I was delighted to learn that Coventry would be holding its own food festival in the City Centre this weekend. So, yesterday we headed over to Broadgate to see what it was all about.
Cov Food Fest consisted of a number of stalls promoting their wares and some cookery competitions and live cookery demonstrations.
The number of stalls were fairly limited and I do hope if they put on this event again it will increase in size and also generate more publicity. It was good, however, to see a number of local restaurants and businesses represented at the festival - including Etna's Ristorante, Chi Bar, The Establishment, Garden Organic, Coventry Market, and The Heritage Cake Company. However, it would have been good to see even more local restaurants and businesses - although Coventry is not exactly teeming with restaurants, there are plenty more to choose from than were at the festival and I believe there is some very good food to be found in Coventry; it just tends not to shout too loudly about it!
We had a wander around the stalls - they were fairly busy, and it was good to see people getting involved. Sadly, by the time we got there there weren't many samples left! I did however buy a couple of Coventry God Cakes (more info here and here) from The Heritage Cake Company.
Coventry God Cakes are basically mincemeat in puff pastry - they are very delicious. It was great to try something which is particular to Coventry's history.
We also decided to check out one of the cookery demonstrations. It was pretty entertaining (and smelled wonderful!) although there seemed to be some issues with the equipment they were using (wrong pans and they had trouble with the hob, which I'm guessing was induction style).
The demonstration we watched (at 12pm) was given by the 'top fish guy' from Coventry Market (whose name now of course escapes me) and Carmelo, the head chef from Etna Ristorante (Etna's has been at the same site in Coventry city centre for 32 years). They demonstrated how to prepare fresh seafood and how to make some simple Italian pasta dishes. Technical hitches aside, it was great to see local business owners promoting Coventry food, and to get some good tips about buying and preparing fresh seafood, and how to make some simple Italian dishes at home.
I hope the Cov Food Fest takes place again and that it gets bigger and better. I feel that this could be a really good annual event, and I hope more local businesses get involved, and that it becomes a great way to promote and celebrate good food in Coventry.