Foodies Festival – Inverleith Park

I did mean to put this post up earlier this week but didn’t have the time! From my last post, you’ll have noticed I was pretty excited about finally getting to go along to the Foodies Festival this year. I decided to pop along on the Friday & Saturday with the aim of buying goodies on the Friday & enjoying the atmosphere on the Saturday.

Press Pass

I’d only been to one food festival previously, the BBC Good Food Show, last November so I had a rough idea what to expect. The one thing that struck me about Foodies was the emphasis on having a good day out! Instead of focussing on having lots of producers, often selling variations of the same items, they had less stalls of goods than the Good Food Show & a lot of areas for drinking & getting some good food to eat. There was also a bouncy castle & a kids theatre so the little ones could get involved. I particularly liked the pop-up restaurants at the festival, allowing you to get a taste of what local Edinburgh restaurants have to offer. Such a good idea!

On the Friday, we arrived around 2pm & the place was pretty busy. We immediately set off to the ticket stand to see what demos were still on offer & luckily managed to secure a ticket for Mark Greenaway. We grabbed a bite to eat first from British Sausages who had a selection of pork goodies including the posh hot dogs we opted for. Unfortunately my pork & jalapeno one was lacking in any real kick but it was still a tasty sausage. Then it was down to business & seeing what we could find to buy.

There was a decent amount of stalls with goodies ranging from gin (yay!) to cakes to fish, meat & BBQs (although I doubt you’d take it home that night!). As with most foodie festivals, there were freebies on offer, including Walker’s new Deli range of crisps, Lavazza coffee & of course, tasters of  beer, wine & gin. Over the 2 days I bought quite a few items including:

  • Dried chillies from Wiltshire Chilli Farm
  • Smoked salmon & trout from RK Spink & Sons
  • Red Pepper & Chilli dressing & garlic mayo (it is the most garlicky thing I’ve ever tasted, I had to buy it!) from Summer Harvest
  • Macarons from
  • A raspberry gin & a passionfruit fizzx marshmallow from Tipsy Mallows
  • And of course, elderflower gin from Edinburgh Gin

Salmon & Trout, Macarons, Marshmallows, salad dressing & garlic mayo

Over the course of the weekend, I managed to catch 2 demos: Mark Greenaway on Friday & Glenn Cosby on Saturday. Mark’s demo was a blackened mackerel salad with ….. He was accompanied on stage by “Big Sister” Jacqueline O’Donnell from Glasgow’s The Sisters restaurant. Glenn’s demo was a bit scattered as not all of the equipment was on stage but it made for an amusing demo & I was up on stage at one point to taste test the ginger scones that were made for answering a baking question correctly. I was fortunate enough to get some time with Glenn after the demo for an interview which will be on the blog shortly.

Foodies, Mark Greenaway, Pickerings & Glenn Cosby    .

On Saturday, we spent most of the day at the bar area enjoying the sunshine. There were lots of different drinks on offer from champagne to gin (I may have mentioned this!) to beers from all over Scotland & of course cocktails.The vibe on Saturday was really good, with everyone lounging in the sun & enjoying the festival atmosphere. A special shoutout to the guys at Stewart Brewery for making some amazing beer – Red Dragon. As you can see if the pick before, they had some grapefruit, hops & some other fruits mixed together & the pump slowly dispensed that mix to make beer. It was so fruity & I’m a bit gutted that it was a special for that day because it was so tasty! I was disappointed, however, that we were unable to secure any tickets for any other demos. This was due to the policy Foodies have that you cannot book any tickets. That is ok for the Chefs & Cakes&Bakes theatres as you can stand at the back or watch from the sides. If you want to go to one of the drinks theatre tastings, you really need to be there early to secure your ticket.

Chicken Tikka Wrap, Red Dragon beer, potato stack & posh dog

I did have a fun weekend at Foodies & will definitely be paying it a visit next year when it returns. Here’s hoping they return bigger & better!

Highlights

  • Lots of different demos available each day
  • Great festival atmosphere with the different bars available
  • Good variety of different stands to buy stuff from
  • Looooads of food to choose from for eating on the day

Lowlights

  • Not being able to book tickets for demos & afternoon demo tickets only being available from 1pm
  • Queues for the toilets – if there were some at the other side of the site, it would have reduced the queues a lot
  • Not quite a lowlight but there could be more Scottish producers available. I saw a stall selling “Yorkshire biscuits” – there are plenty of biscuits companies in Scotland that could have stepped in!!
Advertisements

Street Food Pop-up

I first came across the concept of street food when I stayed in New York briefly a few years ago. It generally involves a restaurant, a truck & some good food in a smaller than normal portion for a reasonable price. My particular favourite was a Korean food truck that sold pork & kimchi tortillas for $6 near my apartment – they were to die for!

