Event – Brighton Food Festival
Over the past week, Brighton and Hove has been enjoying the annual 10 day Autumn Harvest Festival, kicking off last Thursday with a launch party and the announcement of the finalists in the 2014 Food Awards. Over the Summer, lucky judges have been secret shopping the top 3 venues as voted by the public in each category and the winners will be announced on 6th October at Hotel du Vin.
The festival itself is about making excellent food accessible to everyone and as well as a range of paid events, last weekend thousands enjoyed the free food market, live demonstrations and entertainment on Hove Lawns. It was a chance to grab friends and family and take food back to it’s roots as something to be enjoyed amongst the whole community.
As Summer made it’s final swan song, we discovered how Douglas McMaster makes his signature nettle soup in the main marquee, went cross eyed at the bright pink Wobblegate cider tent and generally stuffed our faces with an array of delectable offerings. Chefs from across Brighton came to share their top tips in demos, giving out tasters and, during one session, a couple of free dinners at renowned local restaurant 64 Degrees.
We watched as street food was prepared in giant sizzling pans and enjoyed carefully constructed pulled beef burgers from Spade & Spoon that made us go weak at the knees. There were cakes galore, from the colourful towering tiers of Twit Twoo Bakery‘s showcase cake to protein laden, gluten free treats from The Protein Bakery.
As well as a host of local traders the festival also included quality suppliers from across the world. Another highlight of the week has been the Taste of Sicily event where we were treated to a feast of fine foods and wine. As trays of imported mixed meats and cheeses lay before us we heard more about The Chef Exchange which has seen local restaurants swap talent with foreign partners, bringing us special guests from across Europe to showcase their skills and share knowledge. These adventures have been filmed as a fly on the wall documentary by Brighton’s own TV channel Latest TV. A special mention here goes to Boho Gelato whose gorgeous strawberry, basil and mint granita topped off the night for me.
Brighton can be proud of it’s recent recognition by Conde Naste Traveller as the best city in the UK for restaurants and bars. This puts the city in the top 100 of places to eat and drink around the world so we might be expecting a few more tourists then.
In the meantime, enjoy the last few days of the festival with a couple more must-do events this weekend, including Sunday’s free Big Sussex Market on New Road, one of the UK’s biggest local food events whilst supper club queen Tina Cantina hosts more delicious Middle Eastern delights. Sample 10 menus for just £10 from venues along the London Road Food Train or shake a leg at the 50s Tea Dance held at Azure (free or £15 as a charitable donation to Rockinghorse in return for VIP status).For more information about the Brighton Food Festival, please click here.