WELL folks, what a weekend we’ve just had.

What a thrill to see Malton brimming full of people, happy visitors enjoying Yorkshire’s Food Capital. I do think that this year, more than ever, Malton has worked together as a team and my thanks go particularly to our fab volunteers.

We are also most grateful to our superb sponsors, in particular to Ryedale District Council who sponsored the festival and generally supported the madness in the Market Place - just brilliant guys, thank you.

This year was the eighth Malton Food Lovers Festival and it made me think about the reasons why we started the festival in the first place. There are three reasons that spring immediately to mind - Butterbees Butter Parlour, Chapter Two Bar and Groovy Moo Ice Cream.

Butterbees Butter Parlour is an exceptional story, covered briefly in an earlier column, but it is exciting to think that their little house of butter, which you will find at 12 Market Street, is now one of the only places in the UK where you can go and watch fresh artisan butter being hand churned before your eyes.

They say that the slowness of the hand churn creates a creamier texture and I have to say I am more than won over by the taste.

My friend Orlando, who works in Malton, once said that his last meal would be just bread and butter so I hope he will approve of this place. To specialise in something so fundamental to our diet, so delicious and something now considered so healthy is brilliant. Butter is coming back, (you read it here first) and this magnificent butter parlour is a genuinely unique addition to Malton and Yorkshire. It should be a famous British tourist attraction in its own right before long.

Chapter Two Bar also opened in time for the festival with the brilliant Rory and Jackie Queen at the helm and as their second business in town (they also own Chapter One Bistro) they are going great guns. Rory has always said he wanted a relaxed place to drink in town and now he’s created it. I recommend a pint of Guzzler if you have a spare half hour. In time Rory and Jackie plan to create some lovely bed and breakfast rooms at the back.

The festival weekend was also the first anniversary of Groovy Moo Ice Cream. The business located in Talbot Yard Food Court has been so popular with the public it is almost unbelievable that they have been only open a year. Praise has to go to the amazing Michele and her family for creating another unique and high quality business. A visit to Malton is truly not complete without a gelato at Groovy Moo! My son Billy agrees, I was wiping ice cream off his face all Saturday!!

So this is what it has always been about. Food as the catalyst to bring new visitors and businesses to town. With even more ‘Made in Malton’ producers planned to open later this year, we have got a lot of new tastes to look forward to.

As summer gets underway, we are now busy planning our next festival and we hope to see you at the next Monthly Food Market on June 11, from 9am to 3pm.