South Liverpool was swarming with 40,000 foodies last weekend, as visitors flocked to Sefton Park for the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival.
Now in its sixth year, the festival saw demos from TV chefs including Gizzi Erskine, Levi Roots and Shelina Permaloo served up alongside the finest fayre from more than 160 local restaurants.
One of the biggest draws for festival goers was the ‘What’s Buggin’ tent, where in a show led by Stefan Gates the public could learn more about the practice of ‘entomophagy’, or eating insects, including trying out smoky bacon flavoured mealworms.
For those with weaker stomachs, other attractions included a dedicated Spirit and Wine zone including cocktail-making competitions between mixologists from some of the city’s top bars, a champagne bar, the Heavenly Chocolate Garden and live music from local talent John O’Connell, Reckless Elbow and the Mersey Belles. There was also a pop-up restaurant from Pickled Walnut, and a Junior Chef’s Academy where budding young foodies could show off their skills.
And while the city’s waistlines may still be recovering from the launch weekend, the fun isn’t over yet, as festivities are set to continue for the rest of the week (7th – 15th September) with a programme of food and drink events at bars, cafes, restaurants and arts venues across the city, including a wine tasting event in Sefton Park Palm House on the Wednesday evening.
The festival will also hold its annual Food and Drink awards at Liverpool College on the 17th September. Designed to recognise hospitality in the local hospitality industry, new categories for this year include Young Chef of the Year, Best Front of House, and Outstanding Champion and Pioneer to the Liverpool Food and Drink Scene.
Discussing the success of this year’s festival, Denise Harris, Event Director of Liverpool Food & Drink Festival, said: “Our team puts in a great deal of hard work to ensure that we get exactly the right mix of celebrity chefs, entertainment and themed areas for the festival and it’s great to see it all pay off and people enjoying it so much.
“It may have been raining this year, but it certainly didn’t stop play. Everyone just pulled up their hoods and carried on having fun.
“We love giving the people of Liverpool and beyond full bellies and a good day out with this great event, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s festival.”
Gizzi Erskine, one of the celebrity chefs at the festival, commented: “I loved the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival. The atmosphere was great and it was much slicker than many similar London events. It was fantastic!”
For the latest news and developments on next year’s the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival, visit www.liverpoolfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk or follow @livfooddrink on Twitter.