Tag Archives: Slow Food

The Organic Food Festival 2009

Lido couscous cropped again

We met last night to discuss the Organic Food Festival 12-13 September 2009 in association with the Soil Association.

First my starter (above) which made me think: my favourite dishes are mush-tastic. I eat lots of grains and pulses, and, let’s face it, they blob.

Please don’t reject my love because of their apparent lack of finesse.

Nourishing, healthy and economical, grains and pulses lend themselves to many tastes.

I ate the above starter (£6.50) last night at the Lido (saved and restored to its Victorian-swimming-baths-original thanks to a community campaign).

Couscous with yogurt, fresh broad beans and coriander – delicious, soothing.

Even when eating out I am drawn to mushy grains.

But why be ashamed? Eating for substance is the organic way.

“We are about inner quality, not outer appearance – that is our hallmark.”

So said Patrick Holden, Soil Association director, recently quoted in the Independent apropos the abolition of those wonky EU-rules on wonky veg.

Which brings us back to the Organic Food Festival.

Last night’s dinner was the inauguration of two things:

1) I was in my new role as food editor of The Source.

2) The Source is helping produce the programme for the Organic Food Festival 2009. And that’s what we doing, round a table at the Lido.

Every September, Bristol Harbourside transforms into Europe’s largest organic market place. The Soil Association organic festival used to be free but became so popular it got rammed so, there has been a charge. This year £1 of the £5 entry fee goes to the Soil Association.

My message?

Join us!

The Organic Food Festival in Bristol Harbourside on 12 – 13 September 2009

Taste the future

Organic is more than a product

– it is our sustainable future.

Slow food and fast dancing

Son Tropical

I love these guys. A nine-piece band, fresh from Havana and en route for the Barbican, London, brought to Bristol last night thanks to Bristol Slow Food.

The venue was Jesters on the Cheltenham Road. Tickets were £10 and the Cuban-style dishes, devised and prepared by Chris Wicks of Bell’s Diner were about £8.50.

Mike and I had the shrimps and avocado.

There was no mention of organic even though Cuba is the great organic inspiration. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and no more cheap pesticides and chemical fertilisers, Cuba went organic. Many public spaces in Havana are now given over to growing organic veg. ie State-supported agriculture without fossil fuels. Don’t you love it? Just shows it can be done.

The shrimps were plump, grilled and well-tasty and the fresh pea shoots (part of the salad dressed with lemon juice) looked enchanting and tasted earthy. I have never eaten pea tendrils before – and why not? They are delicious.

The dish was the size of a generous starter but actually perfect because I needed to be light on my feet to dance.

I forgot to take a picture of my plate but I got several pictures of the band.

It was so groovy because these guys in the band were middle-aged (i.e. about my age) and older.

And they rocked.

If I wanted to nitpick about the evening, I’d say Jesters could have sold twice as many drinks with more bar staff. My sister said you needed to apply in triplicate for a Cuban cocktail – but when it came, she said: It was worth it.

They could have sold twice the food too.

But I don’t think Bristol Slow Food knew how rammed the event would get. Apparently they only confirmed Son Tropical two weeks ago. And then bookings went ballistic.

Which shows that great music and dancing may be the missing ingredient to Slow Food.

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