ORGANISERS of the Taste of Edinburgh Festival are bracing themselves for a wet weekend – but are hoping the weather won’t stop the annual foodie festival being more family friendly than ever.
Children under 12 will have free admission to the festival this year – bringing them face- to-face with some of Scotland’s top chefs and most outstanding food producers.
Those behind the new family-friendly festival have been inspired by Martha Payne, the nine-year-old blogger who won the support of celebrity chefs for highlighting the state of the school dinners offered to her by her local authority.
Stuart Muir, executive chef of the Forth Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols, said it was vitally important to encourage younger children to be well informed about and interested in food.
“I’m surprised it has taken them this long to do it – but it is all about families coming along together in a festival atmosphere.
“I have two girls who are always in the kitchen – but when I go along to schools I often find that kids know much more than we give them credit for. Sometimes we give kids an easy time – maybe we should make it more serious for them. It is a serious issue, particularly in Scotland, where we have such problems with things like obesity. Getting kids involved when they are young is the start of the way forward.”
This year’s restaurant line-up will include Angels with Bagpipes, The Balmoral, Cucina at Hotel Missoni, Forth Floor Restaurant, Kama Sutra, Plumed Horse, Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Tigerlily, and Valvona & Crolla Vincaffe. Glasgow favourites Café Gandolfi and Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery return for a second year. Balfour Castle from Orkney, Chez Roux from East Lothian and The Road Hold from St Andrews will also feature at this year’s festival.
Show manager Francesca Weil said: “Taste of Edinburgh 2012 will deliver the event’s most illustrious and inclusive restaurant line-up to date, including not only award-winning restaurants from Edinburgh but a cross-section of the best Scotland has to offer.
“With award-winning producers, suppliers and experts from across the country gathering together at The Meadows, there is no better opportunity for children to get hands-on and learn about fresh, seasonal Scottish produce.
“Our event programme has been designed with this in mind – from children’s cookery courses to engaging demonstrations we hope families come along and get their little ones involved.”
TV favourite Valentine Warner kicked off proceedings yesterday with a photocall with some young foodies. He said: “Scotland is spoilt for choice with its fine offering of ingredients and producers. What’s more, it’s always a pleasure to be in fabulous Edinburgh with its wide spacious streets and fine buildings, and in particular to open Taste of Edinburgh.
“Regardless of the weather, this weekend is set to be a gastronomic celebration for people of all ages. With kids going free at this year’s festival it’s a perfect opportunity for immersing them in an inspirational environment where they can learn about healthy eating, Scottish produce and seasonality from some of the biggest names and role models in the industry.
“I for one can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get started.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west