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Days out: 12 top drinks and eats at food festival

The organisers of the Edinburgh Food Festival are doubling the length of this year’s annual foodie event, which will take place at Assembly George Square Gardens over 10 days from July 19 to July 28. To mark the fifth anniversary of Edinburgh’s only city centre food festival, Assembly is running a bumper line-up, including a series of meet the local producer events and chef demos, as well as over 20 local producers and street food stallholders.

1. Plant-based street food

Topping the list of new producers is FacePlant Foods who recently took places in Scotland’s British Street Food Award Finals. FacePlant Foods started as one of Scotland’s first plant-based street food trucks and now travels around the country selling their vegan goods.

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2. Hawaiian street food

Mana Poke will be dishing up their super fresh and vibrant Hawaiian street food. The heathy bowls comprising of diced raw fish, rice and a range of colourful accompaniments have graced street-food markets across Scotland for over a year and developed a loyal following of customers.

3. Just the tonic

Edinburgh’s Pickering’s Gin will serve up their award-winning gin in their miniature Japanese airport fire engine, EnGINe 47. They will be keeping festival goers refreshed with their range of cocktails as well as the classic gin and tonic.

4. US barbecue experience

Fox Hat is a BBQ experience like no other, serving the finest meat and produce with a true nose-to-tail philosophy. Their communal and collaborative way of cooking has won the hearts of many foodies across Scotland.

5. Spice up your life

Rounding off the five new producers is the social enterprise community café, Punjabi Junction. Punjabi Junction offers a blend of traditional Punjab and home-cooked cuisines, whilst supporting women from Edinburgh minority ethnic backgrounds.

6. Thirty-minute meals

On Friday July 26 from 6pm, Cater Edinburgh’s Barry Bryson will be creating a 30-minute recipe in real time using local and seasonal ingredients – the perfect mid-week meal to make at home. Heading up the festival’s chef demo series, Barry is motivated and inspired by Scotland’s natural larder, creating seasonal menus that combine traditional and contemporary cooking techniques. He takes restaurant concepts and fine dining to the events platform, showcasing his modern Scottish food in a variety of unique venues and events spaces across this country and beyond.

7. Lazio to the Lothians

On Saturday July 27 at 1pm, Carina Contini of Edinburgh’s Contini George Street, Cannonball Restaurant & Bar on Castlehill and the Scottish Cafe at the Scottish National Gallery will be adding some Contini sunshine to the menu with authentic Italian-inspired alfresco recipes. Third generation Italian Scots, Carina and her husband Victor, run one of the few remaining independent family businesses that have benefitted from a century of experience running successful restaurants in Scotland.

8. Something fishy

From 2pm on Saturday July 27, Scott Smith from Fhior on Broughton Street will be championing sustainable fish and offering his top tips on the best ways to barbeque fish outdoors this summer alongside Lewis Lowrie of Lowrie Fish Merchants. Since opening in 2018, Fhior has been recognised with a string of award wins including taking the title of Restaurant of the Year at the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards in May.

9. Turn back time

Next up, at 1pm on Sunday July 28, is Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle at Gorebridge, Midlothian. Derek, who contributes recipes regularly to the Herald on Sunday, will be rediscovering some of Scotland’s lost ingredients and reinventing them in a modern and fresh way.

10. Hyper-local flavor

Rounding off the line-up at 2pm on Sunday, July 28, is Jérôme Henry, chef proprietor of the award-winning Le Roi Fou on Forth Street, who will be joining Barry Bryson in a one-hour cooking demonstration. Festival-goers will get a glimpse into their kitchen, whilst they create a fresh summer menu in real time with a hyper-local flavour.

11. Pie lovers paradise

Eyemouth-based pie makers, Jarvis Pickle, will be launching a new pastry surprise at this year’s event. As well as its new mystery pie variety, the award-winning pie company will be offering a taste of the Scottish Borders, including slow-cooked beef, tender shredded chicken and Eyemouth smoked haddock, as well as vegetarian options. Jarvis Pickle bake in small batches using only high-quality, natural ingredients, and everything that goes into their pies comes from local butchers, fishmongers and farms.

12. Seaside treats

East Lothian’s Alandas will be catch of the day with their selection of freshly caught seafood, old school fresh fish and chips and multi-award winning gelato.

Alandas offers a fish and chip experience; where fresh prawns, beautifully cooked salmon and mouthwatering fresh oysters are served every day. All of the seafood used by Alandas is caught daily in Scottish waters, including their lobsters. Alandas’ multi award-winning, small batch gelato is handmade daily in their North Berwick parlour using quality local and seasonal ingredients.

Days Out: Edinburgh Food Festival, Assembly George Square Gardens, July 19-28. Keep up to date with Edinburgh Food Festival 2019 at www.edfoodfest.com and on social media Facebook (www.facebook.com/EdFoodFest), Instagram (@edfoodfest, #EdFoodFest2019) and Twitter(@EdFoodFest, #EdFoodFest2019).

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