This weekend celebrates 15 years of Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival. With over 50 stalls to whet your appetite and live cooking demonstrations, visitors had the chance to sample food and drinks from around the world.
As an avid festival goer and food and drink lover, I just had to visit this local festival. One part of the festival which I love to see every year is the live cooking demonstrations. With a hoard of chefs from local restaurants and businesses, you can pick up new tips and tricks, as well as learn new recipes, and of course, try the dishes out!
The first demonstration I saw was a cook off between Head Chef Colin Oakley and Huddersfield Veg Man Ashley Coley (not to be mistaken for footballer Ashley Cole, although there is an uncanny resemblance). Colin chose to cook sauteed chicken livers with orange and brandy on toasted brioche, and Ashley opted for a pea, courgette and spring onion risotto and tiger prawns with heirloom tomatoes on a cheesy onion bread. It was amazing to see them cook in such a short space of time, and learn where they draw their inspiration from – for Colin, it’s cooking programmes, the internet and looking at industry press, whereas Ashley likes to check out ‘chefing’ groups on Facebook.
One cooking demonstration I loved was Soraya Overend from Jamie’s Ministry of Food. She made a delicious prosciutto chicken and Caesar salad! Some of her valuable tips were to store your chicken at the bottom of the fridge to prevent the spread of bacteria, and once you’ve cooked chicken, or other meat, to let it rest when you take it out of the pan, rather than serving it straight up.
I couldn’t just attend a food & drink festival without sampling the tasty food on offer! There were so many stalls to choose from. From the delights of Russia; Cossack Cuisine, to a taste of Little Italy with Stone Baked Pizza. In the end I decided to be brave and try something from the Exotic Meats stall. For £6 I ordered the zebra burger with Monterrey cheese and caramelised onions. The zebra burger was a flat patty, and tasted just like beef, with the cheese and caramelised onions adding some extra flavour. I really enjoyed it, and for £6 it was surprisingly cheap!
Now everyone knows, us Yorkshire folk love a good pork pie! Baked with pride in Yorkshire, premium award winning butcher Andrew Jones Pies offers a wide selection of flavoured pork pies. For £5 you could pick any four – I chose apple and stuffing, Yorkshire blue, cheese and pickle and their new chorizo pork pie. I’ve only tried the chorizo and Yorkshire blue pies so far, but I have to say their chorizo pork pie is divine and is such a good combination! As a cheeky extra, I headed over to Caribbean connoisseurs Barringtons to try their Caribbean jerk pork pie – one word, delicious!
There were a variety of drinks stalls offering cocktails, beer, ale and coffee to quench your thirst throughout the day. I had the nicest strawberry lemo-daiquiri from the guys at The Fresh Lemonade Co. Aside from how pretty it looked, it definitely satisfied my sweet tooth! I also tried my first ever alcoholic slush puppy – a cider slushie with a shot of summer fruits from Parched Bar. I did have to swirl it around to mix in the summer fruits, but it was so tasty and refreshing! I’m not a big fan of cider, but that slushie was just what I needed on a warm summer’s day!
I had such a brilliant time at the festival. If you’re looking to try new food and drinks, or if you want to learn new recipes, I’d definitely recommend you visit!
Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival is on all weekend from Thursday 6th August to Sunday 9th August.