Food festivals happen all year round in the UK, a major one being British Food Fortnight which takes place each year from the 19th September to 4th October.

Briefly, it’s a competition that celebrates and supports local food producers and communities. It was founded by Alexia Robinson in 2002 to bring together all of the smaller events she had noticed happening across the UK. British Food fortnight also coincides with the Harvest Festival, a traditional celebration of locally grown food harvested in autumn.

British cuisine is also a big part of the Culture Curriculum at IQBar. For example, in the Cities and Culture module, we take Breadies on a virtual tour of twenty university cities in the UK, looking at the local history, dishes and some interesting facts of each place. In this way, the course builds a comprehensive picture of real British culture whilst dispelling the stereotype that British cuisine revolves around fish and chips, pies and sandwiches!

To enhance the blended learning approach (link to blended learning blog?) we are also creating fun, informative cooking videos showing how to make Brummie Bacon Cakes, Pan Haggerty, and many more traditional dishes. This means that wherever our students are in the world, they can try out some unique British recipes for themselves.

Perhaps the best thing about the British Food Fortnight Competition is that it brings together local councils, food entrepreneurs, restaurants and cafes, farmers, schools and people.

So, how can people enter this competition? There are lots of ways, depending on the type of entrant. Anyone, from a teacher to an organisation can be nominated to win. The judging criteria is broad and based on a creative approach.

For example –

A restaurant could:

  • Source and promote local produce for the fortnight.
  • Offer local dishes on the specials menu.

A school could:

  • Teach children about seasonal food and run food-based activities.
  • Help children to raise money for the community with a bake sale using British ingredients.

An individual could:

  • Buy food from local growers or join and allotment scheme.
  • Host an event to share local recipes within a community.
  • Share fruit and vegetables they have grown with their neighbours.

Previous Winners.

According to thew official website:

Previous competition winners include the village of Haslington in Cheshire which organised a lunch on the green for the whole community;  the City of Peterborough ran a 2 day food celebration including 500 locals in the city centre; 450 schools in Hampshire took part organising interactive foodie activities and themed British food Fortnight menus plus last year villages in Somerset organised and ran The Great British Harvest Trail proving that large and small communities can take part in the competition.

This tells us the competition really is open to all, by simply promoting the celebration of local produce in the community. And to extend this idea across geographical boundaries, we’ll be providing our students with weekly cooking videos, featuring inspiring, easy to cook British recipes. Coming soon!