Saturday, 28 June 2014

Foodies Festival 2014

Foodies Festival brings MasterChef winners, top producers and award winning street food to Inverleith Park

Foodies Festival – Inverleith Park, Edinburgh – Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August 2014

Foodies Festival, the UK’s largest celebration of food & drink returns to Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park on the 8th, 9th and 10th August for a weekend celebration of Scotland’s finest produce, international street food, and culinary masters.

Having started as a small event in Edinburgh eight years ago, the festival has now grown into Scotland’s food and drink event of the Summer, transforming Inverleith Park into a foodie paradise with over 200 artisan producers, pop-up restaurants, premium brands and the chance to watch your favorite chefs cooking live. 

Festival Director Sue Hitchen said… “Edinburgh is where it all started for Foodies Festival, so it’s a very special event for me and our team. This year we are delighted to be the official partner of the MasterChef Dining Bus, which offers our visitors a unique onboard dining experience with the contestants and winners from the series cooking onboard and serving visitors top-notch dishes from the purpose built kitchen. “

Top chefs joining the festival this summer include MasterChef the Professionals runners-up Adam Handling and Scott Davies, Great British Menu’s Jacqueline O’Donnell of The Sisters, Mark Greenaway of Bistro Moderne, TV Chef Tony Singh, The Pompadour by Galvin Head Chef Craig Sandle, CafĂ© St Honore’s Neil Forbes and Glasgow’s The Three Sisters bakers Gillan, Nichola and Linsey, all of whom will cook their signature dishes live in the Chefs’ Theatre while explaining how home cooks can prepare the same dishes for friends and family.

 MasterChef's Adam Handling said… “I am delighted to be a part of the Foodies Festival in Edinburgh, I always love it when I can meet other foodies and share my love of cooking with them, and if I can help to inspire and encourage people in their kitchens, then that for me is an honour. Coming back to Scotland is always special for me, it was the where I undertook my first apprenticeship when I was 16, where I gained my first two AA rosettes at Fairmont St Andrews, and where I was awarded ’Scottish Young Chef of the Year 2011’. Being a part of the Edinburgh Foodies Festival will add to the many special memories that I have here.

Exciting new features for 2014 include a spectacular Chocolate, Bake and Preserves Theatre, which will host top pastry chefs, chocolatiers, bakers and sugarcraft experts. This is complemented by the new Chocolate, Baking and Preserves Village, for those with a sweet tooth and who enjoy home baking, with a selection of stalls selling baking essentials and the latest gadgets. 

A brand new outdoor BBQ Arena will appeal to lovers of al fresco dining. The purpose built BBQ stage will feature hourly BBQ cooking demonstrations and invite the audience to take part in BBQ challenges; meat-eating competitions and they can even learn how to make a ‘BBQ cake’!

A new Chilli Market spices things up with a range of chilli-growers and artisan producers of sauces, sweets and jams. For those who can handle the heat a Chilli Eating Challenge takes place at 5pm daily.

A new Feasting Tent at the heart of the festival becomes a social hub, where visitors can relax and enjoy their purchases in the company of chefs, friends and family at long banqueting tables.

Another exciting addition this year is the Vintage Tea Tent that will hold daily tea dances, alongside a Vintage Kitchen Market allowing visitors to pick up beautiful pieces to add to their own kitchens at home.

Returning features this year include the popular Drinks Theatre, where regular masterclasses and demonstrations allow visitors the chance to taste and learn about wine, champagne, sherry, ales and spirits with experts including TV’s Charles Metcalfe, beer expert Melissa Cole and champagne expert Neil Phillips. There is also a daily cocktail making competition to find the best cocktail in Edinburgh, judged by an audience of Foodies visitors.

Foodies Festivals are recognised for their focus on street food with the introduction of the Street Food Avenue in 2012. This year visitors can enjoy a huge selection of award winning hot and cold food from around the world including hog roasts, Vietnamese buns, exotic meats, tapas, churros, burritos, Moroccan tagines, South American prime beef, Jamaican and Thai street food.

There is plenty for little foodies to do as well with the Children’s Cookery Theatre hosting “Around the World” themed cookery classes. These workshops will help children find their taste buds and teach them basic cooking skills.

