5 things you must eat at Leamington Food and Drink Festival

Leamington Food and Drink Festival 2017.jpg

Now in its 10th year, the Leamington Food and Drink Festival will have more than 100 exhibitors taking over the Royal Pump Gardens this weekend.

To help you navigate through all the stalls, here are my top five things to eat while you are there.

The Jabberwocky chorizo mozerella crayfish toastie

Local residents Flic & Barney will be serving street food fans gourmet toasties from their big, green Jabberwocky van. We can’t get enough of the classic Tuna Melt. The chorizo, mozzarella, crayfish, pesto and watercress.is pretty good too though.

Sweet As cake jars

Slightly easier to fit into your pocket or bag than one of the a-mazing cakes, head to the Sweet As stall for a cake jar. All that sweet goodness of salted caramel, rocky road and chocolate orange in miniature. Look out for new flavours this year.

Lobster mac n cheese

If it’s a little nippy, then a comforting bowl of unctuous mac n cheese from the Star & Garter’s Mac Shack should warm you right up. Spoil yourself with a choice of lobster, crab, pulled ham or pesto topping.

mushrooms

Stock up on mushrooms and truffles, where Antonio Carluccio himself will be revealing the best way to cook them at the Carluccio’s mushroom pop-up market stall between 11am – 1pm.

Dulci Bella marshmallows

With flavours including hazelnut and butterscotch, caramel and distinctively Darjeeling, the Dulci Bella award-winning marshmallows are a sweet treat not be missed.

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Thursdays in Rugby just got tastier

By working with the retail group 1st Thursdays and Scoff Street Food, I am delighted to announce that Rugby will hold its first evening street food market on Thursday 5 March.

AliveAfter5

Hungry shoppers can tuck into speciality chicken and lamb dishes, feast on gourmet hotdogs, enjoy guilt free vegan snacks , relish gourmet toasties and sink into freshly made waffles piled with sweet treats.

The Hungry Toad burrito

Fans of Tex Mex food should head over to The Hungry Toad for their signature dish. Free range chicken, fried in buttermilk and their secret coating, served with choice of toppings and homemade hot sauce, honey and lemon, seasame seed or blue cheese dressing.

Savanna Grill bunny chow

Savanna Grill specialises in South African street food, and their dishes for the night include the mighty meat feast Bunny chow – a lamb curry served inside a hollowed out loaf of bread and homemade biltong – air-dried beef marinated in coriander and spices.

The Vegan Grind House

Putting a healthy twist on junk food, The Vegan Grindhouse has their own take on the classic American Philly Cheesesteak. Their version is a freshly baked sub roll filled with marinated seitan steak strips, mushrooms, onions and jalapenos, topped with their homemade nacho cheese sauce.

The Jabberwocky scotch egg toastie

After eight months of research, The Jabberwocky is premiering a new gourmet toastie. The Scotch Egg toastie is full of free range egg, covered in cheese and with sausage meat from a local butcher.

Big Daddies Diner

Gourmet hot dog fans will remember ‘The Edna’ from Big Daddies Diner’s previous visit to Rugby Food Festival.  This is an all beef dog in brioche bun served with lashings of homemade beef chili, dressed with cheese and homemade jalepeno relish. Not for the fainthearted!

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Those with a sweet tooth won’t be left out. For dessert The Bournville Waffle Company will be serving Rocky Road waffles with marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chunks with freshly whipped cream and chocolate sauce from their pretty, pastel converted ice cream van.

For the chair of the 1st Thursdays team Simon Ainley, it was an easy decision to locate the street food market on Jubilee Gardens.  He says “Right in the heart of the town centre we have this lovely triangle of grass, trees and benches in which to soak up the delicious tastes and aromas of our street food chefs. It is an underused public space that we are delighted to be able to make the most of for our late night shopping extravaganza.”

From 5 – 8pm visitors can eat alfresco and relax under gazebos in Jubilee Gardens to the soothing sounds of local musicians Ben Watts, Kate and the Moon Cats, Becki and The Dove and The Rattletones.

Appetites will also be sated by shopping for locally produced cheese, pickles and other deli delights inside the Clock Towers and savouring hot dogs and burgers crafted from locally reared pork by the Red Banger outside Rugby Tap.

Rugby’s 1st street food night

I’m counting down the next six weeks until Thursday 5th March when Rugby’s first night time street food market launches!

The Jabberwocky Birmingham Post

Working with the lovely Flic and Barny, from Scoff and The Jabberwocky, we are lining up a tasty array of traders to give the town centre a boost in the evening.

AliveAfter5

This is all part of a new initiative by local retailers to generate fans for the town’s businesses and bring the town alive after 5pm with special promotions and entertainment.  Held on the first Thursday of the month, the town centre will be buzzing with shops and businesses remaining open until 8pm. Shoppers can enjoy some retail therapy, catch up on appointments without taking time off work during the day, or just soak up the party atmosphere as a night out.

Rugby Real Bread scones

There will be plenty of gourmet treats to take home too. A mini artisan market of delicious local produce will be set up in the Clock Towers. A range of stallholders will be selling freshly made bread and pastries, speciality cheese, preserves packed with seasonal fruit and vegetables, exquisite handmade chocolates and flavoursome cooking sauces.

Red Banger

Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing which street food traders and local food businesses are taking part – like The Red Banger from Southam who use pork reared on their farm in the sausages – so keep checking the blog for updates and come along!

Street food spectacular

Roll up roll up for a street food spectacular. I need a little trumpet fanfare for this post.

The majority of our local street food traders took an extended break over January, but the good news is that Eat Street and Digbeth Dining Club are back and a new street food collective is being launched.

Let’s start first with the big news from Flic and Barny at The Jabberwocky.

