Edinburgh Foodies Festival Launched

Foodies Festival Edinburgh – Inverleith Park – Friday 9, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August 2013

Foodies Festival is delighted to return to Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park this August.  Foodies started in Edinburgh in 2007 and now hosts eight events across the UK which have attracted over half a million food-loving visitors.  Always striving to be at the vanguard of British food and drink activity, this year’s new features include a Cake & Chocolate Theatre and BBQ Arena as well as many exclusive product launches including Pinkster Gin.

Top chefs from across Scotland, including Michelin-starred Jeff Bland from The Balmoral Hotel, Craig Sandle of The Pompadour by Galvin, Great British Menu contestant Mark Greenaway, Mattia Camorani of Cucina at Hotel Missoni, Neil Forbes of Cafe St Honoré, Graeme Pallister of 63 Tay St, Paul Wedgwood of Wedgwood, the Restaurant, Iggy Campos of Iggs and John Quigley of Red Onion 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 over the three days by Foodies veteran Jacqueline O’Donnell of The Sisters in Glasgow.

Jeff Bland commented: “I am thrilled to be demonstrating at Foodies again this summer, last year was a fantastic success, packed with people with a real passion for food. The event is a great opportunity to come together with friends, celebrate the extensive natural larder that Scotland has to offer and pick up some new tips and recipes from professional chefs.”

Mark Greenaway said: “There’s always a great crowd at Foodies, and a great atmosphere. This year I’ll be making one of the dishes from my appearance on Great British Menu and asking an audience member to help. I’m really looking forward to it!”

As well as culinary lessons from the experts, Fringe Festival acts Gyles Brandreth and Stephen K Amos, who has competed on Celebrity Masterchef, will be donning chef hats and giving comical demonstrations.

Gyles said:  “I can’t really cook, but I can really eat.  I can’t wait for the Foodies Festival.  I think it’s going to get me sorted.”

TER Mark Greenaway 2And keeping with the comedy-theme, chef Mark Greenaway is hosting a ‘comedy cook-off’ in the Chefs’ Theatre where he invites two pairs of Fringe comedians to re-create a dish he prepares for them in front of the audience.  This will take place at 4pm on the Friday and Saturday, and at 5pm on the Sunday.

Now in its seventh year, Foodies Festival has introduced new features to all events in 2013.  These include a spectacular Cake & Chocolate Theatre in association with Electrolux.  The crowds can indulge in delicious demonstrations in chocolate truffle-making and chocolate tastings with Coeur De Xocolat, patisserie secrets with Edinburgh School of Food & Wine, sugarcraft and cookie decoration with Sucre Coeur, and flower infusions and botanical chocolates with Sciolti Chocolate.

This year Foodies is supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer Scotland’s Great Pink Bake Off.  They will be at the event promoting this UK-wide campaign to raise awareness and encourage people to sign up to take part in the nationwide bake off on 18 October.

The specially-designed BBQ Arena features hourly BBQ classes and Man vs Meat competitions where contestants cook their own chicken wings, ribs, sausages and burgers and are then given 60 seconds to eat as much of their creations as possible with the crowd judging who made the best effort.

There is also a Wine Village, bringing together producers and wine regions from across the world including Shawbury Vintners, Discover the Origin, Bordeaux Undiscovered, Pieroth Wines and the Wine Spirit Education Trust.  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 pop-up versions top Scottish restaurants.  The bar area has had a countryside makeover complete with hay bales and a focus on British cider and ale.  There is also a wide variety of tent and pagoda bars throughout the site selling cocktails, wine and champagne.  Foodies is proud to provide a platform to launch new drinks brands every year.  This year Pinkster Gin, a new raspberry-infused botanical premium gin, will be available by the glass or bottle exclusively at Foodies, before rolling out in bespoke bars and retailers across the UK.  Also launching this summer at Foodies is Ginger Grouse, a refreshingly zingy ginger beer with a splash of The Famous Grouse whisky.

Joining Foodies in Edinburgh are top Scottish beer producers Stewart Brewing, who commented:  “We have taken part in Foodies every year since it started and it is always great fun.  We’ll be setting up a bar there with our specials, newest and favourite beers, draft and bottled.  It is a great opportunity to meet other local producers and sample their products too.”  And sure to keep the thirsty crowds satisfied are cider makers Thistly Cross who are bringing their core range of ciders and promise visitors some special cidery surprises, limited editions and collaborations between Thistly Cross Cider and other Scottish craft producers.

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 beer blacksmith Melissa Cole and TV’s Charles Metcalfe who will be running daily sherry and food matching classes.  He commented: “Sherry has come out of the back of the cupboard into the bright lights of new wave Spanish restaurants.  Whether it’s bone-dry fino or manzanilla with smoked salmon, or decadently sweet Pedro Ximenez with chocolate, a new generation of drinkers is rediscovering sherry in all its wonderful variety. This tasting will show a range of different styles of sherry, with matching food nibbles”.  This year there will also be a Cocktail Theatre where top mixologists will demonstrate their skills with hands-on classes.

 Foodies

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.

Foodies will be showcasing local producers in Edinburgh including Summer Harvest Oils who will be selling their range of award-winning cold-pressed rapeseed oils, dressings, vinegars and mayonnaise.  Also exhibiting and selling their extensive range of organic pork, veal, lamb, mutton and charcuterie products are Peelham Organic Farm from the Scottish Borders.  Owner Denise Walton commented:- “Foodies Edinburgh is in a classic location and has a terrific buzz.  It offers a real food experience with fun and we enjoy being part of it and providing our organic meat to appreciative customers”

Last year Street Food Avenue was introduced to all Foodies events.  In 2013 the Edinburgh 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.

The Children’s Cookery Theatre, run by Edinburgh-based cookery school Chocolate Mama’s, gives youngsters the chance to get involved with hands-on daily classes showing them how to make a Bulgarian breakfast sandwich, Italian pizzas, Greek cuisine including feta salads and Spanish banana empanadas.

Relaxation in 2013 comes in the form of a City Beach where families can chill out on deckchairs with an artisan ice-cream or an afternoon tea whilst children build sandcastles.  Various specialist tea, coffee and fresh juice vendors can be found around the site.

The entertainment stage features live music acts performing every day until the later closing time this year of 8pm.

COMPETITION – to win a pair of tickets to Foodies (and we have 5 pairs to give away!) answer this question by email by Wednesday 7 August at 7:00pm. Email your answer to theedinburghreporter@gmail.com with Competition Foodies Festival in the subject line.

The question is this:-

Where is Foodies Festival being held in Edinburgh this year?

Image by Joey Kelly