Thursday, 12 March 2009

A Local Flavour

I WAS delighted to find out that this year's Taste of Birmingham is set to have a more local flavour.
Apparently, Brummie super chef Glynn Purnell has agreed to appear - a U-turn after his very public dismissal of the outdoor food event last year.
He hit out at organisers of the Cannon Hill Park festival for featuring London 'celebrity' chefs, and chain restaurants (such as Thai Edge), rather than local talent.
And rightly so.
I attended last year's event - as I always do - but found it a soulless, corporate event with little reflection on the diverse culinary melting pot of the city hosting it.
I was actually thinking of giving it a wide berth this year; even the promise of samples galore wasn't going to draw me back (okay, MAYBE it would).
However, Marketing Birmingham has taken over its organisation, from London-based PR firm, and, along with Glynn, Richard Turner (Turners), Luke Tipping (Simpsons) and Andy Waters (Edmunds) have also signed up.
This promise - along with a reduction in the ticket price - has rejuvenated my enthusiasm for the event.
But I'd like the festival to go a step further and embrace the true culinary colour of Birmingham, not just those recognised by Michelin.
For instance, there could be a whole area dedicated to Brum's specialty, the balti - not just a few 'token' restaurants. And a evidence of the existence of our Chinatown, and thriving Caribbean culture, such as that shown at the Handsworth carnival, where you can't move for stalls seeing spicy specialities.
I think this is what will really draw the crowds and see the continued success of the event.
The festival is set to take place in July at its usual venue.
For more detailed information on all the Taste festivals visit
Have you been to any of the Taste festivals? What did you think? Let me know...


Anonymous said...

I've never been before!!! I will have to look into it for this year. Thanks for posting about this :)


Emily said...

Leah, it is great fun! If you like a tipple, I suggest getting the bus there because there is plenty of free samples of wines and Champagnes to try, along with tasty morsels of food. One thing I would say though, is it can get quite expensive because you have to purchase vouchers in order to try the restaurant food!
Hope you enjoy it!

Neil said...

Interesting on the Taste front.

A lot of food bloggers lately got an email about Taste of London. . and an invitation to give away tickets on their blogs. . .without any incentive to the blogger!

I got asked to give away tickets to the London one. . .a fail on their part. Plus I think we've pretty much boycotted that one.

Lets hope the Birmingham one will have better marketing, and reach out to some of their target audience a bit better!

Emily said...

Hi Neil,
Can easily believe what you said about being 'targeted' by PR for the London show. Typical.
Like you I am hoping for a decent show in Birmingham this year. Last year was poor but I am willing it to give another shot, if only for the free tastes!