Foodies Festival was born in 2006 in Edinburgh, founder Sue Hitchen’s home city. Sue wanted to start a fun, family festival that celebrated local food and gave michelin star and top chefs the opportunity to cook their favourite recipes to a foodie audience. The first Foodies launched as part of the Edinburgh Festival and saw Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart cook for the crowd.
Visitors enjoyed Foodies Festival so much that Sue was encouraged to bring the festival to other cities across the country. Starting in Brighton, launching the first food festival at Hampton Court Palace, and then expanding to Oxford, Bristol, Battersea Park, Clapham Common, Tatton Park, Ripley Castle near Harrogate and London’s Syon Park, Blackheath and Alexandra Palace.
Along the way, key ingredients were added: the famous Street Food Avenue and Feasting Tent; the Children’s Theatre, where children found their taste buds and cooked dishes from around the world; a music stage supporting local unsigned artists offered live music throughout the day; and a Cake and Bake Theatre with showstopper cakes and artisan chocolate that has become as popular as the Chefs Theatre.
Sue’s family are all part of the Foodies Festival team. Her husband Jeremy drives the Foodies truck while her daughters help her run the events: Sarah organises the Chefs Theatre, Zoe and Lucy help on the logistics and sales fronts, and Rebecca gives a hand at the London festivals.
Foodies’ amazing team cares about working in a creative, positive and fun environment where everyone is encouraged to be themselves and develop their skills. This ethos translates to each one of the festivals, with a focus on expanding the local foodie community by working alongside home Michelin star and top chefs, bakers, patisserie chefs, chocolatiers, restaurants, artisan producers, distillers and brewers. Students from local universities and colleges are encouraged to join the Foodies team for the festival weekend.
Every year, new initiatives are launched so that visitors have a fresh experience. This year sees the launch of a new festival on London’s Blackheath. Unsigned Music Awards sponsors all music stages, encouraging the best unsigned musicians to play live for our audience, and we are working with Spinnup – the Universal music initiative. British Street Food Awards will hold their regional heats at our Bristol and Blackheath festivals. A beautiful vintage tea tent will host afternoon teas at all the festivals and the VIP tent will be styled as a stunning art deco experience.