THE sound of food sizzling on grills and mouth-watering aromas wafting from dozens of stalls greeted visitors as Leeds Food and Drink Festival drew to a close yesterday.
Now in its eighth year, the three-day event brought together street vendors, artisan bakers, international cuisine and local producers.
Amy Dickinson, who set up The Little Seahorse last summer, said they had sold in the region of 250 oysters alongside mussels, prawns and their whitebait dish.
“We’re the only seafood place here which has worked in our favour,” she said. “We’ve had quite a lot of oyster virgins.”
She said it had been great to see parents encouraging their children to try different foods.
She added: “Me and my sister few up on seafood. That’s where the idea for the business came from really.”
For Pie Eyed owner Jack Norman, it marked a return to the food festival scene.
“We started out three years ago doing a lot of events like this,” he said. “We do a lot of weddings now so it’s just quite nice to be back out and keep your hand in with it.
“The Scotch eggs have gone down well. When it’s hot, the pie, mash, peas and gravy is a bit full on!”
Other stalls included British Street Food Awards finalists Wagyu Lookin’ At? and Gondola Raclette, an Alpine street-food business featured on Channel 4’s Hidden Restaurants.
Visitor Paul Mangan, from South Elmsall, was soaking up the atmosphere in the pop-up garden at the foot of Civic Hall.
“It’s been nice,” he said. “We had calzone – a bit doughy – and we’ve had a big curry. It would be nice to have some more tasters as you go around.”
Katie Eshelby, 23, had returned to the festival with friends yesterday for the second day running.
“We like that there are lots of vegetarian options,” she said. “The StakeOut did a good halloumi burger. We’ll definitely come again.”
The festival in Millennium Square – previously known as the Yorkshire Food and Drink Show – also featured a traditional British tearooms, a marquee bar and live music.