Leeds Loves Food festival, 25-27th May

Feature article by Sophie Devonshire (@sophie_dev_)

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of an invite to the Leeds Loves Food festival launch at the Leeds City College’s rather spiffy ‘The Food Academy’ at Flannels. The event gave a little taster (literally) of what’s in store at the Leeds Loves Food festival in a couple of weeks’ time and wowzer, are there some treats in store (tip: start the diet now).

Head honcho Gordon Sibbald with his talented young apprentices from Leeds City College

The festival is set to be an absolute corker with heaps to see, do and devour. I’d strongly advise that you keep a good chunk of the weekend free because it’s going to take you a while to eat your way around the city.

With Yorkshire’s very own celeb chef Brian Turner on board, this year’s Leeds Loves Food is set to be bigger, better and yummier than ever before. Organisers have done their utmost to make full use of the city’s unique venues meaning that you can amble from one architectural/taste sensation to the next.

The main event will be the Yorkshire Food and Drink Show which will run from Friday through to Sunday in Millennium Square. It will be a hive of activity with over 100 stalls to wander and you’ll find everything from posh nosh from Leeds’ finest restaurants to wines from local suppliers and sweet baked delights to gadget demonstrations.

Hourly cooking demonstrations will be taking place so no doubt there will be some tempting smells wafting about (you have been warned)! The charming and immensely talented young chefs whom I met at the launch will be demonstrating a selection of their new spring/summer dishes in Millennium Square’s kitchen theatre.

The demonstration at the launch saw them rustle up the exquisite, signature Duck Egg and Soldiers (with a twist) in a matter of minutes. The twist, I should explain, was that rather than the eggs containing yolk and white, they were filled with tangy lemon meringue and came with a skinny shortbread finger and slither of lemon drizzle cake for dunking (one of the few occasions in life where buttery toast soldiers would’ve been inappropriate).

Frankly, the outcome was dreamy. The experts’ versions were far more aesthetically pleasing than our rather stickier amateur attempts but the sweet treat got resounding “mmm’s” regardless.

My attempt at The Food Academy’s Egg and Soldiers

‘Ready Steady Cook’ regular, Brian Turner, will be at the Corn Exchange on the Friday evening as he hosts an evening at Anthony’s Piazza Restaurant. You can also see him demonstrating his culinary prowess in the Merrion Centre on the Friday afternoon.

In the run-up to the festival, from the 23-27th May, you will find a Moroccan Market on Briggate selling food, drink and handicrafts. If you’re an exotic foodie fiend, you’re in for an additional treat this summer as the Kirkgate Market hosts a series of Global Food Markets. During June and July, the wondrous market will put on a tours, tastings and demonstrations of Chinese, Russian, South African, Australian and Canadian nosh.

Elsewhere in the city, The Light will host cookery demonstrations, cupcake workshops and food stalls in its Courtyard Kitchen on the Saturday. The ever-marvellous Cornucopia will take place inside the Corn Exchange on the Friday and Saturday. The Victoria Quarter will be welcoming foodie revellers all weekend with tastings from its on-site food outlets as well as visiting stalls.

Leeds Loves Food (@LeedsLovesFood) festival is set to be delicious. See their website for full details of the line-up and make sure you pop into town from 25-27th May for a taste of Leeds’ finest foodie offerings.



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