers when he nearly decided to chop them rather than the parsley he was supposed to on the ready steady cook slot!!!

See Chris and James Tanner at this year's Flavour Fest from 1-3 June on The Piazza, Plymouth City Centre.


Enjoy a Tanner Brothers menu at Ocean Studios for one night only!

Love food and can't wait for this year's Flavour Fest? For one night only, Chris and James Tanner of Barbican Kitchen will be hosting a pop-up kitchen at Ocean Studios offering a night of fine dining to celebrate the launch of Flavour Fest 2018. Sponsored by Column Bakehouse and supported by catering students from Cornwall College, the event will run on Wednesday 9th May from 7pm and diners will enjoy a welcome drink and canapes followed by a stunning three-course meal.

Tables of 10 are priced at £500 or £50 per person. Click here to book your tickets for the Flavour Fest launch event now.

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