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University of Warwick’s Resonate Festival celebrates the diversity of Coventry’s food scene with FEAST! a six-week food festival

Published: Wednesday, 17 November 2021

University of Warwick’s Resonate Festival celebrates the diversity of Coventry’s food scene with FEAST! a six-week food festival

Interviews available on request and members of the press are invited to join any of the four live FEAST! food events

Coventry’s diverse food culture will be in the spotlight like never before as a new festival aims to celebrate the region’s rich culinary history.

Staff and students at the University of Warwick are working alongside Coventry City of Culture 2021, the Coventry BID, Destination Coventry and a leading food blogger to highlight the vibrancy and diversity of the food scene in the region as part of a six-week festival.

The FEAST Food Festival runs throughout November until Sunday, December 12, and aims to showcase the cultures behind popular ​festive food and drink, as well as looking at their ingredients, techniques ​and origin stories.

It will feature a variety of cuisines at various pop-up events giving the people of Coventry the opportunity to discover new dishes and explore their history, with residents invited to submit their favourite dishes create a city-wide menu.

The University of Warwick is creating the menu to help celebrate the city’s cuisine, which will include a variety of different celebration dishes to tell the stories of why they are important to people across the region and within its range of cultures.

Warwickshire based food blogger and journalist Ellen Manning, who is behind the award-winning food blog Eat with Ellen, has joined staff and students at the University of Warwick to organise the festival alongside food historian Professor Beat Kumin and food scientist Rosemary Collier as well as Tom Mills, Head of Food and Beverage and Visitor Experience Coventry City of Culture Trust and Lyndsay Smith, Coventry BID.

The festival will include six weekly videos that showcase the food and drink available across the region with local restaurants sharing the background to their feast dishes. They include the story behind traditional Coventry Godcakes, produced locally and available in the city, (watch here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYujHm2JWrs) and Coventry’s connection with haggis (watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmuflPLAogo).

It will also feature four live events kicking off with an ‘Exhi-BEAN-tion’ feast with taster pots of vegan bean dishes from around the world, showcasing locally grown haricot beans, running on Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5.

A Festive Market hosted by Warwick Retail will then head to the Piazza at the university's central campus on Wednesday, December 8 before a two-part FEAST Food Fair in the village of Berkswell on December 10 and 11.

The first event will be a Beer Festival inside the beautiful ancient setting of St John the Baptist Church, Berkswell on Friday December 10, 7pm – 10.30pm, celebrating the medieval custom of church ales with local ales brewed in Coventry and the local region including Twisted Barrel Ale Brewery and Tap House in Fargo Village, Coventry, Byatts Brewery in Coventry and Church End Brewery in Warwick.

It is held in collaboration with The Spirit of Berkswell project and the My-Parish network based in Warwick's History department. Tickets cost £10, inclusive of four food and drink tokens, and are available here: https://bit.ly/BerksFeastFair

On Saturday December 11, 10.30am – 3.30pm, the Feast Food Fair will have more of a family-friendly focus on festive fare with lots of food to sample including Coventry Godcakes and Berkswell Cheese alongside festive dishes from Slovakia, Italy and Poland. More substantial Sri Lankan and British specialities will be available to buy.

Parishioners will be taking part in a ‘share-a-plate’ event, plus talks on church ales, honey, medieval hangover cures and fun children’s activities including candle making and biscuit decorating.

The final event will be a celebration of Festive cooking in Greek and Roman antiquity organized by the Classics and Ancient History department and taking place at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum on Saturday, December 11.

Prof. Beat Kümin, part of the Global Research Priority team on food at the University of Warwick’s Department of History, said: “The FEAST! festival will be a perfect way to celebrate Coventry’s rich culinary tapestry and showcase its dishes and cuisines to both residents and visitors.

 

“Each of the featured restaurants will tell us what specialties they use to celebrate and what the dishes means to them personally.

“We will also hear from local producers on the great care they take in catering for our most celebratory meals.

“Combined with academic insight from Warwick staff and students associated with its Global Research Priority on ‘Food’, we’ll paint a picture of the importance of eating and drinking together in the city’s many communities.”

FEAST! Food festival is part of the University of Warwick’s Resonate Festival, an inspiring and interactive 12-month events programme to celebrate Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture. The University of Warwick is a principal partner of City of Culture. Resonate will culminate in a three-day live festival on campus in April 2022.

For more information visit www.resonatefestival.co.uk/events/feast-food-festival

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