Date: 
Monday, October 3, 2011 - 09:00

Nearly a year after the big flood which destroyed its main eating areas, the Eden Project today (Monday, October 3) officially opened its new Bakery between the world-famous Biomes.

Eden Managing Director Gaynor Coley and Senior Sous Chef Tony Trenerry declared the main eating area open by slicing an outsized loaf and inviting guests and members of the Eden team to enjoy the feast of freshly-baked food on offer.

Eden is now in its tenth year and it has long been an ambition to make food as much a reason for people to come and visit the project as seeing the plants.

The damage caused by the flood of November 17 was counted in millions of pounds but it also enabled Eden to reconsider how it caters for the million-plus visitors a year and devise a whole new eating experience.

Gaynor Coley said: “The flood was devastating but it enabled us to really sharpen our thinking about how we present the vital relationship between plants and food.

“With the new Eden Bakery we’re celebrating food and its virtues with an artisan bakery on a grand scale.

“Food is prepared before your eyes and we’re encouraging our chefs and catering team to interact with our guests and have conversations about great, wholesome food.

“The bakery has enabled us to employ four new people and we are working up an apprenticeship scheme to bring on local baking talent.”

Eden chefs worked closely with Clive Cobb of Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis to create The Eden Bakery.

The new bakery can cater for up to 600 people and serves freshly-baked bread, croissants and pains au chocolat for breakfast, handmade pizza, bruschetta and salads for lunch, and cakes and sweet pastries in the afternoon. During peak summer season the Bakery is a 24-hour operation with bread being baked through the night.

The emphasis is on local, seasonal, organic or fairly-traded products, including Davidstow cheese, Cornish Sea Salt, Trewithen Dairy milk and cream, jam from Healey Cornish Cyder Farm and coffee from Helston-based coffee-makers Origin.

The Bakery launch was part of Eden’s first Harvest Festival, a celebration featuring food, drink, dance and merriment from October 1 to 9.

Other chefs appearing through the week include Michael Smith (Porthminster Beach Cafe, St Ives) on Wednesday, October 5, and Norman Musa (Ning Restaurant, Manchester) on Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8. BBC’s Grow Your Own Drugs presenter James Wong will be giving a talk on growing unusual foods on the evening of Thursday, October 6.

Visitors will be able taste the juice from Eden’s apple presses, pick up tips on pickling and preserving, discover the stories behind bread, wine and cider and see the processes that take the natural ingredients from the ground to the plate - or glass.

There will also be cooking demonstrations and workshops on allotment growing, grape crushing, corn crafts, what to do with fruit and veg gluts, and a talk on the foods of the rainforest.

Harvest Festival daytime activities are included in the price of admission. Tickets for the James Wong talk and Big Autumn Bash are £15 each and can be booked in advance.

For full details, go to www.edenproject.com/harvest or ring the box office on 01726 811972.