Food and travel go together like scones and Cornwall, tapas and Spain or chips and the north. Regardless of the stamps in your passport or the Air Miles in your account, we’re constantly globe-trotting; every time we eat suvlaki our tastebuds head to Santorini, an Indian takeaway carries us to Calcutta and sushi spirits us to Tokyo. Which makes National Geographic Traveller, the world’s leading experts in travel, the perfect people to bring us London’s newest food festival.
The magazine’s inaugural food festival arrives in town on 20th July for three days of ‘travelling’ without ever leaving London’s Business Design Centre, via the medium of great food.
The event will see the centre’s main hall scattered with stalls from around the globe, with far-flung locations as diverse as Dominica, Israel and the Hungary, all teaming with local delicacies. If you’ve never tasted Dominican mutton curry or jerk spiced jackfruit then you’ve never lived, and now you can. Israeli wine is biblically good, sip wine from the Hanadiv Valley before enjoying the Israeli Culinary Masterclass from Eran Tibi, head chef and co-founder of Southwark restaurant Bala Baya. Meanwhile there’s much more to Hungary than goulash, enjoy the best of Budapest street food at their stall, or why not join a Hungarian chef masterclass?
Masterclasses, taking places at the Tarragon and Cinnamon theatres, will give guests insight into how some of the world’s most exciting dishes are made (ever wondered how a Montenegrin corn crepe’s created? It’s a modern twist on tortellini, find out how to make them yourself).
The main stage will be alive with chefs, with iconic French chef Raymond Blanc jostling with an impressive roster including food personalities John Torode and Andi Oliver as well as top chefs like Gennaro Contaldo, Adam Handling and Zoe Adjonyo, all of them presenting live cooking demos as they go.
As well as chefs, punters can look forward to meeting authors, each of them experts in their fields, from journalist Felicity Cloake, taking to the main stage to talk about her book, One More Croissant for the Road, to the likes of Kay Plunkett Hogge, Asma Khan, John Gregory Smith, Tommy Barnes and Theo Michael; all imparting their knowledge and advice on a range of foodie subjects.
If all that isn’t enough to sway you (and we can’t understand how it wouldn’t be), then there’ll be free food. Plenty of it! With chances to sample delicious dishes from around the world, the £22 tickets are worth every crumb, er, penny.
The National Geographic Traveller Food Festival takes place between Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 2019 at The Business Design Centre, Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH