Ripon prepares for food festival

The Taste of Yorkshire team get set for this weekend's festival.

The Taste of Yorkshire team get set for this weekend's festival.

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Preparations for Ripon Racecourse’s Taste of Yorkshire festival are galloping along, as the team get set to unveil an 8ft chocolate racehorse.

Local artist Wendy Orme from Littlethorpe, near Ripon, has drawn the outline of the horse, which members of the public will be invited to paint with chocolate at the family food festival, kicking off this weekend.

Ripon Racecource’s managing director James Hutchinson told the Gazette: “I think it’s fair to say the chocolate horse will be a point of interest for all.

“We’re looking forward to having it here at the racecourse.”

The idea for the chocolate racecourse emerged when the Taste of Yorkshire team decided to come up with a gimmick to incorporate the racecourse location with the food and drink festivities.

Following a discussion with the food festival’s chocolatier Sophie Jewett, from York Cocoa House, the team decided to create a collaborative life-size chocolate painting of a racehorse. On the day of the festival, Ms Jewett will also be creating her very own chocolate bar with hot chocolate and lashings of chocolate beer. In addition to discovering some of Yorkshire’s finest food and drink, foodie families will also get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the county’s best chefs.

And Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive Gary Verity has also offered his support for the festival, claiming festivals and events are “big business in Yorkshire”, worth around £500m to the economy and accounting for 10 per cent of visits to the county.

l The festival takes place on June 8 from 10.30am.