When I heard that Scoop Events & Smoak Food had teamed up to bring a pop-up street food restaurant, I grabbed a ticket straight away. Scoop are renown caterers within the Glasgow & central Scotland region. Smoak, on the other hand, have a guest residence within The Variety bar where they served typical American BBQ food such as Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork and anything else that can be smoked.

The event took place in SWG3, which is a warehouse near the railway line at Yorkhill. If you don’t know the area it is slightly out of the way but staying nearby, it did not take us long to find it. On arrival, there was a big sign directing us into the restaurant area & the setup was amazing! The first thing that you could see was the food trucks, one for each company, stationed at the back of the room. There were long tables for people to sit & enjoy their meal, whilst to the right there was a bar area if you wanted to hang about after your meal.

Pup-up Set up

As part of the ticket price (£5), there was a drink on arrival – beer or cocktail. As I’m not a beer fan, I went for the cocktail which was vodka, ginger beer & elderflower. I wasn’t too sure about the sound of it but it was really refreshing & came in a brown paper bag! The menus were on the table & the advice was to pick 3 dishes each out of the 8 tapas style dishes that were listed. We asked the waitress if she thought this was enough & she advised us to go for 2 each as that would be enough.

Vodka, Elderflower & Ginger Beer Cocktail           Menu

Depending upon which dish you chose, it would be cooked by either the Sccop or the Smoak team so they would come at different times. We had a 50/50 split of dishes from each team. Our Scoop dishes arrived first – Ox Cheek Tacos & Monkfish BLT. As they were tapas style dishes, the portions did not look that big but they definitely made up for it in flavour! Having never had Ox Cheek before, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the rich taste of the meat which was accompanied by a spicy sauce. I couldn’t quite place my finger on what was in it but it made the taco totally unique from any similar dish I’ve tasted before. However, as the dishes were marketed for sharing, it didn’t make sense as to why there were 3 served per portion. The monkfish blt’s were also tasty & much to our delight, instead of tomatoes, it came with a smoked tomato ketchup (we’re not fans of raw tomato). The monkfish pieces themselves were pretty small but as they were tapas, you can forgive that.

Monkfish BLT       Ox Cheek Tacos

Our Smoak dishes followed not long after the Scoop ones. From Smoak, we ordered the Smoaked Chicken & confit Sliders & the Smoaked Trout salad. The sliders were amazing! The brioche bun was really fluffy & the chicken was full of flavour. It was accompanied by a spicy bourbon sauce to dip the sliders into. I’ll be honest in that I didn’t really find any flavour from the dip but Al said he really liked it. The trout salad was Smoak’s take on a caesar salad with crispy anchovies & a creamy dressing. It was again full of flavour & I loved the anchovies as they were similar to crispy onions but only a bit saltier.

Trout Salad     Chicken Sliders

Surprisingly the dishes were really filling & I was glad we took the waitress’ advice & only ordered 4 between us. I did decide to order a dessert as they sounded too good to turn down. The choice was between a white chocolate cheesecake & a peanut butter parfait with jam sorbet. Being a peanut butter fan, I went for the parfait. It arrived in a star shaped wafer dish with a lump of sorbet on the top. The sorbet was a strong berry flavour which I was not expecting. As it only stated jam, I had got it into my head it would’ve been strawberry flavoured. However, it did go well with the sorbet, offsetting the peanut butter flavour. The parfait itself was not as strong a flavour as I would’ve liked. If you have tried Reese’s peanut butter cups, you’ll know that is a strong & distinct peanut butter flavour. That was the type of flavour I was expecting but it was more of a subtle peanut butter hint to it. Saying that, it was a really nice dessert & a good end to a lovely meal.

Peanut Butter Parfait

We decided to sit & have a drink afterwards & soak up the atmosphere. There was a DJ playing laidback funk-style tunes & with the large gas heater & candles, it was nice & toasty in the warehouse. One of the drinks that had taken my eye was the tapioca tequila. This was a shot of tequila accompanied by a shot with pineapple juice, chilli, lime & coriander. We had one each & it was really refreshing. The tequila was of such good quality it would’ve been a good post-dinner drink on its own but with the additional shot, it made for a really nice palate cleanser.

Tapioca Tequila

Overall, I really enjoyed the pop-up experience & the quality of food from both companies was top-notch! One drawback was the cost of the dishes, with each being either £6 or £7 each. That meant a bill of almost £40 for both of us for 4 dishes, a dessert & another drink each, not to mention the £5 each for the ticket to the event. Despite that, it was a good night & I hope to see other pop-up nights soon. Keep an eye out for Smoak’s food truck hitting the streets of Glasgow soon!