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New for 2017: Award-winning butcher David Baker will be running a Steak School

David Baker knows a thing or two about meat. A fourth generation butcher from a fabled farming family, he grew up among livestock. During holidays from Harper Adams agricultural college, he worked in the family abattoir.

With his father and nephew, he now rears his own cattle on the family farm at Onley Grounds near Rugby, carefully nurturing the best beasts. The Onley Oak cattle are grain fed on a special home mix diet, using cereals grown on the farm.

David's beef is a favourite with Michelin-star chefs and graces the plates of top London restaurants and famous cruise ships. David earned an even greater accolade last year when he won a Silver Medal at the World Steak Challenge in London, arguably ranking his sirloin as the second best on the planet. No other English producer appeared in the top 30.

Steak School

David will be sharing his knowledge about beef in his Steak School at this year's Towcester Food Festival. He will butcher a so-called roasting - the piece of the animal which runs from the fore-rib to the rump and which contains all the best-known steaks - the rib-eye, sirloin, fillet and rump.

As he dissects each steak, he will explain what gives the meat its own particular textures and characteristics, and what you should look for when you shop. He said: "People will be surprised to see just how little steak comes from quite a large piece of the animal."

Do you know what a paddywhack is? No! Well you will find out if you go along to one of David's sessions which will take place once each day in the Foodies Lounge.

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