The much-anticipated annual Leeds Indie Food is almost here! From 10 May for 19 days, Leeds will host over 80 events and 150 collaborations between the city’s favourite indie food and drink businesses.
From 10 – 28 May, Leeds Indie Foodfestival will celebrate Leeds’ thriving independent food and drink scene. Funded by Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID)andLeeds City Council, the annual food and drink festival is an important showcase of Leeds’ ever-growing community of independent businesses and its fourth year will host even more events and collaborations than ever before.
The 2018 programme of over 80 events is spread across three festival strands: Eat, Drink and Do. Events include collaboration menus, exhibitions, a PAYF supermarket, latte art throwdowns, coffee schools, beer markets, tasting menus, street food markets, wine debates, film nights, food photography, outdoor dining, chocolate making, dine-along cinema, talks and supper clubs. The food festival sees old favourites (such as Chef: The Experience, School Diner and The North Bar Magical Mystery Tour) and new faces (vegan junk food from Knave’s Kitchen, Real Junk Food Emporium’s PAYF supermarket at 34 Boar Lane and a cooking demo with Rafi’s Spicebox with tea pairing courtesy of North Star Coffee Roasters) as well as the return of Leeds Indie Food and North Brewing Co.’s weekly street food fair every Saturday: Eat North.
This year’s festival also focuses on the importance of sustainability with more and more independent businesses now committing to mission statements, working towards zero waste policies. Alongside the Real Junk Food Emporium’s PAYF Supermarket and their fine-dining evenings (using surplus food) and the Food Waste Exposed Ramen Pop-up event at Hyde Park Book Club, following on from the Leeds Indie Food press launch earlier this month (at which we discussed everything from food waste, to avocadoes and vegan tasting menus) renowned chefs Ben Davy(Ox Club, Patty Smith’s, Dough Boys, Small Victories) and Adam Smith (Real Junk Food Project) have challenged each other to go head to head in a cook-off, using surplus ingredients, with the public voting for the best dish.
In the run-up to the start of the festival, Leeds Indie Food have also re-launched a new event; Eating Your Own Mind will see Chef Jono from XO Supper Club serve a five-course vegetarian dinner, supported by Andrew Critchett of Fish& and a team of volunteers in support of raising money for and awareness of mental health, specifically in the hospitality industry. All profits will be donated to Leeds MIND.
With many events already/close to selling out, head to www.leedsindiefood.co.uk to browse the events and buy tickets. You can also purchase a snazzy Festival Passport which will give you discount on tickets, as well as access to ‘free passport holder only’ events which will be announced during the first week of the festival. Festival Passports are priced at £11 (including booking fee) and £1 from every passport sold will be donated to Action Against Hunger, a charity which works with chefs and restaurants across the UK in order to raise funds to support their work to end child malnutrition in over 49 countries around the world.
As with every year, you can also collect inky stamps from indies across the city and be in with a chance of winning free merchandise! Don’t want to wait? Click through to the Leeds Indie Food Shop and take your pick of T-shirts, badges, bottle openers, magnets, totes and Leeds Indie Food’s first ever Frank Green Re-usable Coffee Cup – which will get you discount on coffee in coffee shops across the city!
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID, said: “Leeds Indie Food festival reflects the innovation and ambition of the many independent businesses who contribute towards the amazing and ever-growing wealth of food and drink that is available in the city.
“LeedsBID is delighted to be a continual investor in this feast of a festival which celebrates the city’s diverse and unique food offering, supports businesses while strengthening the reputation of the sector and raising the profile of Leeds on the national food map.”