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Chilli Fiesta – party for longer at West Dean Gardens
By: Steve Ott
From Friday 27 July to Sunday 29 July, West Dean’s Chilli Fiesta will once again become a mecca for those wanting to immerse themselves in the heat, flavour, history and variety of the chilli – whilst enjoying an eclectic line-up of talks, music and dance.
Drawing inspiration from the 300 varieties of chillies grown and displayed in West Dean’s glasshouses, over the past 16 years the Chilli Fiesta has grown and this year will see over 150 stallholders presenting chillies to eat and grow, especially prepared sauces and homeware, clothes and jewellery embellished with the vibrant chilli icons. New for 2012: an extensive programme of entertainment across two stages; new bar-team; extended opening hours on Saturday evening.
Just over 20,000 visitors joined-in the chilli fun in 2011, and this year, on the Saturday, the Chilli Fiesta will be open for longer with Mano de Dios taking to the main stage with one set on Friday, two on Saturday and Sunday to bring their blend of modern flamenco, ragtime, gypsy music and rhumbas to West Dean.
A welcome return to Latin Fiesta who will be performing regularly each day on the Picnic Lawn. Young Bands from the Chichester Music Academy will be across both stages. On Sunday afternoon the Chichester Brass Band will be on both stages with a programme of old and new favourites. Belly dancers will be showing us how to shake our hips throughout the event.
Patrick Helm and Kate Moore, ballroom champions will be dancing up-a-storm and with their help they’ll be getting everyone on their feet with some slick dance moves. In 2011 Patrick performed on the Streetdance 3D movie which was released in the UK in April 2012. He is currently one of the professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing in Turkey. Kate is part of one of the UK leading Latin couple she has travelled the world for Competitions, Shows and Exhibitions and performed for major companies.
It won’t be hard to spot the stilt-walking acrobatic Chilli Sisters as they perform across the site over the weekend.
Adjacent to the Main Stage will be Hire the Barman – who will be performing daily cocktail presentations. On stage, he will demonstrate how to make the Westdeani – our signature cocktail for the event. This cocktail will be made using Chilli Fiesta’s sponsor spirit, Stolichnaya Hot, and will be available on all our bars at the event. There will also be homemade chilli & orange ginger beer with demonstrations so people can make this at home.
Demonstrations with West Dean's resident cookery expert Rosemary Moon will include her creative twists on modern and traditional recipes all liberally laced with specially selected chilies. Rosemary will be matching chilies to her dishes and explaining her choices, helping you to choose the right plants to buy to match your style of cuisine. She'll also be hosting renowned chilli breeders Mike and Joy Michaud to discuss why Flavour is more important than Heat.
Friday 27 July 10.30am – 5pm
Saturday 28 July 10.30am – 6pm
Sunday 29 July 10.30am – 5pm
Discounts and fast-track tickets are available to purchase in advance at www.westdean.org.uk Full adult prices below (concessions available)
Adults £11.50 on the gate (plus concessions)
£9.50 in advance online
Friday: £9.50 on the gate (£9.00 in advance online)
Adults £10.40 on the gate (plus concessions)
£8.60 in advance online
Friday: £8.60 on the gate (£8.10 in advance online)
West Dean Gardens, Nr Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0RX
01243 818 210 www.westdean.org.uk/events
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