Foodie fever sweeps city
An eclectic programme of food and drink themed events are set to tempt the taste buds as part of this year’s Birmingham Food Fest, which runs from 13-19 July.
The week-long gastronomic celebration features mouth-watering restaurant promotions as part of VisitEngland’s 20.12% campaign, promoting the UK’s visitor offer in the lead up to the Olympic Games, and an interactive series of fringe events to encourage visitors to try out new skills and culinary experiences. Visitors can expect everything from all day food celebrations in the city’s public spaces to quirky events such as bread-making workshops, foraging for edible wild food and wine tastings.
On 12 July, the eve of the festival, Opus Restaurant is holding a special Culinary Crossroads Dinner which will see Head Chef David Colcombe joined by US foodie star Dirk Flanigan, Executive Chef at two leading Chicago restaurants, to create a unique five course meal with matching wines. That weekend, on 13 & 14 July, the foodie fun kicks off with two festival launch events – the CBD Food Festival in Victoria Square and Birmingham Chilli Festival in Brindleyplace. Visitors can sample culinary treats from Colmore Business District’s best restaurants and watch live cooking demonstrations before heading to Brindleyplace for fiery festivities including a chilli eating competition.
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, which manages Birmingham Food Fest, said:
Birmingham Food Fest celebrates the city’s diverse culinary offering with a range of affordable restaurant promotions and a jam-packed programme of fringe events which cater for every taste.
With a week of food-filled festivities there is truly something for everyone, from families and children to groups and couples, and the festival aims to whet the appetite of all foodie fans.
This year’s fringe programme is very hands on – we’ve worked with partners across the city to create a fun and informative schedule of events giving visitors the opportunity to take new skills and culinary experiences away with them.
From 13-15 July the newly launched Pop-up Café at Edible Eastside will be serving up fruit, vegetables and salad grown on site from the city’s first ‘urban garden’. Also at Edible Eastside, the Warwick Bar Fete on the 14 July will see a day of games, art projects and food stalls to celebrate one year of business including a Bread-making Workshop, where bread is cooked in an earth oven, and a Family Foraging Walk, a search for wild food alongside Digbeth’s canals.
As part of the festival Birmingham Wine School is holding two workshops at the Old Joint Stock Pub – a Food and Wine Matching Workshop on 13 July and An Introduction to Wine Course on 17 July will teach budding wine connoisseurs everything they need to know.
On 14 & 15 July Midlands Discovery Tours are hosting a special 90-minute walking tour ‘The City of 1000 Tastes’. The culinary trail will take people on a tour discovering the great foodie brands established in Birmingham: Cadbury’s, Typhoo Tea, HP Sauce and Bird’s Custard. On 14 July, the tour will also visit CBD Food Festival and Birmingham Chilli Festival taking place from 11am – 7pm.
The foodie fever continues on 14 July with a healthy eating workshop at The Cube run by nutritionalist Shaleen Meelu from Healthy Futures which will give participants tips and advice on how to achieve a balanced diet. For families, Cadbury World is hosting a ‘Let the Games Begin Weekend’ on 14 & 15 July which combines chocolatey fun with a range of sporting activities in the lead up to the Olympics, whilst Italian restaurant Del Villaggio is holding a Children’s Cupcake Decorating Experience with Kiss Me Cupcakes on 15 July to help get kids interested in cooking. mac birmingham hosts an evening of music and food on 19 July – visitors can enjoy a classic bellini and burger deal at Bridges Café Bar while listening to the unique sounds of blues band Mellow Peaches.
Visitors can find out about ‘Kitchen’, Birmingham’s newest food venture, with the Kitchen Food Discovery Day held on the 19 June. Jayne Bradley, director of the new Kitchen project, will lead a workshop with foodie enthusiasts to explore ideas around the plans for the new cookery school, set to open in Harborne in 2013. On 20 July food lovers can enjoy the Gastro Card Charity Event, a sumptuous five course Italian feast at Cucina Rustica held by Gastro Card, which has joined up with Birmingham Food Fest to promote the city’s restaurant offer.
Chamberlain’s Fish and Chips, best newcomer at the National Fish and Chips Awards 2012, will be hosting several fringe events including Fish and Chip Friday (13 July) and Tenner Tuesday (17 July), while Opus Restaurant and Aston Villa’s VMF Restaurant are hosting special festival menus on select days and The Jam House hosts a range of toe-tapping gigs alongside its special Food Fest menu.
For more information on fringe events click here.
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