There is a growing trend among recipe books to provide quick solutions for weekday suppers but what if you care about where your food comes from and don’t want to use pre-packaged easy cheats? What if you want to serve up delicious food using ethically sourced and sustainable produce that you bought from your local farm shop or farmer’s market?
The Real Food Festival made its debut in 2007. The brainchild of Phillip Lowery, it sprang from a visit to Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto in Turin where 1000 small artisan producers gather to showcase the most amazing ingredients you can hope to find. Now four years on the Real Food Festival has expanded past its annual event at Earl’s Court to include a fortnightly market on the South Bank as well as Borough Market.
The aim of the festival is to feed people good, seasonal, nutritionally dense food and drink, which has been produced in a sustainable and ethical way. The Festival has always been backed by high-profile supporters, including: politicians, journalists, celebrity chefs and some of the country’s leading food producers. It is a culture shift back to making best use of what nature has to offer.
On the 5th–8th May the Festival will be back at Earl’s Court and this year there is an extra element to the showcase with the publication in April of the Real Food Cookbook (£20, Duncan Baird Publishers) a stunning hardcover recipe book packed with over 100 delicious recipes by leading chefs and artisan producers from across the country.
Discretely placed within the recipes are wonderful features by some of the key supporters of the Real Food Festival, including: Jane Baxter, Raymond Blanc, Giorgio Locatelli, Willie Harcourt-Cooze, Cyrus Todiwala and Sophie Conran. Each piece demonstrates their passion and personal experience of the benefits of using real food and the difference that it makes in their lives and cooking.
The best thing about the recipes featured in the book, apart from their mouth-watering flavours, is that by cooking with ingredients that are in season you don’t need to bust your budget so you can enjoy restaurant quality food at purse-friendly prices.
Some of the chefs and producers involved in the cookbook include: Raymond Blanc, Giorgio Locatelli, Thomasina Miers, Ollie Rowe, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Arthur Potts Dawson and the People’s Supermarket, Fergus Henderson, Willie Harcourt-Cooze, Cyrus Todiwala, Allegra McEvedy and Jun Tanaka.