The competition has a special theme this year: rediscovering long-forgotten traditional recipes that were once unique to particular areas of Britain. A celebration during British Food Fortnight is a perfect opportunity to discover the traditional recipes unique to your region and to use them to involve different members of the community. It’s a great excuse to get all generations talking – older generations are likely to have memories of foods and ingredients seldom seen or prepared today, and younger generations will enjoy discovering, making and adapting these long lost or regional dishes. Staffordshire oat cakes, Bakewell Tart, Bath Buns, Bosworth Jumbles and Chorley Cakes are all examples of regional favourites, plus there are savouries like Norfolk Lamb Parcel, Arbroath Smokies and Yorkshire Solomon Gundy….
The judges, led by Raymond Blanc, Liz Truss, The Secretary of State for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, and Love British Food Sponsor Co-op Food, are looking for an event that brings colour to the lives of those taking part and a love of the diverse and delicious food produced in this country.
Alexia Robinson, Founder of Love British Food said: “There are so many once-loved regional dishes in the UK which are seldom used today. British Food Fortnight is a brilliant opportunity to bring people together to discover how we used to eat, to celebrate fresh, seasonal, local produce, and for communities of any size to have a lot of fun.
“We can learn so much from our past use of foods. By looking at historical recipes we discover different ways of using ingredients and can also learn to minimise waste. It is important not to loose the resourses of the past and at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons we grow and use a number of delicious heritage varieties of apples and pears in my orchard and have a dedicated Heritage Garden here. We are encouraging everyone to celebrate good, old-fashioned, British food in homes and in neighbourhoods across the land – individuals, clubs and organisations can all get involved. We have so many opportunities to source, celebrate and be proud of our great British produce – both modern and old – so let’s make 2016 another bumper year for British food” said Raymond Blanc OBE.
Cathryn Higgs, Food Policy Manager at The Co-op said: “Products made in the vicinity of our stores are prized by customers who want to support locally produced regional food which often helps to define a specific area such as Yorkshire. Our vision is to champion a better way of doing business for you and your communities and what better way for us to do this than to support as many locally produced goods as possible. This competition is a great way of re-discovering some of those long lost local products and recipes.”
WHO CAN ENTER?
The competition is open to celebrations, large and small. Past participants include whole towns but smaller endeavours are very much encouraged too.
HOW CAN I TAKE PART?
Pubs: ask your chefs to produce their own interpretations of traditional British recipes and hold a tasting night where the public vote for their favourite. You could produce dishes made from hedgerow ingredients like blackberries or elderflower for an old fashioned slant on the menu.
Schools: continue the Royal theme of the summer and research the favourite foods of Kings and Queens gone by. Encourage children to dress up as Royals from different points in history, ask local producers to contribute and if possible produce dishes for them to try. Recipes with quirky sounding ingredients like rook pie are guaranteed to capture the children’s imagination!
Retailers, including farm shops: produce old-fashioned British recipe cards with suggested ingredients with which to make them. Butchers for example could promote latterly popular products like offal and mutton. It’s a perfect opportunity to dress a window in British vintage style and invite suppliers into your store and hold an evening of tastings.
Whole Towns: ask each family in your community to research and submit an old fashioned British recipe – for example, something that their grandmother or great grandmother used to make. The recipes could be displayed in a public place like the local pub or town hall and a vote taken. The favourite recipe could be re-created at a community British Food Fortnight meal or they could be compiled into a cookery book.
WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP PEOPLE TAKE PART?
The event’s website www.lovebritishfood.co.uk is a one-stop-shop for consumers, retailers, caterers and schools wanting to enjoy British food. The site includes:
Ideas on how schools, retailers and caterers can incorporate long lost recipes into their celebrations
A potted history of British cooking
A potted history of British food
HOW TO ENTER
- Hold your celebratory event during or around British Food Fortnight (September 17th-October 2nd 2016).
- Enter by emailing details of your event to firstname.lastname@example.org before midday on Monday, October 10th 2016. Entrants must describe their community initiative in no more than 500 words, stating what’s new if it is an established event, and including at least two quotes from people attending the event. Entries may be supported by up to three photographs.
WHAT IS THE PRIZE?
The organisers of the best celebration, as chosen by the judges, will be presented with the Telegraph and Love British Food 2016 trophy, plus an invitation to a very special visit to Raymond Blanc’s hotel, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. Belmond Le Manoir holds Two Michelin Stars and is set within extensive gardens which include an organic vegetable plot, orchards, a mushroom ‘valley’ and herb gardens – an idyllic, typically English setting. The winners will learn how the food gets from plot to plate with a special behind-the-scenes tour of the gardens, with breakfast (terms and conditions apply).
WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE? To find out how you can take part and sign up for updates at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk