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Local foodie champion helps ensure new festival has the recipe for success

Local entrepreneur and foodie champion Bianca Rodrigues-Perry will be shining a spotlight on some of the best independent street food chefs when she hosts Warwick’s first Pursuits Festival this weekend.

Bianca, who fronts Bia’s Kitchen Show, will be taste testing many of the culinary offerings from her festival stage as well as hosting two exclusive competitions for visitors to get involved in.

There are fun prizes up for grabs in Bia’s Bake-off Competition for children, on Saturday. Youngsters are being offered the chance to bring their own home-made cakes to be judged by professional make caker Sophie Page (https://cakesbysophiepage.co.uk/), from Coventry. While the adults will be treated to a series of cocktail making demos throughout Sunday courtesy of That Gin Company, based in Warwick. (https://thatgincompany.co.uk/) and Warwickshire Gin Company, based in Leamington. (https://warwickshiregincompany.co.uk/)

Warwick Pursuits Festival, Bianca Rodrigues-Perry

Warwick Pursuits Festival is a two-day community event celebrating music, art and culture, with an array of activities for families to enjoy for free. Its arrival in Warwick follows Stratford’s successful event held in May, which attracted thousands of people across two days.

Bia’s Kitchen Show highlights some of the best of the independent foodie scene when it is streamed to audiences twice monthly on YouTube, Spotify, Instagram and Facebook. It is an extension to the successful Bia’s Kitchen brand and features local independent chefs and restaurateurs cooking signature dishes as well as Bianca’s own top tips and recipes.

Bianca said: “I am incredibly excited to be involved in this fabulous new event which shares my same values of supporting independent food and drink businesses. I’m looking forward to playing my part in championing some of these businesses by introducing their stories and flavours to the festival-goers. Behind every successful small business is a story of passion and dedication that I look forward to sharing, whilst having a lot of fun along the way with some competitions and giveaways.”

Warwick Pursuits Festival, Bianca Rodrigues-Perry, David Blick

Above: Bianca Rodrigues-Perry with David Blick of Warwickshire Gin Company in Leamington.

Stepping into the Bia’s Kitchen Show spotlight at this weekend’s festival will be Bongo Bunee Chow, Dough & Brew, Mister V Street Food, Redfern Kitchen, Sunkanya ThaiFood, Shakespeare Spit Roast, The Magic Kingdom and Dough Ay’ We.

The festival will focus on History & Literature, Music & Dance, Theatre & Art, and Sports & Wellbeing, with free activities showcasing much of Warwick history, culture and community. Alongside family-friendly activities, there will be art installations, interactive experiences, workshops, live music from local acts and great food and drink.

Mixing it up away from his bar throughout Sunday, That Gin Company’s Steve Bazell will be on hand to deliver some mini cocktail masterclasses on Bia’s stage.

Festival Director Kate Livingston said: “Slate events is continuously pushing the envelope when it comes to festival experiences, which is why we are delighted to have the support of Bia’s Kitchen, a renowned Instagram influencer in the culinary space, hosting a stage where she will interview our local vendors. This will shine a spotlight on the incredible food establishments in our community.

“Our vendors’ participation and support are crucial to making events like this happen, especially at a time when funding for free festivals is hard to come by. We hope this initiative will not only make our festival more interactive and exciting but also provide a valuable platform for our local food vendors to showcase their amazing work to a broader audience.

“We look forward to highlighting the delightful culinary offerings we have locally and attracting more visitors from further afield to experience our vibrant food scene.”

She added: “This festival is for the community of Warwick – local businesses, community groups, charities, and people who live and work here. The success of the Stratford event stemmed from its clear links to the town itself and its community, and we can’t wait to do the same in Warwick with its own unique festival that really champions the town and provides a platform for the local community to engage with and explore what makes their town special  – not to mention bringing people from far and wide to get a taste of the great place Warwick is to live, work and visit.”

Bianca Rodrigues-Perry, Steve Bazell, That Gin Company

Above: Steve Bazell of That Gin Company, Warwick

Warwick Pursuits Festival takes place at St Nicholas Park and is supported by the Henry the VIII Trust, and Live & Local. Entry is free, and more information can be found at https://www.pursuitsfestival.co.uk/warwick-pursuits-festival.

Work is under way ahead of the release of the first in a series of Bia’s Kitchen cookbooks later this year, compiling some of her guests’ best recipes. The book sale profits will support mental health, a cause close to her heart.

Previous episodes of Bia’s Kitchen Show can be seen here

Warwickshire Gin Company
Distilled using a small batch method in Royal Leamington Spa and using a traditional copper pot, the inspiration behind the drinks collections comes from a desire to capture a moment in history, developing flavours to truly represent the county’s own unique story and bringing the hand-crafted flavours to life.

The drinks collection of gins, rums and vodka has a clutch of awards and, this year the distillery became the ‘Number One Thing To Do In Leamington Spa’ on Trip Advisor for its tasting experiences – Gin Tasting, Cocktails at The Distillery and their new Afternoon Gin & Tea.

Bianca Rodrigues-Perry, Sophie Page, Pursuits Festival

Above: Sophie Page of Cakes by Sophie Page

That Gin Company & Cocktail Tours
With its huge range of made-to-order gin recipes and cocktails, That Gin Company offers customers a truly unique experience for their visit or private event.

In addition to a full bar, guests at That Gin Company-hosted events have access to more than 100 uniquely made-to-order flavour infusions with something for every palate guaranteed – from the traditional juniper and floral gins through to fruity offerings such as Pineapple, Watermelon, Passionfruit and Sicilian Orange and, for spice lovers, Pink Pepper, Black Pepper and Cardamon or even, their most popular, Jalapeno signature gin!

The Gin Company’s Cocktail Tours bus is geared up for all sorts of celebrations. The converted double-decker can host up to 50 guests, features state-of-the-art LED lighting and sound system. As well as the brand’s concept gins, the bar sells a wide range of drinks, including cocktails/mocktails, spirits, beers, wine and fizz.

Cakes By Sophie Page
One of the top 50 wedding cake designers in the UK, Sophie, from Coventry, is renowned for crafting showstopping cakes that are cherished pieces of art.