Liverpool Food and Drink Festival
After months of waiting the Liverpool Food and Drink festival finally arrived, with a two-day launch event at Sefton park, as both a confirmed greedy pig and local resident to the park I felt it was my duty to attend. Sadly I could only make the Saturday, thus I made it my duty to eat multiple breakfasts and lunches before closing time.
Here is a selection of stalls I visited during the day.
First stop was the Franklins Deli stall for breakfast number 1, a sizeable sausage sandwich, which was a good primer for the rest of the days eating. I had a chat to Adam about his role in the festival, as well as running a very busy stall, he was comparing in one of the demo tents and doing a demonstration himself on the Sunday. I got to sample their salt beef and pork belly that where two available fillings in their sandwiches, both were full of rich meaty flavour, the salt beef being a particular highlight.
After a brief wander round, I felt the hobbit like urge for a second breakfast, and something lighter and more delicate was required. I strolled over to the London Carriage Works stall and found, not only a great selection of food but also a cheery looking Paul Askew. I took this opportunity for some great seafood and also a quick chat. I turned down the fresh oysters, they did look excellent, but they didn’t appeal to me as an ideal snack at 11am, I chose the potted shrimp and smoked salmon. The salmon was nice and the shrimp was excellent, a really delicate flavour with fragrant lemon and perfect seasoning, probably the highlight of the day for me.
Talking to Paul, it was clear to see he was an enthusiastic chef but also a practical business man, we discussed the potential for a Michelin star and how he “needs to balance difficult market conditions with what he wants to achieve” and I was pleased to hear that a star was still “a very real aim for the restaurant”.
As well as stalls run by local cafes/delis/restaurants there were also demo tents, of which I got to catch a talk by Peter Kinsella of Lunya, all about spanish ham. I found this really interesting and it resulted in my buying over ten pounds worth of Iberico ham for my diner that evening. I say diner, it was me sitting alone in a room with a plate of ham and a bottle of Oloroso sherry, but it was as close to a meal as I got that evening.
The second demo I saw was about bread making, it was OK but I thought it was a little basic, however I do hope it inspires more people to bake their own.
Next up on my merry-go-round of food was Almond restaurant, Kenny the head chef describes it as a great local restaurant that offers simple food cooked from fresh ingredients. He was a very friendly guy, who really loves what he does, he didn’t offer fancy show boat food, but his cheese cakes looked great and the deep-fried king prawns has lovely light delicate batter and were perfectly seasoned. Almond is now near the top of my list of restaurants to try .
The Malmaison team had clearly decided that they didn’t want to attend an outdoor festival and thus built themselves the nearest thing possible to a complete bar in the middle of a field. It even managed to maintain dim mood lighting in the middle of the day and I have to say, a glass of champagne in the afternoon did not go amiss. The Mal burger on offer also looked great but I had to decline, as by this point I was really struggling to fit anything in.
Along the way I also had a fantastic sweet Italian Doughnut from The Italian Club stall, it was excellent and I actually went back and got a second.
I also has a quick chat to Steven Burgess of Rhubarb and Custard Catering, I had a great minted pea tartlet and I’m assured that on the Sunday his braised shin beef was the best dish available in the whole festival.
This isn’t all the stalls I visited, but really I couldn’t write about them all, it was nice to see most of the restaurants established destinations there. However there was a strange mix with stands like Warburtons the purveyors of terrible bread standing alongside great local businesses. One bad note was a friend of mine got quite serious food poisoning, that she insists was from the 60 Hope Street scallops. Over all I had a really nice day, the atmosphere was very friendly and despite slightly poor weather I think everyone there had a great time, I know I did.
- A Chat with Adam Franklin (liverpoolrestaurants.wordpress.com)
- The Hub Alehouse and Kitchen Liverpool (liverpoolrestaurants.wordpress.com)