Spoilt for choice at MK Food Fest
September 19, 2016
Foodies in Milton Keynes are spoilt for choice these days when it comes to food events in and around the city. And the latest on the calendar has beautiful surroundings going for it as well as a fine range of vendors.
The first MK Food Fest was held at Linford Manor Park on Saturday and, never passing up an opportunity to fill our faces, TG and I went to investigate.
It took a little while to find the event and a place to park (signage needs improvement) but the mouthwatering smells showed the way to go. Among the stalls were the regulars (Virtual Orchard, Indian Orchard, Concrete Cow Brewery, Jam Moo Kow and The Chocolate Mill MK) as well as some I had not seen before. There was no shortage of things to eat with hot food ranging from cheese toasties (Good Times Cafe) to Mexican (Baja Cantina).
Among the delights I sampled was cheese steak toastie from Good Times (hit the spot on a Saturday morning), a cinnamon swirl from Geoff's Real Artisan Bread (a gorgeous sticky bun with lots of warming cinnamon and icing - and massive for £1.50) and Moroccan pulled lamb from Urban Grilla. The latter also furnished me with a sample of its lamb kofta with beetroot and feta. Now, I'm not a beetroot fan, but the kofta was very tasty with the beetroot adding a sweet note. It's on my list for next time - put it on yours. TG took a great interest in the beers on offer, sampling fare from Concrete Cow and Hornes Brewery.
A tent was set up in the middle with hay bales providing rustic seating so people could watch demonstrations. Head chef at The Crooked Billet, in Newton Longville, Jack Behjet, showed off his skills in front of an appreciative crowd, while other demonstrators included Turan Turan from Coldsmoking Cookery School.
The food festival also had a serious note with the presence of the MK Food Bank, which has been helping people in crisis in the city for some time now, and Growing People, a charity based at the Urb Farm, in Wolverton, which supports young people towards finding work through horticultural training. Organisations like this show although food is about finding new flavours and being a source of enjoyment, a growing number need help to afford the basics while for others, food can be used as a way of learning new skills, entering the world of work and giving hope.
MK Food Fest is organised by MK Artisan Food and Drink and Coldsmoking Cookery School (which brought along its rather lovely smoked salmon). I look forward to the next one.