Foodies Festival is delighted to return to Bristol Harbourside this July. The UK’s largest celebration of food and drink will see visitors flock from the surrounding areas to feast on the vast array of culinary activities for the third consecutive year in Bristol. Foodies Festivals also take place at Brighton, Tatton Park in Cheshire, Hampton Court Palace, Clapham Common, Edinburgh, Battersea Park London and Oxford.
Top chefs, including Michelin-starred Martin Blunos, Rachel Demuth from Demuths, Ronnie Faulkner from Ronnies, Romy Gill from Romy’s Kitchen, Richard Davies from The Manor House Hotel and Chris Staines from The Allium Brasserie will cook their signature dishes live in the Chefs’ Theatre and explain how amateur cooks can prepare the same dishes at home. The theatre will be compered by food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist Xanthe Clay, who will also host food and wine matching demos each day. She said: “I’m thrilled to be involved with the Foodies. Vibrant, lively and full of great food, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be. I’m looking forward to talking to the chefs and the audience – this is a great opportunity to put some of the biggest names in food and wine to the test so come armed with lots of questions and let’s get a real foodie conversation going.”
Now in its eighth year, Foodies Festival has introduced new elements to all events in 2013. These include a spectacular Cake and Bake Theatre in association with Electrolux incorporating a ‘bake-along’ with members of the audience invited to participate. Decadent Steampunk baker Emilly Ladybird will be demonstrating how to make a gin and tonic cake in conjunction with Hendricks Gin. She commented: “I’m so excited to be introducing Foodies to the world of Steampunk, it’s going to be fun, frivolous and absolutely delicious”. Also demonstrating is Manisha Parmar of Great British Bake Off fame and there will be sugar craft classes with Ann Pickard as well as hands-on baking bread-making sessions.
2013 also sees the introduction of a dedicated Chocolate Theatre to showcase the world of chocolate and confectionary with daily demonstrations from David Greenwood-Haigh of Divine Chocolate. Foodies are delighted to welcome Coeur De Xocolat to Bristol where they will give three classes per day on truffle-making, chocolate and wine matching as well as chocolate tasting.
Another new element for 2013 is certain to appeal to those who love al fresco dining. A specially-designed BBQ arena, hosted by Broil King, will feature hourly BBQ classes and competitions for foodies to get involved in and learn how to get the most from cooking outdoors.
There is also a Wine Village, bringing together producers and wine regions from across the world includingWines of Beaujolais, Shawbury Vintners, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and Wines of Germany. The new market section Homeware Village offers visitors the chance to shop for kitchenware and gadgets.
In 2013, food-lovers can also enjoy the new dining and VIP area serving signature dishes from the best local restaurants. And there will be a new bar area with a countryside theme featuring hay bales and focusing on British cider and ale. The bar bus, a converted open-topped double-decker bus, is a fun addition to the tent and pagoda bars on offer throughout the site.
These new elements complement Foodies’ existing features including the Drinks Theatre where regular classes and demonstrations are given by some of the most talented sommeliers and mixologists and drink experts in the UK. This theatre allows visitors to be amongst some of the first people in the UK to sample 100s of products as well as brush up on their knowledge at the daily wine, ales and spirits masterclasses with experts including renowned journalist and regular wine expert on BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen Susy Atkins who will be presenting wines with Beaujolais, TV’s Charles Metcalfe and beer blacksmith Melissa Cole. This year there will also be a Cocktail Theatre where top mixologists will demonstrate their skills with hands-on classes.
The extensive Producers’ Market sells a vast array of artisan produce from the local area and incorporates the Guild of Fine Food award-winning British produce. Launching at Foodies in 2013 is Pinkster Gin, a raspberry-infused botanical premium gin. It will be available by the glass or bottle exclusively at Foodies, before rolling out in bespoke bars and retailers across the UK.
Foodies Bristol will be showcasing local producers including the Bristol-based award-winning pie company Pieminister who only use 100% British beef steak and free-range chicken in their products. A spokesperson for Pieminister commented: “What better place to showcase our pies than right here in Bristol. All the pies are made in-house in the city using delicious British ingredients, many of which are sourced locally. The ale in our Moo Pie is from the Bristol Beer Factory, a short stroll from the Foodies Festival.” Also selling their wares at Foodies Bristol are local fudge company AJ Confectionery, which was founded in the summer of 2012 by Bristol brothers Andrew and James Blackburn; the Bath Food Company who will be selling their range of chutneys, preserves and relishes made with locally-sourced ingredients alongside Bristol’s award-winning Arch House Deli; and Bath Soft Cheese, who produce cheese at their organic dairy farm just outside Bath including the multi-award-winning Wyfe of Bath.
Last year saw the successful introduction of Street Food Avenue to all Foodies events. In 2013 the Bristol crowds can again enjoy the huge selection of ready-to-eat hot and cold food from around the world including hog roasts, exotic meats, tapas, churros, burritos, Moroccan tagines, South American prime beef, sausages, pizza, Jamaican and Thai street food.
This year’s Children’s Cookery Theatre will be operated by local cook school Kiddy Cook who will run a series of workshops incorporating gastronomic experiments. Kiddy Cook director Nikki Geddes said: “We’ll get the children making carbon dioxide rockets and bread bubble bombs to show them the chemical reaction that makes bread rise. They’ll learn the difference between taste and flavour and think about the effect sound has on their ability to eat.”
The entertainment stage features various live music acts performing every day until the later closing time this year of 8pm.