Topsham food festival grows sense of family

PUBLISHED: 12:42 29 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:11 10 June 2010

Thousands attended the three-day Topsham Food Festival celebrating the town's central role in supporting locally-produced food, and held in the memory of one man, Nello Ghezzo. Liz Hodges, owner of The Globe, and organiser of the event, said: It was fant

Thousands attended the three-day Topsham Food Festival celebrating the town's central role in supporting locally-produced food, and held in the memory of one man, Nello Ghezzo.Liz Hodges, owner of The Globe, and organiser of the event, said: "It was fantastic - the community support was great. There is no way we could have pulled it off without everyone's help. It was really a privilege to have done this."The festival, which was a mass weekend party, ended with the realisation of Nello Ghezzo's dream - one long winding community table with every resident breaking bread together. Nello's Table, which sat 1,500 people, honoured the dream of the dearly loved Topsham restaurateur who died of cancer in 1999, a man who inspired local chef Michael Caines and who rode on his bike to Venice, in Italy, to raise money for cancer charities.David Woods, from Chapel Place, Topsham, said: "He loved Topsham and Topsham loved Nello. He always had the ambition to bring people and food together and that is what we did."The 264 tables, with brightly coloured tablecloths, were beautifully laid by the residents with local food and drink overflowing.Marc Millon, one of the organisers, said: "The whole town put in this huge effort. There were Italians there and Nello's family. It brought lots of people together in a fantastic show of support and friendship. What Nello's restaurant represented was a place where we could enjoy life."The festival included food and drink workshops on the Saturday and in the evening people gathered under the marquee eating a hog roast and listening to the live wind quintet and jazz musicians.Michael Dart, owner of Dart's Farm, said: "We are delighted to have been involved in this celebration of local food and are thrilled to be part of such a vibrant local food movement."The Topsham Food Festival has a long-term goal - to be the start of an on-going 'shop-locally' campaign, making the idea of buying mainly locally-produced foods universal and permanent. The funds raised are going to the Matthews Hall Modernisation Appeal and Force Cancer Charity and a donation from every menu or dish sold was contributed to the Topsham Food Festival fund.The question on everyone's lips now is, "So, how about next year?"l To view a reader's video of the festival www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

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