As we enter into June I just wanted to remind you all that there are just over 2 weeks left to go before the industry's most current, relevant, thought provoking (and fun) food event of the year kicks off on the beautiful Bottom Farm in Northamptonshire, home of Farrington Oils and the delicious Mellow Yellow cold pressed rapeseed oil.
Now in it's eighth year the UCFF #Glastonburyforchefs has always focused on the hot topics affecting our industry along with current trends, issues and education in a fun, relaxed outdoor environment. This year is no exception and we have some amazing chefs, industry experts, thought leaders and producers taking to our 2 stages to share their knowledge, passion, skill and opinion. On the main stage, hosted by our own UCFF stalwart, broadcaster extraordinaire Nigel Barden, we will have Pervin Todiwalla, Anjula Devi, Anne Harnan and Miranda Godfrey discussing the role of working mums in todays professional kitchens and the challenges they face balancing bringing up the kids and managing a career.
Also on the main stage we will be tackling the issue of the moment and discussing the use of single use plastics and sustainability in the foodservice industry with Neil Nugent from Iceland presenting a retail view, Cath Sutherland from Greenpeace, Blair Hammond from Silo restaurant in Brighton and Kath Austin, founder of Bee Bee Wraps. All will bring their view on how we can make our own positive impact on the environment from our kitchens and restaurants and there's bound to be some conflicting views and opinions as ever with our panel debates.
Tommy Heaney of GBM fame, Paul Foster from Michelin starred Salt in Startford-on-Avon, Sean Canon of Canon and Canon (champions of British charcuterie), Philip Martin founder of Blanco Nino and the inspirational Catherine Salway and Andrea Waters from vegan restaurant group Redemption Bars will all be discussing how to crowd fund your dream venture (or not!), the pitfalls, the highs and lows and how you go about it in our 'Standing out from the crowd' session. So not to be missed if you are thinking about going it alone and getting funded to do it.
Having managed to avoid the topic of Brexit for the last 3 years we felt it was time to tackle it head on and explore how a 'deal or no deal' will potentially impact our industry. From field to fork, from supply chain to kitchen and service, we will have experts from the world of recruitment, farming and fisheries and The National Farmers Union explaining what it might mean to you and your customers. Plus Kuba Winkowski, The Craft Guild of Chefs 2019 National Chef of the Year winner, and Polish expatriate will be sharing his view on what it means to him personally.
As ever we will be celebrating the regions local food and drink heroes with local lad and Michelin starred chef Adam Gray, buffalo and crocodile farmer Andy Johnson, our superb host and rapeseed oil farmer Duncan Farrington, Silverstone head chef Dean Hoddle, and Tom Warner, co-founder of the hugely successful Warner Edwards distillery.
Some of the countries best exponents of cooking with local, seasonal, natural and wild foods will be rattling the pans in the 'From the Land' session and we are delighted to have our great UCFF friend and long term supporter Colin Wheeler-James being joined on the main stage Kitchen by Ruth Hansom from Pomonas restaurant and former winner of BBC 2's Million Pound Menu, Imogen Davies and Ivan Tisdall-Downes from the incredible Native Restaurant and Tom Harfleet and Luke Pearson from plant based, gin alternative pioneers Seedlip.
If you head over to The Game Stage sponsored by BASC (The British Association for Shooting and Conservation) hosted by our own irrepresible Rob Kirby you will uncover a wealth of knowledge specifically around Game, wild food and one of the countries most natural and sustainable food sources. An incredible line up of chef talent including Jose Souto, Rupert Rowley, Ralph Skripek, Leon Davies, Rich Summers and Darron Smith will cover the native species and the best ways to prepare and cook them.
Once you've been inspired by the Game Stage you can head out and try your hand at shooting a shotgun for yourself with our clay pigeon set up. Under guidance of our expert shots this is a great opportunity to get some tuition and tips to hit the bird every time!
If you're feeling energetic and up for a walk then we will have expert foragers on hand to take you on a voyage of discovery around the farm to uncover some of natures seasonal bounty where you can un-earth first hand truly wild, free food.
In the farmers market you will meet some fantastic suppliers from artisan producers to cutting edge kitchen equipment manufacturers so if you're a supplier it's a great place to do business and if you're a chef or buyer it's a great place to see what's happening in the world of food and drink.
Throughout the day you will be fed and watered by Alan Paton and his team all rounded off in the evening with a band, barbecue and free beer!
So if you haven't booked already get over to the website and get in on the most unique industry event in the country. You'd be mad to miss it https://www.cookeryandfoodfestival.co.uk/visitus
See you there?