Originally held to celebrate the Millennium, the event was so successful that it became an annual occurrence.
As well as celebrating food and drink, the week-long festival is also a community event aimed at educating people about healthy eating as well as the availability of different foods, where to buy them and how to prepare them.
The festival draws in some big names and thousands of visitors. Expect to spot top chefs such as James Martin, Gary Rhodes, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Anton Edelman, Paul Rankin, Brian Turner and Nick Nairn. TV chef Lesley Waters is a regular at the event and is now its patron.
Free demonstrations by celebrity and local chefs show creative ways to use local produce and they are always very popular. To take home something to cook yourself, there is plenty of food to choose from. Produce can be bought at over 100 stalls on the High Street at the free International Food Market on the first weekend.
Special offers on eating out can also be found making May a great time to visit Christchurch.
More details at www.christchurchfoodfest.co.uk