I didn’t know there was a food festival on this weekend. Of course I’d noticed a few marquees being erected on the Park but no obvious signage to tell me what it’s for. There’s often sporting events starting and ending there so marquees are regularly on the Park.
Apparently I wasn’t alone in not knowing what was going on. Very disappointing on the part of the Foodies Festival‘s PR/marketing team. I found out late on Friday when I received a tweet from an exhibitor asking if I was going. It’s my local tube station and I pass that spot regularly.
However today I went along at midday having tweeted, texted, facebooked and spoken to a number of friends who live nearby or are foodies that I know would enjoy the event.
On arrival I was met by a very old friend, Andy Fussel who owns Fussel Fine Foods. They produce some incredible rapeseed oil together with a number of infused oils, dressings and sauces.
Here’s Andy and my friend Verity at his stand.
I also met up with another friend, Nova, whom I met whilst doing the Leith’s Food Writing course. Nova said she already uses rapeseed oils to cook with and particularly to create homemade mayonnaise. Nova couldn’t resist buying a bottle and tweeting a picture of the glorious yellow mayonnaise she made when she got home today.
The ladies and I decided to wander around the food outlets to find out what’s on offer and then to purchase some lunch. The smells of wonderful creations was too much for any mere mortal to resist.
There was plenty to choose from… in fact probably too much choice! We felt it would have been wonderful to have smaller plates and perhaps to lunch on a couple of choices. Verity had roast pork sandwich; Louise chose a Lebanese wrap with felafel, hummus, halloumi and salad; Nova and I both chose the crispy duck wraps from The Duck Truck.
Having now eaten lunch we wandered up and down the stalls, sampling all sorts of goodies on the way. Lots of chutneys, chilli oils and wines. But also some interesting cheeses from No 2 Pound Street including a blue from Alex James’ farm and a delicious goats cheese and chilli from the Wobbly Bottom Farm. I loved it so much I had to buy some for supper.
We made a quick stop at the Nitrogen Icecream stand:
Verity and Louise had to then leave us and head off to the theatre. Leaving Nova and I to explore the rest of the festival. It’d be fair to say that we sampled something from most stands and managed to resist buying too much to take home… well except the most delicious chocolate from Doisy & Dam. If you look at the ingredients, it’s really quite healthy and damn it’s tasty!
We also found the most delightful young chaps who were selling their dressing, or should we say ‘Granny Tigg’s‘. A really rich dressing that I could imagine accompanying many more food types than simply salad. Fish, meat, cheeses etc. I just loved that the product was named after their Granny too.
There was plenty of entertainment at the Festival, ranging from DJ music, live bands and singers and, of course, the Rock Choir.
There were also cookery theatres demonstrating Aga use, cake and bake, drinks, children’s cookery and BBQ. We only poked our heads into the demonstrations but the audience certainly looked hooked!
Nova had a wonderful idea that she would love to do – cookery demonstrations at these festivals that showed off the produce being sold by the exhibitors, signposted the audience to buy the products there and also gave them a couple of recipe cards that incorporated the use of these products. A great way to encourage people to cook with new ingredients and also help the exhibitors get their niche products to a larger customer base.
All in all a very wonderful day. I left with a large bag crammed with goodies – cheese; chocolate; Fussel’s rapeseed oil and a couple of bottles of Fussel’s awesome chilli oil.