EVENT: Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Food Festival, Spring Harvest, 20 May-1 June plus Easter Weekender, 1-6 April 2015


I can't believe it's that time again with the Spring edition of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Food Festival. I keep saying it but boy, oh, boy, this festival has evolved from a few stalls and events to a gourmet onslaught of dinners, events, quizzes, markets, supperclubs and pop-ups.

Not just for the food geeks, the festival is inclusive for all tastes and budgets, with many of the events still free to attend. The festival used to be something I would attend mainly on my own a few years back. Now my friends contact ME with long lists of things they want to go to together.

Luckily the shops are teeming with trousers with an elasticated waistbands this season, because this spring you are going to need them. As always here are my favourite events that I've picked as the unmissable gems. However, it's now almost impossible for me to give you a concise list as there is so much going on with lots of micro drink and children's food festival off-shoots too. For the full line up visit www.brightonfoodfestival.com.

Do book early for the events as some are really popular and tickets get snapped up quickly. 

Sussex Food and Drink Routemaster Tours
For full information and tickets for the individual tours visit: www.brightonfoodfestival.com.
Standard tours are £75pp and the Michelin-star tour for £150pp

I've featured a couple of the fabulous Sussex food and drink Routemaster tours on the blog now. Available still are the classic Wine tours (21 March, 23 May) which visit some of the best Sussex vineyards with a buffet and the gourmet tours (18 April) for behind the scenes visits to local producers plus a great lunch and other goodies. New on the list are Sussex Beer, Cider and Wine tours (27 June) and a very special Michelin-star Sussex Gourmet Bus Tour (25 July) with a lunch at The Pass restaurant at South Lodge.

To see what you can expect visit my posts at:
http://www.thegraphicfoodie.co.uk/2014/08/brighton-gourment-bus-tour-vinyard.html
http://www.thegraphicfoodie.co.uk/2011/04/sussex-goumet-bus-tour.html


Wednesday 1 April
Chateau Musar Wine DinnerThe Restaurant at Drakes, 43-44 Marine Parade, Brighton
7.30pm, £85 in advance
Tickets from Drakes on 01273 696 934 or via link at www.brightonfoodfestival.com
I'm a big fan of Drakes’ head chef, Andrew MacKenzie. Here he prepares an exquisite menu to match fine wines from the distinguished Lebanese winery of Chateau Musar. French in origin, the Hochar family has been making wine in Bekaa Valey since 1930s and achieved international fame and acclaim. Should be an interesting evening.


Thursday 2 April
Make Your Case: Extreme! (supporting Rockinghorse Children’s Charity)Hotel du Vin, Ship Street, Brighton
7pm, £35 in advance
Tickets from www.brightonfoodfestival.com
Personally, I already thought this event was extreme! Always good fun and without a wine bore in sight, presenters have three minutes to pitch a wine to you the judging audience whilst you taste it blind. The only difference is that they’ve all been challenged to present something that is absolutely out-of-the-ordinary. Its fast, its furious, and its a wine tasting unlike you’ve ever experienced before. Tickets include all your wines, sharing platters of food and cheese.


Good Friday 3 - Easter Saturday 4 April
Big Sussex Market
New Road, Brighton
10am - 5pm both days, FREE ENTRY
The big one. Producers, restaurateurs and farmers from across the county showcase food and drink at Brighton’s biggest street market of the year.


Thursday 30 April
Ridgeview Wine Dinner
Jeremy’s Restaurant, Borde Hill, Haywards Heath
7.30pm for 8pm, £70 in advance
Tickets from Jeremy’s on 01444 441 102 or www.jeremysrestaurant.co.uk

I must say I was VERY impressed with my recent visit to Jeremy's, so I would put money on this dinner being an absolute corker. Plus, Ridgeview wines!! Love them. You will be served a tasting menu created by chefs Jeremy Ashpool and Jimmy Gray, perfectly matched with award-winning English sparkling wines from Sussex’s Ridgeview Wine Estate, presented by Tom Surgey and Mardi Roberts. 


Friday 22 May
Cantina’s Taste of Guernsey Supperclub
Central Hove location
7pm, £40 in advance
Tickets from https://cantinabrighton.wordpress.com/

The crown for Brighton’s supper club queen, sits firmly on top of Tina Horvath's head. Here she cooks up a special evening showcasing the stunning produce of the Channel Island of Guersnsey, including organic pork from farmer and butcher Jason Hamon, Torteval cheese, Fresh Guernsey Herbs and the dairy produce that the island is rightly renowned for. Hosted in Tina’s own cosy living room, her supper clubs always sell out so book early!


Sunday 24 May
Food Lab
64 Degrees, Meeting House Lane, Brighton
2-5pm, £70 in advance
Tickets from www.brightonfoodfestival.com

This was the hottest ticket of the last festival and I am still sad I was away and missed out big time. The second outing of Food Lab sees seven top chefs matched randomly with seven Sussex producers, and challenged to come up with a unique dish or product. Participants including Michael Bremner (64 Degrees), Matt Gillan (The Pass), Seb Cole (Boho Gelato), Jimmy Gray (Jeremy’s Restaurant), Matty Bowling (Terre à Terre), Alun Sperring (The Chilli Pickle), Andrew MacKenzie (the restaurant at drakes), Mardi Roberts (Ridgeview Wine Estate), Sarah Thompson (Blackdown Sussex Spirits), Tom Stephens (Wobblegate Cider), David Deaves (La Cave à Fromage), Kier Foster (Brighton & Newhaven Fish Sales), Michaelmas Blackman (Blackman Bee Farm) and Niki Deighton (KingBeer). 


Tuesday 26 May
The Three Chefs go to the movies
Curry Leaf Café, Ship Street, Brighton
7.30pm, £42 in advance
Tickets from www.brightonfoodfestival.com

The Three Chefs suppers are a brilliant way of being cooked for by some of Brighton's bests chefs, without leaving your seat. This time, they are moving venues to the Curry Leaf Café with three talented chefs who are currently really shaking up the food scene of the city and surrounding Sussex: Kanthi Kiram Thamma (Curry Leaf Café), Jimmy Gray (Jeremy’s Restaurant) and Semone Bonner (The Set Restaurant). Each of the chefs have chosen their favourite movie scene and will be creating a dish inspired by the action. I can't get my head around it (especially if someone has chosen Alien) but i be it will be a great night. 


Friday 29 May - Sunday 31 May
Waste not want not
sponsored by YELO Architects
supporting FareShare Brighton & Hove
Festival marquees on Hove Lawns
11am - 4pm, FREE ENTRY

This is totally different for the festival this year. The team at Yelo Architects will be building an interactive ‘house’, made purely from everyday domestic and commercial food packaging that otherwise ends up in the bin. Not only that, the Yelo team will also be creating unique furniture (which you can buy on the day) using bamboo chopsticks from Moshimo and plastic ice cream spoons from Boho Gelato.