Birmingham Food Festival

Anyone living in or around Birmingham will probably have heard about the Birmingham Food Festival kicking off today. So as any good foodie would, I popped along to see what was going on!

The ‘Hidden Gems’ launch event based in Victoria Square featured stalls selling food from some home-grown talent, from the famed Balti chefs of Brum, to Chinese delicacies and modern takes on Dim Sum from the Chung Ying Garden, to the Kitchen Garden Cafe selling herbs and organics all grown in our very own concrete jungle.

I sampled some Satay chicken from Sabai Sabai, which was nice, but not the best I’ve had. The churros and chocolate sauce were good, but then how can you go wrong with fried doughnut sticks and chocolate?

The piece de resistance for me was the Jerk Chicken from the chefs with The Drum. Caribbean hospitality with a massive breast of juicy, perfectly spiced jerk chicken, home-made barbecue sauceand fluffy white rice. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Sadly there weren’t half as many free sampling opportunities as I’ve had liked (but then I’m a Camden Market girl and they’re always giving you stuff for free!) however I did get to taste some of the Chung Ying Garden’s cute Dim Sum. I had a locust bean and pastry treat shaped like a carrot with parsley for leaves. It tasted a bit like peanut butter, but it was very pretty! And the demonstration cooking prawn and chive dumplings looked and smelled delicious. I may well have to stop by to try the rest of the menu.

The food festival is on for another 9 days with most of the events happening in restaurants, with cocktail masterclasses, wine tastings and even a special Balti created for the food fest by Imran’s restaurant on Ladypool Road. Edible Eastside are launching their first edible garden on Friday 21st with a celebratory art installation, and they’re also hosting foraging tours along the canals which look fun.

The thing that’s really caught my eye though is the Chilli Festival in Brindleyplace next weekend. I love my spicy food, and I like a challenge, but I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to enter the chilli eating contest! I may be persuaded to partake in some cocktails and Thai food though.

There’s also a Big Brum Cookbook available to buy while the food fest is on and at Frankfurt Christmas Market (just typing those words gets me excited already!) which features some of Birmingham’s best recipes.

And lastly, while I was out and about, I got interviewed by brmb who wanted to know my thoughts on the food fest and the food scene in Birmingham, so I’ll be sure to post the video when I get my hands on it!

For now I’m going to go and enjoy the rest of my jerk chicken. Happy eating!

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