Digital Food Week Leeds: Online live shows, chef guests and cocktail chats to celebrate city's hospitality

A brand new online TV style show is launching to provide a platform to celebrate Leeds' hospitality scene as venues throw open their doors to welcome people back.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 4:45 pm
Johnny I’Anson chats to founder Simon Fogal at Chow Down

Digital Food Week will run from May 10 to May 16 with a focus on the hospitality sector in Leeds.

Brought by Chapter 81 and LeedsBID project, Welcome to Leeds, the concept provides an opportunity for businesses from the Leeds food and drink scene to tell their stories.

The venues can reignite the passion for what they do and get people excited about going out to sample what's on offer again.

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Digital Food Week aims to support the hospitality sector in Leeds and support it in getting it back to its former glory.

Broadcast journalists Johnny I’Anson, Larry Budd and Beth Parsons, alongside chef and owner of Holy Mountain Kitchen, Harry Johns will be part of the live TV show.

A range of other events will be taking place online throughout the week - including lunchtime chats ranging from the recovery of the hospitality sector to what people can expect to find on the Leeds indie food and drink scene.

There will also be a focus on mental health, and The Nationwide Caterers Association will be hosting a chat offering advice about getting into street food.

Founder of Chapter 81, Simon Fogal said: “We’re passionate about Leeds and its amazing food and drink scene.

"There are so many businesses large and small out there that have taken a huge hit over the past year and we want to shine a light on them and get the people of Leeds excited about going out in the city and helping to kick start their local economy once more.

"We’ll be looking at all elements of the hospitality sector - food and drink, but also advice for anyone wanting to start a hospitality business.

"With so many businesses taking part in various different ways, the week is set to be one of the biggest collaboration festivals ever.”

Martin Dickson from LeedsBID which is behind Welcome to Leeds, said: “This is such an exciting time for Leeds.

"In collaboration with Chapter 81, we have created some great video content welcoming people back to Leeds and reminding them of the amazing things to see, do and taste around the city, and this is an extension of that which goes a little deeper.

"We’ll delve into the hospitality sector as a whole and speak to people who are equally as passionate about Leeds as we are.

"We are really keen for as many people to tune in as possible and encourage them to come back to the city they know and love, experiencing what each venue has to offer.

"It’s a chance for people to support the businesses they are already familiar with, whilst also showcasing new ones they can support.

"With around 45 participants already lined up to speak to our hosts throughout the week, It’s going to be a truly unique project and we can’t wait for people to get chatting!”

All chats are free to attend and people wishing to get involved can register their interest on the website and book a slot.

They will also be available on the Welcome to Leeds YouTube channel or across social media including Leeds Indie Food, Welcome to Leeds and Chapter 81.

More of what's coming during Digital Food Week:

A segment called the ‘Big Picture’ will feature chats with the people behind some of the city’s best loved indies as well as supporters of the scene.

Expect to hear from Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive at LeedsBID; Becci Erbillur-Gray, City Centre Project Manager at Leeds City Council; and founder of Escapism Bar Group, Phil Harrison, amongst others, as the team behind Leeds Digital Food Week goes about opening up the conversation around food and drink being a culture.

Those tuning in can expect to hear from chef guests, such as Liz Cottam, Rob Hallas and Ben Davy, as well as buy a selection of beers to take part in tasting chats with some of Leeds’ best known breweries, such as Northern Monk, North Brew Co and Anthology.

There will also be some fun show-and-tells from Doh Hut, Big Guys Thicc Sauce, Laynes Espresso, Swine That Dines and Spice and Green

Host Beth Parsons will head out into the city, visiting Sarto, Rola Wala, Ox Club, Manjit’s Kitchen and Harvey Nichols, learning to cook with some of Leeds’ best chefs.

Host Harry Johns will be highlighting what’s on offer in the city’s excellent suburbs and will chat to street food traders, delving into hospitality on a broader scale.

There will also be chats about Leeds’ coffee, beer and cocktail culture, offering a behind the scenes look at these businesses and why they are so popular.

Viewers will hear conversations from their favourite indies, such as Leeds Beer Tours and Domino Club, as well as learning about newer ones to the scene.

Various venues across the city will be featuring food and drink specials to coincide with Leeds Digital Food Week so people can get a fully immersive experience of what Leeds’ hospitality sector has to offer.

Each show will end with some of Leeds’ newest musical talent recommended by Music:Leeds.