2015 beckons and what a year Leeds has had, it’s seen the city and the rest of the county really come to the fore in the UK’s cultural landscape.
On the food front I’ve loved seeing and experiencing a number of wonderful things happen over the last twelve months, here’s a review with a selection of favourites its definitely not a definitive list
- Belgrave Feast – a bit of a monthly highlight in my food calendar, Ben Davy and the team at The Belgrave seem to deliver exactly what Leeds food folk crave and keep our tastebuds tingling and coming back for more!! I’m looking forward to getting my hands on more delights, like arepa, pork belly gua bao and samosa chaat.
- Pop-ups: Bundobust and Stuzzi (Belgrave) Banh Mi Booth and Holy Pierogi (Kirkstall Bridge), Strano (Salvos).
- Getting to know more about the regions coffee community, gotta go independent ALL the way….Laynes Espresso, Opposite, La Bottega Milanese and Mrs Atha’s et al!
- Supper-clubs: The Noise with Strangers, Dinner at the Manor and Trestle, which I still need to tick off my list.
- Being a part of the power of the people, joining many to raise money for the Manjit’s Kitchen crowd funder campaign earlier this year.
- The production of the Leeds Creative Family Tree, by Sara Teresa and Split to showcase the city’s creative and cultural talents.
- The Man Behind The Curtain – where art and food have a meeting of minds.
- British Street Food Awards – it was great to see Leeds being put right up there with other big-hitter cities, like London and thought of as the ideal place to hold such an event! What topped it off was seeing Fu-Schnikens win the overall Best Street Food Award!
- Bundobust – a game changer in many food fans eyes with their heady concoction of Indian street food and craft ales, satisfying the hunger and thirst of many. Ah, love those Okra Fries, Bundo Chaat….!!!
- 2 Oxford Place: the first 100% gluten free restaurant in the city, from all reports it’s been a major success and well worth it’s place in the city’s food scene. Somewhere I’ve still not visited, think I’ll need to rectify this at some point!
- Leeds Indie Bikes: a project which promoted independent business around the city was to become a catalyst for Leeds Indie Food. This trailblazer of a team, six independent food warriors are bringing something much needed to the city!! Bring on May 2015!!
- Tharavadu – this Keralan restaurant has been wowing virtually every diner they’ve welcomed since opening and I’m not surprised, as the food is mouth-wateringly fantastic!
- The Grub & Grog Shop – I love it that Jim and Dan, the two-man team behind this outfit have a permanent home for their deliciously, heartwarming and homely food! Find them in Northern Monk Brewery Refectory next to Marshall’s Mill, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Plaudits for Leeds independents, such as The Reliance, who won over Marina O’Laughlin for just being themselves and Friends of Ham winning Observer Food Monthly award for best place to drink!
- Trinity Kitchen: I’ve certainly had my belly of full yummy food from the likes of OFM, Dorshi, Manjit’s Kitchen, Donastia Social Club, Bang Wok et al.
- Stuzzi – love this team; oodles of passion, knowledge and dead lovely people. Cracking Italian food and drink, the people of Harrogate are very lucky!
- Last but certainly not least – Patty Smith’s burger! THE best burger this city has to offer I reckon. Leeds has many competitors which all vie to be the people’s favourite, but for me and for many others you won’t get much better than these. My go-to burger is the Dirty Burger, aptly named because of its oozy nature and the inevitability of getting it everywhere, however hard you try!
I know there are many more fantastic things that have happened this year that aren’t on my list, the list is certainly not a definitive one and could go and on. Apologies for things which I have forgotten and left off!!
Do you have any favourite and memorable events you have experienced in 2014? What are they?