With March well underway and a few hot days under our belts (we know – most people wouldn’t consider 12ºC hot, but we’re optimists in Bristol) we reckon it’s high time we started putting winter behind us and looking forward to a great summer of foodie frolics in Bristol and beyond!
Kicking off the summer in style is Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, which runs from May 1st to May 18th 2014. Situated in Queen Square in central Bristol, Eat Drink is a huge pop-up event bringing together the best in the South West’s food and drink. Housed in the massive “teepee village” (yes, teepees!) will be fine dining and street food from some of the best chefs in the region. The event was launched last night at Yurt Lush (appropriately enough, a large Mongolian tent!).
The festival is the brainchild of Josh Eggleton and Luke Hasell, who after collaborating on a pop-up restaurant decided to expand this idea and in 2012 the first Eat Drink Bristol Fashion showcased some of the best chefs in Bristol. In 2013 this grew further to nab the best chefs from Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas and it’s back for a third year with a massive celebration of the South West. The chefs this year have a total of nine Michelin stars between them – what an amazingly talented region!
Josh, Luke and everyone involved in the festival are hugely passionate about the sustainability, ethics and traceability of the produce they use . This really came across in their speeches about the event and what it means to them, they feel that the more people that know exactly where their food comes from the better and we totally agree! We produce incredible ingredients down in the South West – the mild climate, coastline and rolling fields mean we make some of the best produce in the country. It’s really inspiring to see a celebration of this with input from the growers and the chefs – from field to exquisitely prepared plate.
At 28, Josh – head chef at the Michelin-starred Pony and Trap – has already achieved more than most chefs can dream of (and he’s a really nice bloke – not fair is it?!). He lives and breathes food, and his passion really shines through. He serves what he likes to call “modern British” cuisine at his restaurant, which gives him a lot of license for creativity since us Brits have always been magpies when it comes to other cultures’ foods! We spoke to him about food and nutrition education – he’s so keen to get better education in schools about cooking; not just learning about nutritional values and how to make flapjacks but thinking about the whole growing process as well as how to make simple, cheap meals which make the best use of ingredients, something that we really try to get across on Fats and Bird. Hopefully with inspiring chefs and farmers taking centre stage this summer, the people of Bristol will get as excited as we are about the wonderful world of food.
Luke is a farmer and a firm believer that organic farming is the future of food production. He gave a great (and long!) speech about how everyone needs to reconnect with the food they produce – we were left feeling inspired to go out and start growing our own veg and maybe buy a cow, if only it was that easy!
The event itself is an exciting few weeks packed with fine dining events hosted by some really wonderful chefs, alongside which is Josh Eggleton’s signature “British Tapas” menu, providing casual diners with food from noon until 10pm every day – all with a backdrop of completely free live music. The fine dining begins on Friday 2nd May with a unique collaboration between Valentine Warner and Nathan Outlaw and is wrapped up by Jack Stein on Saturday the 17th, on the way taking in such stellar chefs as Sam Moody (Bath Priory), Peter and Jonray Sanchez-Inglesias (Bristol’s Casamia), Romy Gill (chef-owner of Romy’s Kitchen, and blazing a trail for women across the country!) and Paul Ainsworth (No 6, Padstow). See the full program below!
We couldn’t be more excited about Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, and we reckon this summer is going to be absolutely amazing! Tickets go on sale any minute now – we’re checking the website and will let twitter know when it’s up.
We left the launch feeling totally inspired about the Bristol food scene, and desperate to get out there and try more of the amazing local produce that we know is out there. Keep an eye out on our blog for more previews of what’s to come in Bristol this summer!