Eat Cambridge returns for seventh year with best food and drink from our region
There is much to celebrate about Eat Cambridge. Now in its seventh year, the annual spring festival that brings together the best food and drink from across our region is a showcase for the foodie talent we are lucky enough to have in our locale.
Founder Heidi White – she’s the powerhouse behind street food collective foodPark – is at the helm and has been busy cooking up this year’s offering for many months now, including lots of not-seen-before names, a shiny new festival patron in the shape of chef and food writer Rosie Sykes, and the launch of the Cambridge Brewing Collective and mini craft beer festival featuring an array of local breweries.
“It has been a labour of love to pull it all together over the last few months – and it has taken an awful lot of hard work, I must admit – but it is amazing to see the festival coming together,” says Heidi. “I’ve been overwhelmed yet again by the enthusiasm and dedication to be found in our food scene.”
The focus on local talent is the main ingredient of the festival.
“It has been described as a boutique food festival, due to its small, locally-focused nature. I like that the festival stays true to its original aim of celebrating our local food scene. You won’t find national names and chains at the festival, and our events give food lovers the chance to meet with the people behind the independent businesses we are celebrating. It encourages a connection between the consumer and producer that you don’t find at large scale events and supermarkets.”
Heidi says the local food scene continues to boom and is delighted that independents are at the forefront. “It is now completely the norm to see independent pubs and restaurants in our city centre alongside the big chains, and it has been so heartening to see how many people have heard of the smaller, off-the-beaten tracks producers that Eat Cambridge has been shouting about for years. Launching foodPark back in 2014 and bringing a street food scene to Cambridge has taken me along a similar journey; at the start it was all about educating people about street food vans and a new style of ‘fast food’, and now foodPark and eating from street food traders is an established part of the city’s dining landscape.
“Even though our food scene continues to grow, I am constantly seeing new ideas, new collaborations, and new openings emerge from it. It’s an exciting place to be.”
Eat Cambridge runs from May 11 to May 26, serving the main event – a feast of a food fair – at Cambridge Guildhall on Saturday, May 11. Pay £2 entry on the door, children free. Two weeks of delicious fringe events follow, taking place throughout the city and beyond. For the full programme and to book, visit
In the picture
Creative director, writer and photographer Charlotte Griffiths is joining forces with fellow photographer and storyteller Stella Pereira, who runs popular styling workshops in Cambridgeshire, to host an informal hands-on food styling and photography session. Part of the Main Event on Saturday, May 11, (free to attend but register for a place), this is a chance to watch Charlotte and Stella style a shoot and hear them chat through their different approaches to photography.
Highly acclaimed Restaurant Twenty-Two, run by partners Sam Carter and Alex Olivier, will host a wild dinner as part of the Eat Cambridge Fringe.
They said: “Our Wild dinner is in collaboration with Jake from Seed to Feed, and will celebrate excellent cooking, specialist grown produce, and wild foraged food from the Cambridgeshire area in a special six-course tasting menu based around wild, foraged produce.”
To book for Restaurant Twenty-Two’s Wild dinner see eat-cambridge.co.uk.
A Rosie outlook
Chef and food writer Rosie Sykes is the new patron for Eat Cambridge and will be hosting the opening dinner.
She said: “I am very excited to be presenting a historical feast based on the recipes from the first ever food manuscript from 1390 called The Forme of Cury. Polly Russell, food historian and British Library curator, introduced myself and the wonderful Itamar Srulovich and Sarirt Packer, of Honey and Co, to this manuscript
and we chose to cook a meal using several of these fascinating recipes.”
“Polly will give diners a talk while they eat some 14th century treats alongside a delicious drink created by my dear friend and clever cocktail maker, Charles of Gimlet Bar fame, based on his interpretation of something from that era. After drinks everyone will sit down to a two-course feast of medieval deliciousness cooked by myself and Itamar and Sarit.
“We will be around to chat with our guests too. It will be a tremendous evening and the Honeys will be at the festival’s main event the following day with books to sign.”
More by this authorAlice Ryan