Birmingham’s drive towards a more egalitarian food scene has been boosted with the launch of a new city-centre festival.
Colmore Business District – which represents the city’s office quarter – has signed up the area’s best venues for the one-day event on July 7.
The new initiative, which will coincide with the district’s jazz and blues festival, follows the decision earlier this year to scrap the annual Taste of Birmingham event at Cannon Hill Park which had seen crowds down after it was accused of being too elitist because of the cost.
At this event, menu taster options will be available from as little as £1.50.
Ann Tonks, a CBD board member and managing director of Opus, helped create the concept of the festival and said it was very much about representing the diverse range of offers in the area.
She said: “First and foremost, it is a celebration of the depth and variety of food and drink we have in Colmore Business District.
"The district is home to wonderful food and drink businesses, many of whom are independent, and we wanted to create something that showcased CBD as the great destination for quality eating and drinking in Birmingham.”
Already confirmed for the event – which will run from noon to 7pm in Victoria Square – are 20 stands, including Asha’s Restaurant, Hotel du Vin, Manton’s, Metro Bar & Grill, Opus Restaurant, Purnell’s, The Jekyll & Hyde, The Wellington Pub and Urban Coffee Company.
Visitors will be able to view live cookery demonstrations from some of the district’s top chefs as well as tasting the food.
Food festival event manager Tahreen Kutub said: “We’re very excited about hosting the food festival during a week of jazz and blues performances in the district. Culinary enthusiasts and music lovers can come together and enjoy live music while sampling some of Birmingham’s finest cuisine.”
Emma Gray, director of marketing services at Marketing Birmingham, added: “It’s great to see Colmore Business District promoting Birmingham’s culinary offer.
‘‘It is an integral part of the city’s proposition to visitors and businesses and it is important that we celebrate the fantastic producers and restaurants we have.”
Marketing Birmingham is also currently working up plans for a larger food festival – which has a working title of the Birmingham Food Festival – which is set to run over 10 days in October and will be focused on the entire city centre allowing restaurants to run special festival menus, promotions, demonstrations and tastings.
Local producers will also be encouraged to play an active part at festival markets.