Bristol‘s food-lovers can look forward to a taste-bud-tickling weekend this summer as Foodies Festival serves up a feast for the senses at The Downs 13th – 15th May.Now in it’s 7th year, Foodies Festival is the culinary staple in Bristol‘s social calendar, welcoming over 22,000 food & drink hungry visitors, who enjoy a three-day gastronomic celebration with friends and family.
The Olympic theme continues into the Children’s Cookery School, where little foodies can decorate their very own gold medal with coloured icing, glitter and edible ribbon. Pizza and cupcake making classes also allow kids to explore their taste buds and learn basic cookery skills to practice at home.
This year’s festival sees a 5 star line-up in the Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre, where top chefs showcase their culinary skills, share insight into 2016’s food trends and answer questions from the audience. Chefs taking part include (more TBC):
– Rosemary Schrager – Celebrity Chef and Star of BBC’s The Real Marigold Hotel
– Josh Eggleton – The Pony and Trap (Michelin starred)
– Simon Hulstone – The Elephant (Michelin starred)
– Ping Coombes – MasterChef Winner 2014
– Tony Rodd – MasterChef Finalist 2015
– Louise McCrimmon – Harvey Nichols
– Nigel Brown – Celebrity Chef
– Romy Gill – Romy’s Kitchen
– Xanthe Clay – Food Writer
– Kalpna Woolfe – Food Writer
– Jackie Kearney – The Hungry Gecko and MasterChef finalist 2011
Visitors can enjoy a new ‘Feel Good Foods‘ theme at Foodies Festival this summer, with healthy living chefs and food writers joining the line-up to cook with superfoods including kefir, lucuma, freekeh, kelp and banana flour, and sirt rich foods such as blueberries, kale, celery, buckwheat, turmeric, chilli and red onion.Festival-goers can discover the advantages of eating ‘Feel Good Foods’ such as cheese (a source of phenylethylamie – the love drug) and dark chocolate and seaweed (both sources of serotonin – the happy drug) as experts promote their nutritional and emotional benefits with energy, happiness and calm inducing recipes available to take home.
Sip – Drinks Theatre
Expert mixologists and sommeliers, including Neil Phillips and Charles Metcalfe, host
champagne and wine masterclasses, and beer connoisseur and writer Melissa Cole is on-hand with craft beer tutorials.
Visitors can test their taste buds with blindfolded challenges, where they will have to taste and smell to try and identify ingredients and country of origin. These classes are also a great opportunity for novices to learn about champagne, wine and beer notes.
Feast – Street Food Avenue
With flavours from all corners of the world available on the Street Food Avenue, hunger will be banished and taste buds tingled with the huge array of cuisines on offer. Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Argentinian, Turkish, Indian, Korean, Mexican, French and African are just some of the flavours to feast on this summer.
There’s a special focus on Brazilian street food this year to celebrate the Olympic host’s cuisine, including traditional Brazilian BBQ and Rio’s favourite dish Feijoada made from black beans, salted pork, trimmings, smoked sausage and jerk beef, which is cooked in a traditional clay pot. Brazil’s national cocktail Caipirinha, a mix of lime, sugar and Cachaça (made from sugarcane juice with an ABV of 48%), and Brazilian coffees will be available.
Shop – Artisan Producers Market
A glittering array of Great Taste Award winners are available to shop and sample
from this year, each being hailed as a producer of ‘Exquisite, Outstanding and Simply Delicious’ food and drink – a fantastic opportunity for visitors to meet artisan producers from the local area and across the country, learn their story and stock up on award winning produce. With over 120 stalls to peruse at each festival, selling everything from Seaweed Seasoning to Champagne Infused Fudge, visitors will be spoilt for choice for what to eat at the festival and take home to enjoy.
Indulge – Cake, Bake & Tasting Theatre and Vintage Tea Room
Baking extraordinaire Charlotte White, master chocolatier Fiona Sciolti and top local cake-makers work their baking wizardry on the Cake & Bake stage, inspiring visitors to reach for their whips and spatulas at home and create show-sto
ping cakes and delicious summer bakes. A neighbouring Chocolate, Cake and Bake Village sells freshly baked breads, sponges, tarts, jellies and trifles to enjoy with a bubble tea or fresh juice.
Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the beautifully decorated Vintage Tea Room, where teas, handmade cakes and scones with clotted cream and jam are served on china from a tea trolley by vintage styled tea ladies and gentlemen, and vintage music for ambience.
Festival goers can munch their way into the depths of the jungle this summer with a trip to the Vietnamese Street Food stand, where those with a taste for the exotic can indulge in insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, mealworms, b
eetles, scorpions, locus and ants. These tasty critters will also be sold in powder and flour form – a high source of protein – to bake, season and cook with. For those brave enough, there’s a daily Bush Tucker Trial on the Challenge Stage, where visitors compete against one another by eating jungle insects, from small ants to large juicy grubs, with the contestant eating the biggest and the most being crowned champion.Spice It Up – Chilli-Eating Challenge The famous Chilli-Eating Challenge continues in 2016, inviting fans of spice to beat an eye-watering 16 million scoville record set by Shahina Waseem last year. Participants start at the low end of the chilli spectrum by eating bell peppers, but things quickly get a lot hotter with Habanero, Scotch and Carolina Reaper (world’s hottest chilli) chillies being added to the menu. Those still standing are then inflicted to pure chilli extract, increasing in strength, until a winner is crowned.Relax – Live Music and Pop-Up Bars
After a day of feasting and fun, visitors can relax and soak in the atmosphere with live music from the Entertainment Stage and a glass of bubbly or refreshing cocktail from the Giant Pimm’s Teapot or double-decker BarBus.