Sunday, March 28, 2010
Love Food - a real community festival
One of the problems I have with food festivals is that they've ceased to celebrate local food. Too many are dominated by celebrity chef theatres and big tents, producers who have travelled half way across the country to dish up food you could eat anywhere in Britain. Endless chutneys and cook-in sauces - basically not a million miles from the average supermarket aisle.
I'm ashamed to say today is the first time I've got down to one of the Love Food festivals which are held every couple of months in Bristol but it won't be the last. It was a real community food festival with lots of small local food businesses: beer and cider producers, cheesemakers, bakers, foragers and farmers - pretty well all from the south-west.
Barring veg - which it would have been good to see more of - you could have done most of your weekend food shopping there and certainly your supper. I took advantage of a fantastic offer on diver-caught scallops from Lyme Regis Scallops to which we'll be treating ourselves tonight along with some great cheese from Trethowans Dairy.
But the best thing was the food you could eat at the festival which wasn't the usual dreary fare of burgers and bangers but a huge choice of goodies from artisanal cheese toasties (again from Trethowans), to tasty chorizo and halloumi and rocket rolls from the Bristol Ethicurean (below) to Agnes Spencer's Jamaican jerk chicken (above) which my friend Marti actually admitted was almost as good as hers.
The chorizo rolls for example were put together from Freedom Food approved chorizo The Bath Pig, rolls from The Thoughtful Bread Company and Mayonnaise made from Fussels Westcountry rapeseed oil. Admittedly the halloumi was from Sussex but you can't have everything.
There were families and friends, loads of kids running round, local chefs out on their day off - just a great day out with good food. And you can't ask for more than that.
Check out the Love Food Festival website for upcoming events. The next is on May 18th.