2013 review

Happy New Year!! Before I share news on restaurant openings, restaurant offers and events for 2014, please indulge me while I take a quick look back over last year.

I was lucky enough to meet some fabulous new producers, attend great events and savour the culinary talent of local chefs and share them with you on my blog. So here are some of my highlights from 2013.

Kings HEATh street food market Birmingham Mail

It took until 2013, but Birmingham’s first monthly street food market burst into our lives. Duncan Stanley’s Kings HEATh market launched and proved an instant hit. This is monthly food extravaganza where the 20 or so traders feed customers with every international dish that you can think of. With a couple more years’ experience under their belt, congratulations to the Digbeth Dining Club who brought home the Best Street Food Event from the British Street Food Awards in London.

BBC Good Food Show

More accolades were served up to local businesses. For the first time the BBC Good Food Show held a competition for the best street food in the Midlands. The candidates were so good that there were three winners! The Jabberwocky and Fresh Rrootz from Leamington and Squisito Deli from Warwickshire won a lot of new fans at the BBC Good Food Show in April.

It is no coincidence that I voted for these three food heroes, they are passionate about what they do and love introducing people to great food, so I feature them regularly on Midlands Gourmet Girl.

SONY DSC

Not to be left out, Leamington Spa launched its first street food market Eat Street. @EatStreetLeam This small, but perfectly formed, market delighted local office workers and students, desperate for a changing lunchtime menu.

Seeing your food cooked freshly to order in front of you and being able to engage with the chefs that prepared it for you will always be a winner. In the more traditional restaurants, three chefs made notable entrances.

Andy Waters

Andy Waters made a triumphant return to Brum by opening Waters on the Square. As his own restaurant Chef’s Dozen closed, Richard Craven found a new home just outside Stratford upon Avon, leading the brigade at the Fuzzy Duck . Also on the move, Alex Claridge left the Warehouse Café and catered for vegetarians at the funky new Bistro 1847 in the Great Western Arcade.

The Village Moseley Birmignham Mail

Bistro 1847 was one of a host of new venues that opened in Birmingham city centre as steak house Anderson’s opened a new place in the country. I think that the residents of Moseley are the luckiest in the eating and drinking stakes, as three good looking new venues opened. The Village, Bohemia Bar and Caféphillia are making Moseley one of the best neighbourhoods in Birmingham to eat and drink.

The Regency Arms Leamington Spa

Not to be outdone, Leamington Spa is catching up with Birmingham as a foodie hotspot too. The Regency Arms showed how good quality food helps make a pub a neighbourhood favourite.

The Larder bundt cake

Being able to do more food and drink shopping locally became attractive, with the new Cheeses in Warwick and Barkers Deli in Warwick, The Larder in Leamington Spa and Squisito deli’s new shop in Rugby.

Warwick Rocks food and film festival Leamington Observer

Two new food festivals shook up the traditional expectations of a food event. Thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council’s Operation Footfall, Warwick launched a new food and film festival. http://www.warwickrocksfestival.co.uk . Under their successful Warwick Rocks branding the town rocked for a week of food markets and drive in movies in August.

Future Foodies Birmingham PostWith another first for Birmingham (or Birmingyum as it is being known) food blogger Ahmed from Dine Birmingham created and launched the inaugural #FutureFoodies. This exciting food and drink fair brought local independent producers together with social media – which will return in June 2014.

All in all a great year!

Thank you so much for reading my blog and following me on twitter, I really appreciate your support. I blog for love (not money) and will continue to keep the site focussed on unearthing those brilliant local independents for you.

As well as the regular reviews, destination guides and essential diary dates I have a few surprises in store for you this year, so keep following for updates!

Welcome back Andy Waters

Chef Andy Waters is back in Birmingham with Waters in The Square which brings him back to the same site of his first restaurant 10 years ago.

Andy Waters Birmingham Post

The restaurant is currently offering a ‘relaxed fine dining’ menus of two courses for £21 or three courses for £27 including, Carpaccio of beef, artichokes, sun blushed tomatoes, black olives, quail’s egg and 20 month aged parmesan.

Waters on the Square beef carpaccio

I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, so here is what the guys at Out in Brum think, you can read Out in Brum ‘s review here.

Andy Waters back in Brum

Andy Waters

Twe-eaters may have spotted the message from chef Andy Waters that he was picking up the keys to his new Birmingham restaurant this week! This is exciting news for his loyal customers and fans, who have followed him from Edmunds in Henley in Arden and Birmingham to The Queens in Belbroughton.

Andy said “When we open Waters on the Square in the Autumn we’ll be offering good classical cooking with a flair, because that’s what we are about. Diners can expect reasonable pricing in a comfortable restaurant. Birmingham has always been in my heart, it’s a great food city, so we’re really excited about opening in Edgbaston’s Chad Square and seeing some familiar faces again.” @chef_andywaters

 

Edmunds

Andy Waters tweeted today that he is no longer Chef Patron of Edmunds.

 

His fine dining restaurant opened in Brindleyplace in 2008 and achieved critical acclaim for the modern British and European dishes, including The Good Food Guide Midlands Restaurant of the Year for 2012.