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Slow Food at Bristol Food Connections 2014

Slow Food at Bristol Food Connections 2014
Slow Food at Bristol Food Connections 2014
Slow Food at Bristol Food Connections 2014
Slow Food at Bristol Food Connections 2014
Slow Food at Bristol Food Connections 2014


A bank holiday weekend of sunshine, two beautiful marquees placed in the College Green at the heart of Bristol, and thousands of eager members of the public on the hunt for delicious and unique foods. Our attendance at the inaugural Bristol Food Connections Festival was a great opportunity for Slow Food UK in partnership with Slow Food International, organising a Slow Food Market featuring 20 of our Forgotten Foods Producers and Slow Food UK Supporters.

There was a fantastic atmosphere of cordiality and unity inside the Slow Food Market, with so many of our producers brought together in one place for the first time on such a national scale. The producers present included Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Mara Seaweed, Keen’s Cheddar, The Lost Farm, Baxter’s Potted Shrimps, Native Breeds, Doves Farm, The Pedigree Welsh Pig Society, Quickes Traditional, Chicco di Caffe, The Chough Bakery, Sillfield Farm, Fincalink Olive Oil, Ginger Bakers, Caws Cenarth, Westcombe Dairy, Orzo Coffee and Montgomery’s Cheddar. Over 23 of our Forgotten Foods / UK Ark of Taste products made an appearance in the Market, including displays of Kentish Cobnuts, Shetland Black Potatoes, Native Shetland Lamb, Beremeal and Loch Fyne Oysters. Brendan and Jackie Walker of Chicco di Caffe said the event “could not have been more successful,” and that “working alongside such amazing producers as well as all the people from Slow Food UK and International was a delight and a privilege.” Sunday was undoubtedly the busiest day, leaving some producers short of stock and hurriedly dispatching staff to fetch more supplies to satiate the hungry crowds.

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In the neighbouring marquee our Italian colleagues of Slow Food International, who had flown over from Bra, hosted a fabulous Pop-Up Pizzeria run by some of Italy’s most renowned and passionate pizza chefs. Experimenting with traditional recipes, they concocted unique pizzas especially for the weekend, featuring a range of Slow Food UK’s Forgotten Foods / Ark of Taste products as pizza toppings. Sponsors Molino Quaglia kindly provided the flour for pizza bases, and fresh authentic Italian pizza was served up with delicious artisan beers provided by Cornwall’s Rebel Brewing Company. Judging by the size of the crowds filling the tent each day, this was a winning combination. The pizzeria chefs also ran workshops to educate us Brits that there’s far more to pizza than merely the standard Pizza Napoletana, and delivered a crash course in pizza history and production methods.

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We were joined by several special guests over the course of the weekend, including the prominent chef Giorgio Locatelli who is a member of our Chef Alliance. He was joined by one of our great supporters, Dan Saladino, alongside Sheila Dillon, both from The Food Programme on BBC Radio Four. We were delighted to be joined by UK representatives of Slow Food’s international campaigns such as Caroline Bennett, owner of the Moshi Moshi sushi restaurants and long-time campaigner for Slow Fish, and Gerry Danby, who fronts the Raw Milk campaign. We are very grateful to the volunteers who helped us run the Slow Food stall, especially Richard Briggs who came all the way from the Shetland Islands to represent the Scottish Ark of Taste exhibition.

Hosted by the Sustainable Food Trust in association with Slow Food and FoodCycle Bristol, the Eat-In! event brought over one hundred people together for a shared feast on the College Green, utilising foraged foods and donations from our Forgotten Foods producers as well as the general public. Music included a spontaneous performance from some of our Italian pizza chefs who flaunted their hidden talents, and George Keen of Keen’s Cheddar, George Steriopolus of the Lost Farm, and Lisa Smith of Ginger Bakers also gave the guests intriguing accounts of the story behind their unique businesses. You can watch a video of this event created by the Sustainable Food Trust here.

This was an exhausting and exhilarating weekend for us all, giving us a fantastic chance to spread the Slow Food message and to enjoy the pleasures of small-scale artisan foods among like-minded food lovers in a beautiful city. Thank you Bristol for welcoming us!

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