After a sleepy August when half the world seems to be on holiday, everything springs back to life in September. And there’s lots going on in the food world: Organic September, Sourdough September, British Food Fortnight – and, starting this Friday, Urban Food Fortnight.
Urban Food Fortnight was started in 2012 to celebrate food production in and around London. There are some great events this year, including food festivals, walks and special menus across the capital. It’s the perfect opportunity to try some of the tasty (and seasonal) food being made in London. As it’s Organic September, I suggest trying as many organic options as you can find.
I’ve pulled together my personal highlights from the events below.
I’m also running some special events during Urban Food Fortnight and would love to see you there. Blending the Zen of yoga with the craft of a cooking class, these sessions give you the chance to pause, taste and create delicious, seasonal food. The key ingredients will be sourced local London producers. You can find out more on my events page.
Urban Food Fortnight Highlights
1. Drunken Herbalers
Hackney Herbal is a project that grows herbs around Hackney and then uses the herbs in events celebrating their use. For Urban Food Fortnight the team is combining herbs with alcohol. Experiences include a Valerian Den and Herbal Apotheca. Local food and herbal cocktails from guest distillers will also be available. Proceeds from the evening will go towards supporting Hackney Herbal’s work in the community.
2. Cultivate London: Salopian Kitchen Garden Launch
I visited Cultivate London’s Salopian Kitchen last month and loved this pretty edible garden tucked away between some unassuming buildings in West London. On the 10th September Cultivate London is officially opening the kitchen garden, called Salopian Garden. You’ll be able to see all the wonderful edibles on display, plus there will be plants to buy. You can also try pizza fresh from the outdoor cob oven, and check out the demonstration bee hive or the chickens in Hen Corner.
3. 5×15 – The Future of Urban Food
Head down to the brand new Farmolopis venue near the O2 to hear 5 of today’s leading voices in food. The speakers for the event are Rosie Boycott, Kath Dalmeny, Henry Dimbleby, Bridget Nicholls and Bee Wilson. The panel will be discussing the role and future of food grown, made, cooked and saved in London. Proceeds from the night will go to the charity Sustain (which runs London Food Link who are behind Urban Food Fortnight).
4. Disco Soup at the Skip Garden
Disco Soup is part of a global movement to find tasty solutions to food waste. You’ll chop to the beat, creating meals from surplus food that would otherwise have been wasted. There is a bar, DJ and workshops that range from pickling and espresso martini making to a ‘ready steady cook’ style cook-off.
Sunday 18th September, 2pm – 7pm / Free (but space is limited so make sure you arrive early)
5. Pop Up Kimchi
Kimchi is one of my favourite fermented foods – though it can be a bit smelly as I discovered when I opened a jar on a train after going to a fermentation evening! If you’d like to learn how to make your own, head down to the Pop Up Kimchi workshop led by Chetanya Alexander of Tickles. You’ll also get to try a kimchi burger and there’ll be a jar of your own kimchi to take home.
6. Toast Ale Brew at Temple Brew House
I recently spoke with Julie from Toast Ale about the company’s sustainable approach to beer production. Toast use one of the most thrown-away food products, bread, in their brewing process. You can see the process firsthand during Urban Food Fortnight, plus you’ll get a voucher for a free beer to use on a return visit to Temple Brew House. During the evening Julie will share more about the story behind Toast Ale.
To see the full list of events, pop over to the Urban Food Fortnight website.