Seven things not to miss at the York Food and Drink Taster Festival 2015

Chocolate lollipop making. Photograph: York Cocoa House
5 Jun 2015 @ 9.34 am
| Food & drink
York ‘Taster’ Food Festival

Parliament Street and Shambles Market

Jun 6 & 7

Free

York Food Festival web site

From burgers to brownies, paella to Portuguese wines, this weekend’s ‘taster’ food festival in York will have Parliament Street filling with tantalising aromas.

Acting as a preview for the main food and drink festival in September, this mini fest has plenty of lip-smacking things to try. Here’s what you mustn’t miss

1. Free Tasters

Tuck in, it's free… Photograph: York Food Festival
Tuck in, it’s free… Photograph: York Food Festival
Enjoy a free preview of the kinds of tastes you can expect from the full festival from the sampling stand, or peruse the market stalls selling a variety of local produce. Then grab some street food and sample some local tipple from one of the pop up bars.

2. Demonstrations

Masterchef man… Joel Arnold
Masterchef man… Joel Arnold
Watch top chefs demonstrate recipes that are due to be published in the York food festival online cookery book.

Demonstrating chefs will include Joel Arnold, a competitor on this year’s Masterchef, as well as ‘Demo Chef’ Phil Leverington and Le Cochon Aveugle’s Josh Overington.

These would be perfect for getting tips on how to solve those tricky culinary conundrums.

3. Workshops

Chocolate lollipop making. Photograph: York Cocoa House
Chocolate lollipop making. Photograph: York Cocoa House
Why merely watch chefs cooking when you can get involved and try it for yourself? If the demonstrations inspire you, head down to the Shambles markets and learn how to cook with locally sourced produce like asparagus and strawberries with the Walmgate Ale House, or make your own chocolate lollipop with the York Cocoa House.

4. Competitions

Can you do a food pic like this? Still life by Dutch artist Pieter Claesz. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
Can you do a food pic like this? Still life by Dutch artist Pieter Claesz. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons
In keeping with the festival’s theme, ‘food in words and pictures’, this weekend will see the launch of competitions in food photography, poetry and art. Find out how to get involved to follow shortly on YorkMix.

5. International Chocolate Awards

Yum. Photograph: International Chocolate Festival
Yum. Photograph: International Chocolate Festival
What could be better than an evening entirely dedicated to appreciating chocolate? Do your share of the appreciating by partaking in canapés, drinks and a ‘chocolate banquet’ prepared by York College catering students.

Meet award-winning chocolatiers and sample what could literally be the best chocolate in the world if it goes on to win the world final later this year. At the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, Fossgate at 7pm on Friday, June 5.

6. Vespertine coffee trail

Coffee Yard at Barley Hall. Photograph: Vespertine
Coffee Yard at Barley Hall. Photograph: Vespertine
Join Vespertine from 5pm on Saturday on their mission to bring York’s culture alive through performance art by partaking in their coffee trail through York.

Starting at York Cocoa House, you will make your way through the streets to Coffee Yard at Barley Hall, while sampling coffees and watching musicians, artists, poets and even scientists perform along the way. The trail is free and there’s no need to book.

7. The Edible Hat

Yes, you heard that right, this festival includes an edible hat. Designed by Hats By Billy, the edible headwear will feature examples of local produce, and will be on show in the demonstration tent for the whole weekend, so there’s no way you’ll miss it.

After his pronouncement on General Election night, perhaps we should get Paddy Ashdown along to sample it…