This year’s Taste of Birmingham will have a distinctly French flavour, it has been revealed.
Four award-winning chefs from Birmingham’s twin city of Lyon will be at the four-day food festival, joining representatives from many of the region’s top restaurants including Simpsons, Opus, Hotel du Vin and Malmaison, which hosted the official Champagne launch.
The Taste event promises to be star-studded in every sense, with celebrities heading for Cannon Hill Park in Edgbaston to include TV chefs Antony Worrall Thompson and Aldo Zilli, while Simpsons and the Lyon contingent will bring their Michelin-starred skills to the event.
The four French chefs – Joseph Viola from the restaurant Daniel et Denise, Laurent Bouvier of Le Puy D’or, Frédéric Berthod from Le 33 Cité and Olivier Paget of Le Fleurie – are all members of the Lyon branch of Les Toques Blanches, a worldwide network of chefs formed in 1906 to share a passion for food, transfer knowledge, and promote quality regional produce and cuisine.
Visitors to Taste of Birmingham will be able to sample a special three course menu prepared by the Gallic gourmets. The dishes include crosmequis of foie gras, tomato confit, mango petals and herb salad, dumplings of pike with crayfish tails and red fruit craquant with crystallised mint.
Birmingham and Lyon have forged a strong culinary link, following Birmingham’s entry to the Delice worldwide network of chefs earlier this year.
David Colcombe, chef director at Opus restaurant said: “What a great honour to have these four chefs from the culinary capital of Europe coming to Taste of Birmingham. It will be great fun to see Joseph and Frédéric again and a marvellous opportunity for the people of the Midlands to taste a sample of Lyonnaise food.
“This is what Birmingham’s membership of Delice is all about – the building of strong relationships and sharing city cuisines.”
The full line-up of local restaurants at the third Taste of Birmingham was also announced last night – Simpsons, Opus, Lasan, Filini Restaurant at Radisson SAS Hotel, Aria at The Hyatt, Hotel du Vin, The Oriental, Itihaas, Malmaison and Thai Edge will be joined by La Bécasse based in Ludlow.
Visitors will be able to sample three signature dishes from each restaurant, as well as watch demonstrations from celebrity chefs Worrall Thompson and Zilli, sample foods at the special Taste Kitchen with Sainsbury’s, and meet local producers at the delicious magazine Producers’ Market.
The gala opening night of the festival also features the annual Taste of Birmingham awards, with categories including Best Restaurant, Best Seasonal Produce and Best Newcomer.
Taste of Birmingham runs from July 10-13 at Cannon Hill Park; ticket prices start from £12 from the box office 0871 230 5581 or through the website www.channel4.com/taste