Scoff

“We have started a street food collective Scoff with some of our fellow outdoor chefs – the Hungry Toad, Spectacular Goat, Big Daddies Diner and Meat Shack.

“There are a fair few people out there who want to support the street food industry, but don’t know where to start. They have an idea for a market, or a piece of land, and don’t know where to go next. Individually all we could do is wait until they sort themselves out, hope that they didn’t go under and keep half an eye on the twitter feed. Now we’re actually in a position to help.” Follow @ScoffingFood for updates.

Eat Street Leamington Spa

Leamington Spa is the hometown for both Flick and Barny plus the street food market Eat Street. Joining the traders for their debut is You Me & A Cup of Tea.  With a passion for whole-leaf tea they will offering a ‘proper’ brew during the market. @umeandacuppatea

You’ll have to a bit a bit longer for the Digbeth Dining Club which returns on Friday 7 February. On the line-up are Meatshack, Esmies Seafood Kitchen, Fat Duck Spuds and Low ‘N’ Slow.

As this is my partner’s favourite (he gets meat sweats just thinking about it) I thought that I’d tell you more about Andy Stubbs.

Low N Slow burger

Andy is a regular at DDC. He specialises in slow-cooking locally sourced ingredients to perfection. He prepares, cures and smokes meats at home before taking them out with his stand, cooking them and serving them al fresco at street food events, markets and shows.

Andy’s signature pulled pork is smoked with oak and hickory and cooked for a mammoth 18 hours before being served with his own homemade coleslaw and BBQ sauce in a brioche bun baked by a fellow Brummie artisan. Andy’s other trademark dish is 12-hour beef brisket chilli with ranch coleslaw. He also makes his own pickles and cures his own hickory bacon.

Due to bad weather forecasted for Sunday, the Flying Flea street food market in Moseley has been postponed, with the next event scheduled for Sunday 23 February. I’ll add details of these traders to the Events page on Monday 3 February.

Flying Flea street food

BBC Good Food Show Summer

Yesterday I was at the opening day of the BBC Good Food Show Summer. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a seasoned visitor, here are my five top tips for making the most of the show.

1. Download the iPhone app

BBC Good Food Show app

The BBC Good Food Show Summer app helps you to plan your day, with the latest theatre timetables, the show floorplan and current exhibitor list, ticket offers plus tips on accommodation and where to eat.

2. Use the Shop & Drop service

BBC Good Food Show deli products

Forget the hassle of pulling a trolley around or carrying bags, as you buy products leave them at the drop off point to collect later.

3. Talk to the producers

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They all have great stories to tell and one of the main reasons for them being at the show is to find out more about their customers. Many producers launch new products at the show, so you can be among the first to try something different.

4. Watch a demonstration

BBC Good Food Show demos

The atmosphere in the theatres is buzzing and you get to see TV chefs in action. This is the biggest consumer food show in the country, where 41 chefs and food personalities appear on seven different stages.

5. Sample food from Midlands Best Street Food Winners

BBC Good Food Show chillies

This is a new feature for 2013. The four winners – The Jabberwocky, Ross & Ross, Squisito and Fresh Rootz are situated between the Good Food Show and Gardener’s World Live opposite the Visitors Entrance to Hall 18. Have a break from the crowds and some fresh air at the outdoor seating area.

Tickets are available for Friday 14th and Sunday 16th June (Saturday is sold out) http://www.bbcgoodfoodshowsummer.com

Best Midlands Street Food Winners

Congratulations to the four winners of the BBC Good Food Show competition for Best Midlands Street Food – Squisito, The Jabberwocky, Fresh Rootz and Ross & Ross Food.

Squisito Tuscan sausages

From Farmers Markets to supper clubs and private events, Squisito share their love for Italian food and seasonal ingredients from Warwickshire all over the Midlands. http://squisito-deli.co.uk

The Jabberwocky Barny and Flic

The Jabberwocky is a green 1986 long wheelbase VW Transporter van, where Barny and Flic create their gourmet toasties. http://www.thejabberwocky.co.uk

Fresh Rootz street food

Martin and Andy from Fresh Rootz, create healthy vegetarian and vegan food to appeal to children and adults alike. http://www.freshrootz.co.uk

Ross and Ross Food

Ross Bearman and Ross Whitmill from the Cotswolds create terrines and potted meats, using great British produce and traditional artisanal methods. http://www.rossandrossfood.co.uk

You can enjoy all of the winners’  tasty snacks at the BBC Good Food Show Summer from 12 – 16 June at the NEC.

ALSO AS A MIDLANDS GOURMET GIRL READER YOU CAN USE THE MGG15 CODE TO RECEIVE 15% OFF BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW SUMMER TICKETS !!https://www.theticketfactory.com/sgfs/online

MIdlands Street Food

When the BBC Good Food Show invited me to take part in a campaign to find the best street food in Midlands, I had no hesitation in saying yes.

The street food revolution started at farmers markets. Stalls selling rare breed sausages next to organic rolls saw the benefit of working together to add value to their products, putting the sausages into rolls and selling them. The good idea spread to vendors who went to festivals and other events in their mobile units and a new food trend was born.

As the growth of pop-ups and supper clubs has shown, you don’t need the confines of a restaurant to enjoy great food. Some of the most innovative food in the Midlands is now being served out of trailers, carts and vintage vans.

The Jabberwocky

If you have eaten a gourmet toastie from The Jabberwocky, a Meat Shack burger of 28 day aged beef, a veggie wrap from Fresh Rootz or chicken fried in Belgian beer batter from Van29, then you will already be a fan.

You can nominate your favourite street food at www.facebook.com/BBCGoodFoodShow or tweet @BBCGoodFoodShow using #MidlandsStreetFood before 16 April.