Dines Out: Festival focus


Battling alongside the Brighton Festival and Fringe, my attentions always turn at the end of May to the Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Festival. Well it would as I am so heftily involved. Firstly, to avoid any confusion, this is not the Foodies Festival, a commercial enterprise charging around £14 entry. No, ours is free access, a community event on Hove Lawns that engages with food lovers and their families and friends. There are some ticketed events too, but the monies raised are all invested in perpetuating this annual event now entering its 15th year.

This season I had a ball. After the launch my first event was at The Chilli Pickle where we hosted and enjoyed a fabulous dinner matched with Johannishof Riesling wines presented by winemaker Johannes Eser, great food, wine and company. The next day was our bestselling Food Lab at 64 Degrees where six chefs are charged to work with six local producers to create six stunningly inventive dishes. It’s always exciting to see what they do and this year was no exception, and it delayed me heading off on the Food Trail where local restaurants and bars offer tasters from their menus to participants, great fun!

My next outing was to a Pommery dinner at Harbour Hotel where a room of food lovers were treated to dinner matched with copious amounts of excellent champagne. Well what’s not to love about that.

Next the Three Chef’s Go To The Movies event at 1847 – three chefs, three films and three exciting dishes, a format that always delivers and this season a vegetarian treat from three of the city’s best restaurants, 64 Degrees, Isaac @ and of course 1847.

A dangerous evening that needs a risk assessment

Friday night is always Make Your Case night and this ever-popular event sees the first of my presenting roles, a dangerous evening that needs a risk assessment as 80 people tuck into 10 wines, tasting blind and judging the wines and the professional presenters, fast and furious, fun and games for all, and a serious amount of charity fundraising for the Rockinghorse.

Then three days on Hove Lawns at the large Sussex And The World event and the place where I host the Live Food Show with the city’s top chefs, too many to mention here but all delivering great dishes at the top level of culinary art.

On the Monday I gave my time to supporting Fareshare by joining Helen from Metrodeco and creating a zingy gazpacho from surplus foods and selling them to raise both awareness and funds for this most important of charities. Finally the final of the cocktail competition, a tough job but as they say, someone has to do it. So with nerves of steel I headed in and helped judge the final winner from the first Brighton Cocktail Week. A brilliant ten days and look out for more this August bank holday.


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