The entertainment stage features live music acts and fringe performers throughout the day until 7pm.

Ticket Information

2014 Foodies Festivals tickets are now available from or by calling 0844 995 1111.

1-day adult ticket for Friday £10.00
1-day adult ticket Saturday or Sunday £12.00 (£10.00 concession)
3-day adult ticket £18.00 (£15.00 concession) 1-day VIP ticket £38.00 (Friday VIP ticket £35)

Opening times: 10am until 6pm.

VIP tickets include a glass of Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine on arrival, access to the VIP tent throughout the day, a goody bag and priority entry to theatre and masterclass sessions as well as a private bar with refreshments throughout the day and great views of the entertainment stage.

All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Anniversary lunch at Clerks Bar

To celebrate our third wedding anniversary, hubby and I managed to squeeze in a rare child-free lunch. Hubby was working so we headed to nearby Clerks Bar on South Clerk Street and had a surprisingly lovely lunch! I say 'surprisingly' not because I didn't expect it to be good, but because of the extra mile the bar manager went to ensure we had a nice time.

We sat in one of the booths by the window and straight away I was intrigued by the row of sauces on our table. 

The manager came over to explain the menu. The kitchen smokes their own ribs, chicken and meats "low and slow" for a minimum of 12 hours. The menu is simple in that it knows what it does well and sticks to it. 

The pulled pork burrito took my fancy and it was delicious. I smothered it in hot sauce and it was messy but so good! I washed it down, not with one of their craft beers, but with a glass of prosecco!! 

We also had some sweet potato chips, a side of mac n cheese (which I'm delighted seems to feature on many menus now!) and a salad to make ourselves feel better.

I was so touched when I was given the cork from the bottle of prosecco, and wished a happy anniversary with a complimentary drink. (Thank you).

Not one to shy away from pudding I managed a wee slice of pecan pie, served warm with ice cream.

We had such a lovely time! I love my daughter very very much but I have to admit it was nice to have my hubby to myself for just one afternoon...shhh don't tell her I said that...! 

For a tasty lunch at a very reasonable price, I'd highly recommend Clerks Bar. 

Clerks Bar
74-78 South Clerk Street

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Girlie catch up at Chop Chop in Leith

Last Friday, my oldest friend Debbie and I met for a long overdue catch up, over dinner at Chop Chop in Leith. The sun was shining and tables outside the Quayside restaurants were packed with people enjoying their well-deserved Friday night after work drinks. I felt like I was on holiday! (In my excitement at being out on a Friday night I forgot to take a photo of the exterior so this photo is courtesy of Crimson Edge PR - thanks!)

We were seated right by the window so we could enjoy the view and the beautiful sun set. 

After our initial catch up we finally got round to looking at the extensive menu. We decided we'd share everything so set about choosing which dishes to order, which was no easy task. We were assured by our friendly waiter that we had ordered quite a lot, but not too much if we were hungry...!

Here's what we went for:

Beef and chilli Dumplings (fried) and what looks like a huge glass of wine!

Vegetable Spring Rolls

King Prawns with Spinach 

Crispy Northern Chicken

Bean sprouts with coriander and spring onion

And some egg fried rice, naturally.

Having visited the Morrison Street restaurant too, my personal preference is the Leith restaurant. But that's just my opinion! I found it slightly more formal.

The food was absolutely fantastic. Everything was so tasty with beautiful fresh, light flavours. I loved the Crispy Northern Chicken - it was sweet and crispy (as opposed to soggy, I'm not just pointing out the obvious!). 

The prawns are also worth a mention. The dish contained loads of huge succulent prawns - a very generous portion size. So often, I find, when you order a prawn dish you get just a few prawns but not at Chop Chop! 

We sat there until after 10pm and weren't rushed at all, other than to be politely told if we wanted more food the kitchen was closing. I think it's safe to say we'd had enough food by then! 

We ordered some Chinese tea to finish then made our merry way home - sufficiently caught up on the gossip and full of delicious food. 

If you're looking for great quality Chinese food in Edinburgh - look no further. The banquets look amazing also.

Chop Chop
76 Commercial Street
Commercial Quay