A celebration of extraordinary food and drink that has been sustainably and ethically produced, the Real Food Festival will again be packed with 500 of the finest artisan food producers and so much more. New for 2011, alongside the chef theatre and cookery school, visitors will be able to get more hands-on experience at butchery and artisan food workshops, pick their own tea in a Cornish botanical garden, keep the kids entertained in the Taste Experience tent, learn more about cheese, wine and chocolate with special talks, demos and tastings.
Held each May at Earls Court the Real Food Festival gives visitors the chance to see, smell, taste and buy the most wonderful food directly from the producers who make it, as well as learn from experts and professionals about the food they eat. The ever-popular Real Food Theatre will again be packed with top chefs including Giorgio Locatelli, Jason Atherton and Valentine Warner and the Real Food Cookery-school offers both children and adults the chance to hone their skills in the kitchen.
Jo Wood and Arthur Potts Dawson will be opening the doors of their lavish pop-up restaurant Mrs Paisley’s Lashings at the Real Food Festival this year for a special night-time dining experience. The duo’s aim is to highlight the importance of eating in a more eco-conscious and sustainable way – but, of course, with a generous helping of glamour, style and rock ‘n’ roll. The combination of Jo, Arthur and the Real Food Festival is a natural one. Arthur is a familiar face on the chef-demo theatre at the festival and contributor to the – brand new this year – Real Food Cook Book; Jo is a convert to an organic way of life as a result of illness which led her to making everything in her and her family’s life organic, ecologically attentive and as sustainable as possible.
Also new for this year and giving visitors a genuine real food experience, the butcher’s institution Allen’s of Mayfair will be hosting a Butchery Demo Theatre, imparting some of the skills and knowledge built-up over their 120 year history. The demonstrations will include sessions on how to butcher Lamb, Beef, Pigs and more, four times daily, as well as the Allen’s of Mayfair stall for visitors to purchase some of their exceptional produce.
Britain officially now has more artisan cheese makers than France, and for the first time some of the UK’s best will be collected together alongside their international cousins in one dedicated area of cheese celebration. Throughout the weekend the esteemed ‘La Cave à Fromage” from South Kensington will be running cheese tastings, demos, workshops and talks on the mysterious art of cheese production.
The roll call continues with The School of Artisan Food who will be offering the unique opportunity to learn about what it takes to be a truly skilled artisan food-maker and how to apply these skills back home from their presentation zone.
Just in case the food, the chefs, the classes, livestock and dancing sheep at the festival aren’t enough, there will also be a ‘Kids Taste Experience Tent’ hosted by the Youth Food Movement, another addition for 2011. Specially designed to engage and delight kids with food, there will be workshops giving younger visitors the chance to learn how to make butter and bread or shuck oysters. Garden Organic will also be there with their ‘Grow Your Own’ workshops – popular with both green fingered adults and children
And after taking in everything the festival has to offer a restorative tipple and a taste of the Suffolk Coast will be provided by Adnams Brewery at their fantastic Boat Bar, serving the legendary Broadside beer along with hand selected wines.
In addition to the evenings at the festival, Mrs Paisley’s Lashings will, by day, be hosting the VIP tent (open to those with VIP tickets – available in advance) – the perfect place to chill out after taking everything in, once in the haven of the sumptuously decorated VIP tent, kick back enjoy the complimentary cocktail, gloat over the contents of your goody bag and flick through the Real Food Cook Book, which are all part of the VIP package.
For tickets go to – www.realfoodfestival.co.uk
Advance tickets are just £13.50 or £19.50 – inclusive of the brand new Real Food Cookbook, kids go free courtesy of Sacla.