Foodies Festival is back in Edinburgh this August, and with new features, new faces and a new venue at Inverleith Park, this promises to be the biggest and best year ever. Words Caroline Whitham
It is just six years since Foodies Festival first opened its gates to hungry Edinburgh gourmets and Fringe-goers, and the event has certainly gone from strength to strength, having expanded to no less than seven sites across the UK this summer. The festival’s heart still belongs to Edinburgh, however, and this year Foodies, sponsored by Scottish Power and jamie magazine, moves to a new, bigger site, the beautiful Inverleith Park in the New Town for the first time.On 13, 14 and 15 August, local and global visitors can enjoy t he festival’s signature mix of fine food, top chefs, tastings, masterclasses and entertainment, with familiar faces and newcomers alike sharing their skills and ideas. New features for this year include a Cookery Theatre especially for children, where schoolgirl blogging sensation Martha Payne of NeverSeconds will join in with a demo, talk about her experiences of writing about her daily school lunches, along with how it felt to get messages of support from Jamie Oliver and gain over two million hits at the age of just nine years old.
Another new feature is the exciting and vibrant Street Food Avenue, where exotic meat specialist Kezie, Jamaican chefs The Backyard Company and Moroccan experts Exotic Tagine will be serving up feasts for all the senses. Meanwhile, some of Edinburgh’s finest restaurants will also be on hand, giving you the opportunity to try dishes from Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Mithas, La Garrigue and television favourite Iggs.
In the Chefs Theatre Mattia Camorani of Cucina will be showing off the skills that secured him a place on this year’s series of The Apprentice, Jeff Bland of number one The Balmoral will be sharing his Michelin-starred secrets, while Neil Forbes of Café St Honoré and Jacqueline O’Donnell of Glasgow’s The Sisters restaurants will be making a welcome return. Continuing in the tradition of bringing some of the Fringe’s finest into the kitchen, comedians Lucy Porter, Stephen K Amos and Tim Vine are all being funny about food.
Visitors to previous Foodies Festivals will be delighted to see the Drinks Theatre back, under the fascinating guidance of expert Charles Metcalfe, GMTV’s wine critic. Beer lover Melissa Cole will also be on hand to give her fresh take on the best brews, and cocktail masterclasses will be provided courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic cocktail bar.
Once you’ve learned all the secrets of buying and creating delicious drinks, take a seat at one of the relaxing pagodas, where you’ll find Pommery champagne, Magners cider and Tregothnan teas, or sip as you wander around the stalls. Sponsors Casillero del Diablo will have lots of tempting Chilean wines for you to try, as well as exclusive offers through their Diablo SupperClub, while The Bubbly Champagne Company will put a fizz in your step. Cheeky energy drinks producer Pussy will give you a boost if you’re flagging after perusing the many stalls, or for a more laidback soft drink try The Fresh Lemonade Company or Original Smoothie Co.
At a festival called ‘Foodies’ you could hardly forget the food, and there will be lots of inspiration and exciting flavours amongst the exhibitors’ stalls. Here you’ll find Bonne Maman jams and cakes, Lavazza Italian coffee, local specialists including Belhaven Fruit Farm and many more. BMW return to launch their 3 Series, and look out for Dorset Nectar’s traditional cider stand.
Once more, Foodies has teamed up with the Guild of Fine Food to bring a selection of gold Great Taste Award-winners from around the country to the Great Taste Market. Old and new favourites include Pieminister, the Well Hung Meat Co and Cranberries.
Whatever your taste, whether its cocktails, canapés, cranachan or comedy, there is always something to suit everyone at Foodies, so don’t miss out. Tickets are on sale now – visit www.foodiesfestival.com or call the hotline on 0844 995 1111 to find out more.
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