A GREAT CELEBRATION OF CULINARY SKILLS, WITH WONDERFUL WINES, COCKTAILS, GIN AND OTHER BLITHE SPIRITS. ALL WERE TO BE FOUND AT LIVERPOOL FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL, SEPTEMBER 2018.
Words: Jean Hill
Liverpool, and the surrounding region, have become distinguished for fine dining. There has been something of a food revolution, where organic local markets, and farms have altered the way we consider food and where we choose to shop and eat.
The Liverpool Food & Drink Festival showcases the established best and the talented up-and-coming. Chef, Ellis Barrie, and his family run Marram Grass in Anglesey with a farm attached to the restaurant. He demonstrated preparing and cooking a crab and celeriac risotto. It was intriguing that his interest in food came from a summer school course at Knowsley Community College, where I used to teach.
The Festival is a pop-up dream. You hanker for a gin palace: it appears before you. You’re on a quest to discover organic ingredients that ‘don’t cost the earth’. Liv Organic & Natural Food Market has a stand to publicise their eatery, inspired pasta dishes, and organic pizzas. The Florist, a fine restaurant, decks out its stall with cocktails, roses and plant material.
The range of choice is testament to the diversity of cuisine in the area. We spy Greek street food, then Thai street food, then pizza, pork pies, veggie boxes and vegan. Wine tasting leads us on to the Prosecco Bar. The live entertainment reflects the vibrant music scene in Liverpool. Space offers great coffee with tempting savoury and sweet options. There are vegan stalls where folk are eager to outline the flavour kick that accompanies their take on healthy eating. Chelsea Campbell, Wholesome Junkiez, demonstrated a vegan meal: onion and pumpkin bhajis. She conjured up a pomegranate and mint raita, tamarind chutney and a herb filled cucumber salad. All ridiculously flavoursome. Someone to watch.
There are sizzling barbecued meats on offer. There is a butcher’s ‘shop’ with beautifully fresh meat. Something for everyone. There is a picnic area: a children’s playground, definitely family friendly.
Even if you missed Raymond Blanc and Gary Usher this year. There will be the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival next spring. Much to look forward to.