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‘Let’s Eat Glasgow!’ food festival set to serve up double helpings this Autumn

By Ian Marland at

The only food festival of its kind in the UK is back later this year on a bigger scale.

Let’s Eat Glasgow! was set up to celebrate the city’s international dining scene and the cream of food and drink produced across the West of Scotland whilst supporting social enterprises improving food nutrition across the city.

The festival, believed to be the UK’s first major food and drink festival with a deeper social purpose at heart, is back this September and at double the size, it has been announced.

The festival was created by the Real Food, Real Folk co-operative of top city chefs.

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Cuisine: The festival is UK’s first major food and drink festival with a deeper social purpose at heart

The not for profit cooperative members – Cail Bruich, Crabshakk, Guy’s Restaurant, Mother India, Ox and Finch, Stravaigin, The Gannet and Ubiquitous Chip – donate their time to the weekend-long fiesta of food.

Last year’s Let’s Eat Glasgow!, which is free to enter, was a huge success with over 7,000 visitors welcomed over the course of the weekend.

Demand for the restaurant food, which was priced at only £5 per plate to give everyone the opportunity of tasting high quality restaurant food at festival prices, far exceeded expectation.

Advance food vouchers sold out early and the eight Real Food, Real Folk restaurants served up 10,000 plates during the festival.

Let’s Eat Glasgow!, which will take place at SWG3, in Finnieston, again, will take visitors on a spectacular journey from ‘field to fork’.

The former Customs and Excise tobacco bond will be transformed into a bustling market with livestock display, restaurant zone and pop-up market showcasing the best food and drink from across the West of Scotland and food-based social enterprises.

Added to that, there’ll be a weekend long programme of cooking and butchery demonstrations by experts and celebrities as well as live music throughout.

Colin Clydesdale, Chair of Real Food, Real Folk, says: “With Let’s Eat Glasgow! we want to shout about great food and inspire everyone to discover and taste the amazing produce being grown, reared and cooked across the West of Scotland.

“We want folk to come along, see, smell, taste and enjoy good food, leaving with some of the same passion we have for cooking with good, locally sourced produce.”

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Produce: Last year’s Let’s Eat Glasgow!, which is free to enter, was a huge success with over 7,000 visitors.

“In Glasgow, we can’t stage a festival like this without trying to do something about the very real food inequality still prevalent across our town. We are a long way from being a place where everyone has the choice and opportunity to eat well.

“By growing the size of Let’s Eat Glasgow! this year, we hope to double the number of visitors. We can then provide an even bigger showcase for social enterprises and raise money to help them in their work making a real difference across the city.”

Highlights:

* Restaurant Zone: This year, Real Food, Real Folk will bring eight like-minded guest restaurants to Let’s Eat Glasgow! The guest restaurants will also gift their time with all food sale profits going into Real Food, Real Folk fundraising. The guest restaurants will include Café Gandolfi, Hanoi Bike Shop, Martha’s and Eusebi’s. The full line-up of 16 restaurants will be announced next month.

Restaurant plates will be priced at £5 like last year, with the addition of a number of £7.50 plates allowing the restaurants more scope.

* Pop-up Market: The pop-up market will again be a burst of flavours and aromas as 60 of the West of Scotland’s most innovative and exciting food and drink producers and foodie social enterprises come together in the city.

* Vouchers: Real Food, Real Folk also plans once again to distribute 1,000 free vouchers for the restaurant food at the festival amongst social enterprises and foodbanks across the city. Last year recipients included the Glasgow City Mission, Maryhill Foodbank and Community Veterans Support in Govan.

* Demonstration Programme: The weekend-long demonstration programme will feature last year’s popular mix of celebrities alongside guest chefs. Alex Norton, perhaps most well-known for playing DCI Matt Burke in Taggart, will be back again for a two-hander with Guy Cowan.

* Livestock: Real Food, Real Folk also hopes to expand the livestock display which was a popular feature at last year’s event, to encourage people to think about where good food comes from and how much of it is available on their doorstep.

Profits from Let’s Eat Glasgow! will be distributed amongst food-based social enterprises working to raise food nutrition across the city. Real Food, Real Folk chefs also gift their time throughout the year supporting local community groups through mentoring, skills training and volunteering.