York Food Festival, ended at the weekend. It ran for ten days, and the city centre, especially at the weekend was heaving with people and scores of stalls. There’s some dross to be weeded out from among the many excellent producers who turn up but considering it’s one of Britain’s biggest food festival, there’s bags of integrity underlying the operation (which I know as an insider from having worked at it for four years or so; take that as a declaration of interest, too). The theme this year was Food Heroes. Not the festival circuit regulars like James Martin or Brian Turner, or those celebrity chefs who charge mega bucks for micro time, who you can see on TV any night of the week, anyway.
Instead, there were our own food heroes, those genuinely talented chefs who keep Yorkshire at the top table without deserting their kitchens for reality shows. Names like Andrew Pern of the Star at Harome; James Mackenzie of the Pipe and Glass, Stephanie Moon of Rudding Park, Richard Allen of Harvey Nicks and plenty more.
There were food markets, of course, and expensive themed meals in York’s grandest chambers but also a heap of workshops and demos every day and lots of them for free. Slow Food Workshops and wine tasting every day. If you didn’t make it this year put the date in your diary for next year…16th-25th September 2011