Prepare for a 19-day celebration of indie culinary culture from May 10-28
SPRING is definitely on the way - not just the thaw and the snowdrops popping their little heads up, but the fact tickets for Leeds Indie Food (10-28 May) are now on sale: promising nineteen days of championing independents across the city in what looks to be the best event yet.
It’s confirmation of last year’s Lonely Planet declaration that Leeds is the fifth best destination to visit in Europe, and the festival a ‘testament to Leeds’ growing reputation as the food and drink capital of the North’.
Funded by Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) and Leeds City Council, LIF is the key showcase of Leeds’ ever-growing indie food community. What's more, £1 from every Festival Passport sold is donated to Action Against Hunger; a charity that works with restaurants nationally to fight child malnutrition in over 49 countries.
The Festival Passport scheme returns with a new purpose for 2018. Alongside priority access to events, discounts on tickets and special discounts at participating independent businesses, passport holders will also be able to access exclusive free events. Tickets will be released on a first-come, first-served basis in the festival's first week and will feature food-related learning experiences.
As before, holders will be able to collect individual stamps at participating independent businesses across the city, as well as some festival events, and prizes will be awarded to those with the highest number of stamps or the most varied collection.
There will also be special pages dedicated to collecting stamps for collaboration menus and those who collect four or more will receive free festival merchandise – from tote bags to festival t-shirts and pin badges. Passports are priced at £11, with £1 from each sold donated to Action Against Hunger.
The 2018 programme of events will be spread across three festival strands: Eat, Drink and Do.
The first events to be announced go on sale at 5pm on Monday, March 5, at leedsindiefood.co.uk and include: a scotch egg collaboration menu at Leeds' oldest pub, Whitelock’s Ale House, with the likes of Bundobust and Ox Club; an interactive chef’s table event at social enterprise, Leeds Cookery School; a dine-along experience of the ultimate foodie movie Chef; a pizza and prosecco festival at canalside Water Lane Boathouse; and a dining experience with Parm Star, dedicated to celebrating parmos and parmas.
Other events include a chocolate-making class with Tyto Leodis; a pizza collaboration menu at Tapped Brew Co; a tasting wine dinner curated by Chris Hill from Latitude Wine and the head chef at Laynes Espresso; a creative talk with local independent food vendors, curated by Glug Leeds; the fourth Brewers Market Beer Festival at Canal Mills; and an array of street food events, including, School Diner, Eat North and Belgrave Feast.
This year’s festival will also focus on the importance of sustainability, with several indies committing to mission statements like working towards zero waste policies and helping Leeds apply for the sustainable city badge. As leaders of change, they want Leeds to inspire other communities to come together and work collectively to tackle environmental problems on a citywide scale.
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID, said: "Leeds Indie Food festival gets bigger and better each year, reflecting the innovation and ambition of the event but also the amazing, ever-increasing wealth of food and drink which is available in the city, with independent businesses providing a key ingredient in that culinary offer."