The summer may be one of the wettest on record but on Monday, July 23, a team from the University of Brighton’s Culinary Arts Studio will demonstrate the power of the sun by cooking up sausages on Eastbourne beach. Members of the public are invited to come and watch the cooking and sample the results between 11am and 1pm on the beach at Holywell (by the café where the Dotto train turns around).

The sausages will be cooked on a solar-powered cooker funded by the Springboard Grants Programme. The cooker looks like a satellite dish with reflective panels and works by focusing the sun’s rays into a hotplate on which the raw food is placed. Parabolic mirrors like the one used for this event are highly effective but not utilised in the UK because of the perceived bad weather conditions. This trend is justified particularly this year with the worst summer for decades but despite the recent poor weather, the team have already cooked sausages and baked bread in semi-clouded conditions with great success.
The beach event has been organised in partnership with Eastbourne Borough Council, who are already utilising the power of the sun with their Solarbourne programme that installed 4,000 solar panels on council houses across the town.
Dr Ioannis S. Pantelidis, a University of Brighton senior lecturer, is leading the demonstration. He said: “We may not have had the hottest summer so far but hopefully Eastbourne’s reputation as the Sunshine Coast won’t let us down.
“We’ve already managed to bake bread using the solar cooker but nothing says summer like a barbeque. A solar barbeque makes the event even more exciting.”

Dr Ioannis Pantelidis (centre) and his team enjoying sun-baked bread
The University of Brighton is a leading research institution and is already working with Eastbourne Borough Council to help monitor air quality, weather and solar energy. The hospitality research and teaching team, which is based in Eastbourne, has a long history of food-related research projects and works closely with local businesses and the council.
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Minister for Tourism, Councillor Neil Stanley, said: “We’re very excited about solar powered cooking and are delighted to support the University of Brighton to demonstrate its practicality.
“Eastbourne beach is a wonderful place to spend the day and I expect that the idea of cooking your own food using nothing but the power of the sun will appeal to a wide range of people.
I hope that the promise of sun, sea and free food will encourage lots of people to the beach on Monday to see the benefits of solar power for themselves.”