Leeds’ thriving independent food and drink community are planning a mouthwatering feast for the city’s annual Leeds Indie Food festival.
Returning for its third year, the 18-day celebration in May will play host to nearly 100 innovative events spread over three new festival strands: Eat, Drink and Do.
Enthusiastic Eaters will find plenty on their plate, from quirky outdoor supper clubs to vegan fine dining, plus street food feasts, cheese tastings and more besides.
Committed drinkers will be treated to everything from wine fairs showing off the region’s finest merchants to latte art throw downs, with baristas competing to make the prettiest coffee.
Curious Do-ers have an array of food and drink culture on offer including events as diverse as critical documentary screenings, chocolate making workshops and family-focussed foodie art projects.
The ever-popular Festival Passport scheme is back with a bang too, giving festival goers the chance to grab exclusive discounts on event tickets, food and drink as well as collecting unique passport stamps from every #LIF17 venue, encouraging users to explore Leeds’ unique independent scene and find new places to dine and drink.
If that’s not enough, passport Holders can access priority ticketing to bag the best seats at sellout events.
Festival Passports are priced at £10 and are on sale now via www.leedsindiefood.co.uk
Festival superfans can also bag exclusive merchandise through Leeds company Awesome Merchandise’s brand new Mercht platform. Limited runs of #LIF17 t-shirts and tote bags designed by local illustrators Hungry Sandwich Club will be on sale alongside the first ticket announcements, but organisers stress they’re bound to sell out quickly.
#LIF17 events include:
Alfred’s Meanwood Dinner Box (11th, 18th and 25th May)
The popular Meanwood pocket-sized bar are teaming up with their foodie neighbours for a one-off collaborative dinners menu! Sushi bar Hanamatsuri are providing the starters, local favourites The Hungry Bear are on mains and Italian small plates joint Zucco will be dishing up desert.
Balcombe & Smith (26th May)
Pop-up dining purveyors Balcombe & Smith are teaming up with Fiction and Forest Found to present an eating experience that takes you away from it all. Set in a secret outdoor venue, the crew will provide a seasonal, banquet style tasting menu in a unique green space amongst campfires and fire pits, with attendees only finding out the location at the last minute.
Bundobrunch: Return of the Brunchy Spice (20th and 21st May)
Indian street food pioneers Bundobust are teaming up once again with specialist coffee shop Laynes Espresso for a super spicy mash-up brunch service, mixing some brand new Bundo dishes with matched Laynes coffee drinks. Last year’s event was fully booked within 24 hours, so the Return of the Brunchy Spice is sure to be a hot ticket.
Meet the Merchants Wine Fair (28th May)
Join vino-evangelists Yorkshire Wine School at the historic Corn Exchange for a wine fair bringing together the region’s finest merchants. Festival goers will be able to sip as much as they like, all included in the ticket price, and with interesting bottles from merchants including Ham & Friends, Latitude Wine, Alpine Wine and even Transylvanian Wine on offer, there’ll be plenty to whet your appetite for a bite to eat from the likes of cheesemonger George and Joseph.
Hit The North: Collab Beer Launch and Ale Trail Shuttle (20th May)
Two stars of Leeds’ renowned craft beer scene, Northern Monk and North Brewing Co., are brewing up a truly collaborative beer launch. The popular breweries are producing a pair of very special Northern beers that can be drunk separately or mixed together to create a sensational drink. Each brewery is taking over the other’s tap room for the night in celebration, with a free shuttle bus running between the venues.
Coffee and Cocktails at Stories (12th May)
Scandi-inspired Oakwood café Stories are inviting loyal customers and foodie explorers through their doors for a one-of-a-kind evening featuring coffee and cocktail making with UK Barista Champion and World Coffee in Good Spirits runner up Dan Fellows. Tickets include two free drinks, and we cant wait to see what Dan’s got in his shaker.
Big Fat Food Quiz of the Year (16th May)
Holbeck brewery Northern Monk already run what is arguably Leeds’ best pub quiz, ably hosted by quirky question masters A Tribe Called Quiz, so for Leeds Indie Food they’re turning up the dials for the Big Fat Food Quiz of the Year. Rounds including ‘Own Brand vs Big Brand’ and even ‘Ready Steady Cook’ style challenges are set to up the ante, and there are great prizes to be won too.
The Fun of Food (20th and 21st May)
Purveyors of family fun Pop Up and Play Co are taking over Leeds Dock to present The Fun of Food, an interactive gallery experience for kids and big kids alike. Collaborating with Leeds-based photographer Tom Joy, the exhibition will focus on colour, fun and enjoyment, with families invited to explore the art, take part in activities and share their favourite ways to eat and enjoy food.
Intro to Making Chocolates with Tyto Leodis (14th, 18th and 20th May)
If you’ve ever fancied learning how to make your own delicious flavoured and textured truffles then Tyto Leodis will be on hand in the friendly surroundings of 200 Degrees coffee shop. The session will begin with a tasting, then a quick science lesson before getting hands on making two types of chocolates to take home, learning from experienced chocolatier Mike Wallis.
Matt Dix, of Leeds Indie Food, said: “Over the last few years we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to build one of the country’s most exciting, innovative and progressive food festivals, and we hope we’re bringing something to the table that Leeds can be truly proud of. No other city gets the chance to tuck into such a diverse programme of events, and this year’s new strands – Eat. Drink. Do. – prove that there’s so much more going on than just beer and street food (though that’s good too). Our amazing venues are screening provocative food documentaries, putting on supper clubs to support Syrian refugees, and fighting food waste, and we’re even giving a leg up to a few brand new businesses. As ever, it’s heartening to see our vibrant independent businesses getting creative and collaborating, proving that we all do better when we work together.”
Priority Tickets go on sale on February 20 and general Tickets on February 23. Festival Passports and merch on sale now.
All sales via www.leedsindiefood.co.uk
Merch via www.mercht.com/u/leedsindiefood