Liverpool Food & Drink Festival 2014 offers a flavour of the city
Once again, Liverpool Food and Drink Festival has met and exceeded the demands of some of the country’s toughest food critics: the Great British public, with record numbers attending the three day event.
With more that 160 Merseyside chefs joining headliners Yotam Ottlenghi and Tom Kerridge, the festival drew crowds of over 45,000 people who flocked to Liverpool’s Sefton Park in search of a taste of the cuisine that is quickly establishing Liverpool as the food capital of the North.
This year saw a new event in the form of the “Celebration of the great British Pub”, which featured a gigantic pub quiz, live music, and dozens of food and drink stands, which included the street food zone to show off everything savoury and sweet: from artisan pork pies, cheeses and olive, to coffes, fudge, and liqueurs.
Event Director Denise Harris said:
“We’re transforming Sefton Park into a food lovers paradise. With more than 70 restaurants and 160 chefs this really is a huge culinary celebration. The Liverpool Food and Drink Festival has become a highlight of Liverpool’s events calendar. We always build upon the previous year’s event. It takes the whole year to plan an event like this and this year we definitely have all the right ingredients.”
“I have been blown away by the turnout at the festival this weekend. Liverpool Food and Drink Festival gets bigger and better every year, and the standard of our city’s great restaurants and bars at the moment fantastic.”
“It was a real coup for us to have both Yotam Ottolenghi and Tom Kerridge at this year’s Liverpool Food and Drink Festival. Neither of them commit to taking part in many food and drink festivals so it was a huge honour to have them both at the event.”
Festival headliner Tom Kerridge, the only chef to ever receive two Michelin stars for “pub grub”, said:
“I really like the sound of Liverpool Food and Drink Festival with the city’s pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and producers taking over a local park for the weekend. The North West is gaining quite a reputation for its booming food and drink scene and I’m keen to see what the city has to offer.”
The festival wasn’t limited to the world’s best pub food, however. The festival showcased both a figurative (and at times quite literal) melting pot of multicultural flavours, including a “chocolate area”, an “edible garden”, a “children’s zone” where Love Food Hate Waste ran herb planting and potato harvesting activities. There was also entertainment for the whole family, and a series of master classes and celebrity chef demos that allowed members of the public to take home some of the talent that made the festival such a success. There was even an opportunity for children to make their own food creations in a series of specially designed cookery workshops by Kidz Kitchen.
The Art School by Paul Askew brought a pop-up fine dining restaurant to the festival, whilst caterers Pickled Walnut treated punters to a pop-up gastro pub.
Liverpool John Moores University gave visitors the chance to learn about the science of food with a whole area dedicated to weird and wonderful foods, featuring everything from an innovative new algae derived ingredient to the world’s hottest chillis.
Visit Isle of Man brought a taste of its most famous delicacies to the festival, from Manx kippers to queenies. There was also an edible garden, a real ale festival, a Champagne bar, a heavenly chocolate garden, a street food zone, a pub quiz and music from talented local musicians.
Food themed festivities will continue for the rest of the week with a programme of food and drink events at restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, and arts venues across the city.
For the latest news and developments on the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, visit www.liverpoolfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk or follow @livfooddrink on Twitter.
Words: Peter Cribley