Birmingham Food Fest returns for second year

The city’s tastiest festival Birmingham Food Fest will take place on 13-19 July 2012, returning after last year’s inaugural success with a week-long menu of food-filled events and restaurant offers throughout the city centre.

This year sees Visit Birmingham, the city’s leisure tourism programme, join forces with partners and leading chefs to showcase the very best of Birmingham’s culinary offer. Birmingham Food Fest kicks off with CBD Food Festival in Victoria Square on 13-14 July, a celebration of the diverse food and drink venues found in Colmore Business District, the city’s commercial heart. Brindleyplace’s super-spicy Chilli Festival, which last year attracted thousands of foodie fans from across the region, will also be part of the fiery festivities.

Birmingham Food Fest will feature a mouth-watering line up of fringe events and irresistible restaurant offers as part of Visit England’s 20.12% campaign, promoting the UK’s visitor offer in the lead up to the Olympic Games. Last year’s festival saw an estimated 70,000 people tuck into food and drink offers from over 80 restaurants, leaving visitors hungry for seconds. 

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, which is managing Birmingham Food Fest, said:

Last year’s Food Fest really helped put Birmingham on the map as a culinary destination and a haven for food lovers.

The festival saw 70,000 visitors descend on the city to sample our gastronomic delights, attracting nearly £1 million of media coverage and plaudits from influential international titles such as The New York Times, which named Birmingham number 19 in its ‘2012 must-see destinations’ shortlist due to its foodie credentials.

Collaboration is at the heart of Birmingham Food Fest. Working with partners throughout the city, the week-long festival will bring together a wide range of restaurants, from Michelin starred to independent eateries, helping to cement Birmingham’s growing reputation as a culinary hotspot.

Ann Tonks, Board Director of Colmore Business District and Managing Director of Opus Restaurant said:

This year, Birmingham Food Fest will launch with our CBD Food Festival – a celebration of 24 food and drink venues in the city’s commercial heart, Colmore Business District. There are many independent venues in the district, ranging from fine dining restaurants like Purnell’s and Opus to venues such as Urban Coffee Company and Metro Bar & Grill. The popular CBD Food Festival, which is back for the second year, serves as a great starting point for a festival which aims to showcase the vast spectrum of Birmingham’s culinary scene.

Teaming up with Birmingham Food Fest provides us with an even greater platform to help spread the word of the exceptional culinary offering both in our district, and Birmingham as a whole.

The Birmingham Chefs Alliance, which includes some of the city’s top culinary stars such as Glynn Purnell of Purnell’s, Aktar Islam of Lasan and Richard Turner of Turners Restaurant, have again stepped out in support of Birmingham Food Fest. David Colcombe, Head of The Birmingham Chefs Alliance and Chef Director of Opus Restaurant is currently flying the flag for the city’s foodie reputation stateside at Chicago’s Culinary Crossroads, an event showcasing the food and drink of the NATO nations ahead of the diplomatic summit in May. He said:

Birmingham has long been home to some fantastic restaurants and chefs that have helped catapult the city into the gastronomic spotlight.

The underground cooking scene taking root in the city and home-grown talent that continues to push the boundaries of culinary creativity, means Birmingham is quickly gaining recognition as an international haven for food.”

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