Celebrating the fine culinary traditions of our town’s communities

Azam Riyard
Azam Riyard

Crawley is set to host the first Gatwick International Food Festival on September 2.

Event director Azam Riyard - head chef at The Clubhouse in Cherry Lane as well as being a cricket coach - said he believes the festival will be the first of its kind in the area.

He said the event will offer a fantastic chance to celebrate the culinary richness of the communities in and around Crawley.

The aim is to bring together thousands of foodies, as well as master chefs representing different culinary traditions from various parts of the world.

Azam told the Crawley Observer: “I’ve always been a passionate foody myself, travelling to different parts of the world and tasting the gastronomic delicacies that they have to offer.”

He said the Crawley area, thanks to Gatwick and its close proximity to London, includes a fantastic variety of cultures, each of which can bring something special to the event.

“It’s being able to offer Crawley and Gatwick the opportunity to come to one place and try the varieties of cuisine which we can offer,” he said.

“It all started with my travels, and eating around the world.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity to showcase what we are - how diverse we are, and it’s about community cohesion as well.

“We aim to make Gatwick a destination of culinary choice for people other than just the use of the airport and this is the start.”

A statement from the organisers said: “The hosting of the food festival will be delight for foodies to experience the variety in one location.

“Although millions use Gatwick for its international airport status, the festival aims to put Gatwick on the map for this additional newly-created gastronomy venture.

“It’s a time to sit back, relax and enjoy food and drink available onsite.

“You can expect to be entertained by celebrity presenters, live cooking demos, food tasting and a host of fun and games for everyone of any age.

“Aside all the food and fun fusion each stall holder will be giving ten per cent of their proceeds to Forgotten Women charity which works to remove women from poverty in poorest countries.”

The event will be on September 2, at Cherry Lane Playing Fields, Langley Green, RH11 7NX.

Entry is free.

Stalls are available for hire - contact Azam Riyard on 07902 331000.

For more information, email: Crawleyfoodfestival@gmail.com