Food Connections, Bristol’s unique citywide food event, takes place from 29th April to 7th May, and there is a huge amount on offer for families. No matter your interest or experience there is something for everyone.
Supported by Great Western Railway, the BBC and Bristol City Council, Bristol Food Connections aims to connect people to all aspects of their food. From how and where it was grown, to who served it, how it tastes, makes us feel and the way it brings communities together. There are over 100 events during the nine days, many of which are free.
Over the May Bank Holiday (30th April – 2nd May), College Green in the city centre will be transformed into a hub of festival activity. The stunning main venues will host talks, tastings and workshops during the daytime. You can learn how to make sauerkraut, dumplings, cook with the seasons, improve your knife skills and hear from some of Bristol’s best chefs such as Matthew Pennington of The Ethicurean, Gill Meller from River Cottage and Elly Curshen of Pear Café who will be sharing recipes, tips and ideas. All cooking demos are free and open to everyone as long as you register on the website.
There is a packed programme for children too. On Saturday 30th April, Jo Ingleby, winner of the BBC Food and Farming Awards Cook of the Year 2015, will be demonstrating how to cook with kids. The Travelling Kitchen will take children (aged between 8 – 12 years) on a culinary, historical journey from Tudor times, right through to the Twentieth Century. They will be exploring how Bristol’s trading history and immigration to Bristol, has influenced the foods our ancestors ate and the food we eat today.
Riverford Organic Farms will be encouraging children to find and identify worms because they are so crucial to our soil health. Children of all ages can learn about the importance of bees and how we can best look after them. And, in collaboration with Frank Water, a water-themed poetry workshop for children aged between 6 and 13 will be held on Sunday 2nd May in the Riverford Yurt.
On Bank Holiday Monday (2nd May) the much-loved Dragonbird Theatre will be performing twice and inviting children (between 4-11) to come on a magical journey – which will involve watching a short show then stepping into a world full of interactive adventure.
All this activity can certainly work up an appetite. And whatever age you are, there will be plenty to eat, try and buy as the best street food producers from across the South West will come together to create 3 days of ‘Street Food Central’. Plus in collaboration with Casus Events, Food Connections welcomes the Producers’ Market back to Millennium & Anchor Square. From chutneys to charcuterie, cheese to beer, visitors will be able to purchase artisan goodies from the region’s best food producers.
The Fringe Festival programme, which includes over 90 events across the city, includes everything from sessions on edible gardening for beginners to foraging walks – which will take place across Blaise Estate, Brandon Hill Castle and Arnos Vale. Furthermore, there will be spice workshops, talks on how music affects flavour, venison tours of Ashton court, and Bristol lingo bingo, to name but a few.
As well as independently exploring the Food trail on your own, you can also accompany some of Bristol’s best food bloggers as they take you on a tour of their favourite eateries across town.
And last but not least, there is a bigger music line up than ever before. Hot on the heels of last year’s highly successful and much-talked about morning Coffee Rave, is Apocalypso – an evening party (which includes a pre-event dance class with body-popping-twerk-and-grind instructor Nigel May). You can expect tropical tunes, rare and deliciously-spirited cocktails and the heaviest African beats to celebrate the latest shipment of sail cargo rum.
Festival Manager, Aine Morris said:
“We believe in the need for a new kind of food festival, one that delivers much more than just the opportunity to watch others cook! We are so excited at the prospect of everyone being able to roll up their sleeves, learn new skills, eat some incredible food and have some fun.”
Bristol Food Connections aims to raise the food-festival bar. Food Connections offers up experiences, inspiration and learning that transform the way we think about food and eat the world better!