- April 23, 2018
Another season of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival has drawn to a close and not without change. This year the festival has pulled away from previous formats to focus on a new thrust. The festival has always been about promoting local gastronomic talent and local producers with the aim of making the city and Sussex at large THE place to visit for food tourism – and for whatever reasons that aim has certainly been achieved. The city is now one of the most exciting places on the culinary map with a vast number of food choices at every level from affordable to fine, very fine indeed.
Withdrawing from large, and very expensive events on Hove Lawns we have been able to concentrate on new goals, take the best of our existing events and introduce new concepts. This time Sussex Wine Week has proved to be a popular event with a wine and tapas trail, a variety of wine lead dinners with participating businesses, and a one day wine and gin festival attracting great crowds of serious food lovers. And not forgetting Make Your Case, which in a new venue at La Cave à Fromage was as much fun as ever.
The highlight of the season was FoodLab: Emerging Talent
For me the highlight of the whole series has been the rethinking of one of our most popular events: Food Lab, this time focusing on younger chefs as FoodLab: Emerging Talent.
Hosted by Steven Edwards at Etch, it was a sell out success. Taking the existing format of chefs being randomly matched to local producers, we invited our young chef of the year George Boarer to help curate the new event by inviting young chefs from across the city. The result was a fabulous meal, inventive thinking and dishes that had the senior chefs attending almost quaking at the emerging talent’s skills and ideas.
Taking part were:
George Boarer from Etch with Wobblegate apple juice and Eden Cider
Eliot Buchet from Jeremys Restaurant with Bedlam Brewery
Isobel Humbey from the Salt Room with Red Roaster
Jackson Heron from Murmur with Trenchmore Farm
Michael Norman Watts from 64 Degrees with Blackdown Artisan Spirits
George Thomas from Isaac@ from with La Cave à Fromage
Sam Watson from The Ginger Fox with Ridgeview