Talks and Tastings

A brand new Forest Showcase Food Festival feature for 2019 are ‘Talks & Tastings’, where you will have the chance to listen to incredible stories behind four fabulous local producers, sourced from right here. You will have the opportunity to sample some amazing local produce, including favoured cheese and gin cocktails! Make sure you get to your seat early to avoid disappointment!

11.15am Debbie Jones –  Forest Deli 

Debbie Jones, along with her husband Simon, have been running Forest Deli in Coleford for just over 18 months, and are constantly finding new local suppliers of a wide range of products, from cheese to spice blends, chutneys to gin.  With her extensive cheese knowledge and as chief sausage roll baker (amongst other things) for the deli, Debbie knows how to combine locally sourced ingredients and combine them to bring out the best flavours.  The Deli also has a growing range of products in reusable packaging and bottles, including milk, olive oils and coffee beans so using a lot less packaging and keeping prices down


12.15pm Matt Newell – Wye Valley Meadery

My journey started actually at the forest showcase in about 2005 when I approached the now retired beekeeper Doug Isles about helping him with beekeeping. I was 15 and helped him with his 500 hives for weekends and school holidays until I left for uni. He was a great mentor and it proves the importance of getting out there and gaining first hand experience. He tolerated my clumsiness and upbeat early morning chattiness with patience and good nature. 

I got into home-brew at uni because I was poor but thirsty, and by now was running my 5 of my own hives, so had lots of honey on hand, and the journey from beer to honey beer to mead continued until last year when we began The Wye Valley Meadery in Chepstow. I now run 120 hives and conduct courses and events, and put a lot of our effort into rehoming and furthering local bees with school talks and hives in school. 


2.15pm Duncan Fox, owner, co-founder and distiller at Haven Distillery, producer of Sly Gin.

Duncan and his wife Alexandra founded Haven Distillery in 2015 and produce a range of award winning gins using herbs grown in their garden alongside other traditional botanicals.  Alex’s passion for growing herbs combined with Duncan’s passion for gin and skills as a professional engineer have lead them to develop some truly unique artisanal gins using a mixture of traditional and cold vacuum distillation. 

Along the way, and purely for the sake of research, they have developed, tried and tested (and drunk) a number of classic cocktails which they have tailored for Sly Gin. Duncan will be demonstrating making four of his favourite Sly Gin cocktails at The Forest Showcase. 

Recipes sheets will be available to take away. 


3pm Kerry Voke – Leaf and Petal

We’re Ken & Kerry from beautiful South Wales and we love tea! All sorts of tea …

With a background in hotel and catering management, Kerry already has an artisan fragrance business but was also passionate about flavours – and saw many connections between them.

On a visit to a speciality food event we met our tea suppliers and were completely blown away by the endless variety of fantastic, flavoursome, wholesome , soothing, energising and downright enjoyable teas in the world 

As long time tea drinkers this was just up our street and as recent retirees looking for a challenge the project started – we had found our cause!

Like so many other passions this was born in childhood – the days when our grandparents always had a pot of tea in the middle of the table, before meals, during meals and after meals.  

Then came along the ubiquitous tea bags and changed the tea drinking world – forever?  We think not – our mission now is to convert tea bag users into loose tea lovers so that they too can appreciate the joy of real tea, in it’s endless forms and enjoy experiences otherwise unimagined.

We will demonstrate;

Tea bag v loose leaf tea – why it is important ecologically.

Explain the differences between black, green and white teas.

Explain why “Tea” is not always “Tea”

Show how to brew the perfect cup of tea.

Offer hints and tips on how to enjoy your tea journey and a much finer tea experience.

Tea is a journey, ours has so far been amazing with the promise of so much more to come … Start yours today, join the adventure – experience the flavours!