The Dartmouth Food Festival started back in the autumn of 2002 with what was originally just a few local food and drink producers selling their wares. It takes place over the last weekend in October and has now grown into an event which the Daily Telegraph described as a 'heady mix of celebrity chefs, parties, food markets, tasting shacks and demonstrations'.

Haven't I seen you on the telly?

These are a number of top class chefs nowadays who have acquired a celebrity type status and many of them are find their way down to the Dartmouth Food Festival. With the hugely talented Mitch Tonks on the organising committee of the festival it is not unusual to see the like of Tom Parker-Bowles in attendance. He has been seen beavering away in the background or fully joining in with the cooking demonstration and getting involved with the visitors who are all eager to learn the tips and tricks that are required to come up with a culinary masterpiece.

If you have ventured in to Dartmouth recently you will no doubt be aware that it has turned into something of a Mecca for highly talented and famous young chefs who have opened top restaurants in the area. London's Mark Hix, Serin Aubrey from the renowned Anzac Street Bistro and Festival Chairman David Jones from Manna From Devon Cooking School are just some of the top names associated with the event.

The price is right at the Dartmouth Food Festival!

The Dartmouth Food Festival usually takes place over the last weekend in October in Dartmouth's market square and along the embankment. Even though it is out in the open, inclement weather doesn't dampen the proceedings too much due to the fact that all of the stalls are close together and the positioning of the festival is relatively sheltered from the elements.

As well as cookery demonstrations there is wine tasting and children's activities. In the evening local art galleries stay open for an art walk of exhibitions and local restaurants show off their skills to festival-goers.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Dartmouth Food Festival is that there is no charge whatsoever for entry, which makes it a very pleasant family friendly event.

Dartmouth Food Festival is worth the walk!

The problem with Dartmouth is the lack of parking and bottleneck streets. For an event like this you will often find yourself driving around in circles trying to get a space but if you don't mind walking a short distance, drive through the town ignoring the car parks and make your way along Victoria Street. Keep going up the hill where you will find a residential area with free parking. Be warned though, after a few samples of the local wine and cider, walking back up the hill is not as easy as it was walking down!

The Dartmouth Food Festival carries on in the local bars and restaurants into the night. It certainly makes it a true celebration of food and everything that goes with it. The enthusiasm of all of those involved really is infectious and this is perhaps why this event is proving to be so popular.

Celebrity chefs are the new pop stars but is there any other event which they seem to favour above all others. Do you know of other events where they like to meet up, relax and show the rest of us why they are considered to be masters in the art of cookery?