Crowds flocked to Northgate in October for the first two-day Bradford Food and Drink Festival. The event took over the surrounding streets, showcasing the best of local produce and the sights, sounds, stalls and smells made for a really vibrant experience focussing on food, drink and sustainability.

A joint initiative between local businesses, the Oastler Market and Jamie’s Ministry of Food, the streets were busy with people enjoying food, face-painting, street performers, musicians and cookery demonstrations, plus a craft ale and cider bar.


The Festival ended in the Curry Tent, with live cookery demonstrations including Sandra Docherty from this year’s Great British Bake Off, Coronation Street actor-turned-cheese-maker Sean Wilson, and Gennaro Contaldo from the BBC’s Two Greedy Italians.

Sue and Nina from A J Pickup and Son butchers’ Oastler Market stall were handing out samples of pulled pork, which proved popular, “Because it’s easy to cook. The longer you cook it the more it falls apart. If you do it overnight your house smells lovely when you get up in the morning!”

Charlie was with Plenty Preserves and local organisation Grow Bradford, “We go to the wholesale market every week and collect surplus produce and we experiment. We’ve got a range of fruit and vegetables preserves, chilli jams and autumn ice-lollies! It’s a healthier alternative and helping to reduce food waste.”

Karen Hunt had come from Doncaster with the Homemade Cookies And Candies stall. “We do a rocky road muffin,” she told me, admitting she was tempted herself. “It’s a giant chocolate muffin drizzled in Belgian chocolate, covered in marshmallows, and then with various toppings.”

[column size=4/5]The Bradford Food and Drink Festival was a great way to showcase local businesses. Sue and Nina of Pickup’s said, “Meat in the local butchers never comes further than from the Dales. I think people should support their local stores. Besides which it tastes better. It’s not been flown thousands of miles, and you get a service – it’s not self-serve!”[/column]



It wasn’t just about the businesses though. Diana from Suffolk was very taken by the event. “It’s been really good. I’m quite surprised by the amount of stalls. We’ve had something to eat, bought some food to take away, and lots of buns!” The Bradford Food and Drink Festival was a great way to spend two days, mixing up food with demonstrations and a positive family atmosphere.

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