This coming weekend is one of my personal highlights of the Oxford events calendar – the Foodies Festival at South Parks! I’ve been attending the festival since it began, four years ago, and have enjoyed watching it get better and better each year. It’s hard to be sad about the summer ending when you have the Foodies Festival to look forward to over the bank holiday weekend.
Foodies are allowing me to give my readers a special 2 for 1 ticket offer. Quote the offer in the image below and collect your tickets on the gate.
UK’S TOP FESTIVAL OF FOOD AND DRINK BRINGS NEW CAKE & CHOCOLATE THEATRE TO OXFORD
Foodies Festival Oxford – South Parks – Saturday 24, Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August 2013
Foodies Festival is delighted to return to Oxford South Parks this August. Foodies now hosts eight events across the UK which have attracted over half a million food-loving visitors. Always striving to be at the vanguard of British food and drink activity, this year’s new features include a Cake & Chocolate Theatre and BBQ Arena as well as many exclusive product launches including Pinkster Gin.
Top chefs from the local area, including 2013 MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen and ITV’s Food Glorious Food contestant Bini Ludlow join Michelin-starred Gary Jones from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Alex MacKay author of Everybody Everyday, TV chef and writer Sophie Grigson, Michael North of The Nut Tree, Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi of The Caldesi Cookery School and Max Mason of The Big Bang will cook their signature summer dishes live in the Chefs’ Theatre and explain how amateur cooks can prepare the same dishes at home.
Gary Jones said: “I’m looking forward to seeing you all at Oxford Foodies Festival South Parks. Bring all the family and let’s have some fun. It’s a great chance to meet our fantastic local suppliers. See ya there!”
The theatre will be compered by food writer and Daily Telegraph columnist Xanthe Clay, who will also host food and wine matching demos each day. She said: “I’m thrilled to be involved with the Foodies. Vibrant, lively and full of great food, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be. I’m looking forward to talking to the chefs and the audience – this is a great opportunity to put some of the biggest names in food and wine to the test so come armed with lots of questions and let’s get a real foodie conversation going.”
Now in its seventh year, Foodies Festival has introduced new features to all events in 2013. These include a spectacular Cake & Chocolate Theatre in association with Electrolux. The crowds can indulge in delicious demonstrations in chocolate truffle-making and chocolate tastings with Coeur De Xocolat, as well as desserts and treats with Bonne Maman Madeleines. Also giving daily demonstration will be Fiona Sciolti of Sciolti Chocolate who makes award-winning botanical chocolates using local fruits, flowers, teas, herbs, cream and honey.
Foodies strives to bring new and innovative produce to their events and this year Custom Creams are bringing the world’s first ‘create your own’ liquid nitrogen organic ice-cream experience to Foodies. They can create any flavour of ice cream, sorbet or frozen cocktail from their larder of fresh, seasonal ingredients which they freeze then whip into a delicious frozen treat in less than 40 seconds.
The specially-designed BBQ Arena features hourly BBQ classes and Man vs Meat competitions where contestants cook their own chicken wings, ribs, sausages and burgers and are then given 60 seconds to eat as much of their creations as possible with the crowd judging who made the best effort.
There is also a Wine Village, bringing together producers and wine regions from across the world including Discover the Origin, Shawbury Vintners, Bordeaux Undiscovered, Hannibal Brown and the Wine Spirit Education Trust. The new market section Homeware Village offers visitors the chance to shop for kitchenware and gadgets.
In 2013, food-lovers can also enjoy the new dining and VIP area serving signature dishes from pop-up versions of top local restaurants. The bar area has had a countryside makeover complete with hay bales and a focus on British cider and ale. There is also a wide variety of tent and pagoda bars throughout the site selling cocktails, wine and champagne. Foodies is proud to provide a platform to launch new drinks brands every year. This year Pinkster Gin, a new raspberry-infused botanical premium gin, will be available by the glass or bottle exclusively at Foodies, before rolling out in bespoke bars and retailers across the UK. Also launching this summer at Foodies is Ginger Grouse, a refreshingly zingy ginger beer with a splash of The Famous Grouse whisky.
These new elements complement Foodies’ existing features including the Drinks Theatre where regular classes and demonstrations are given by some of the most talented sommeliers and mixologists and drink experts in the UK. This theatre allows visitors to be amongst some of the first people in the UK to sample 100s of products as well as brush up on their knowledge at the daily wine, ales and spirits masterclasses with experts including beer blacksmith Melissa Cole and TV’s Charles Metcalfe who will be running daily Bordeaux masterclasses.
This year there will also be a Cocktail Theatre where top mixologists will demonstrate their skills with hands-on classes. Hendrick’s British Ambassador, Duncan McRae, will lead visitors on an exploration through gin, its origins and how to make interesting and tasty tipples from the comfort of their own kitchen without the need for a mind-boggling array of exotic and expensive ingredients.
The extensive Producers’ Market sells a vast array of artisan produce from the local area and incorporates the Guild of Fine Food award-winning British produce. Joining Foodies at Oxford is ‘liquid deli’ Demijohn who will be selling their range of artisan oils, vinegars, liqueurs, spirits and whiskies. Owner Angus Ferguson commented: “This will be our first time at Oxford Foodies and we look forward to sharing our delicious summer 2013 products. We’re bringing our new gooseberry vinegar, our handy Goccia oil and vinegar racks, and our organic rhubarb vodka liqueur”. Also making their Foodies debut is innovative company Schokolat who create over 50 authentic-looking chocolate tools and kitchen items from chocolate.
Last year saw the successful introduction of Street Food Avenue to all Foodies events. In 2013 the Oxford crowds can again enjoy the huge selection of ready-to-eat hot and cold food from around the world including hog roasts, exotic meats, tapas, churros, burritos, Moroccan tagines, South American prime beef, sausages, pizza, Jamaican and Thai street food.
This year’s Children’s Cookery Theatre will be operated by local cook school Kiddy Cook who will run a series of workshops incorporating gastronomic experiments. Kiddy Cook director Nikki Geddes said: “We’ll get the children making carbon dioxide rockets and bread bubble bombs to show them the chemical reaction that makes bread rise. They’ll learn the difference between taste and flavour and think about the effect sound has on their ability to eat.”
English tea-growers Tregothnan Tea from Cornwall can be found in their tea pagoda selling a range of delicious teas and cakes, and there are various fresh juice sellers around the site.
The entertainment stage features live music acts performing every day.
For more information about Foodies, or to buy tickets, visit their website.
This year the Oxford event takes place on 24th, 25th & 26th August at South Parks. The opening hours of the event are 10am-7pm on Sat and 11am-7pm on Sun & Mon. There is public parking available in the local area of the event.
The address of the festival is: