Eat Cambridge 2018 is over! On Sunday we came to the end of a festival fortnight packed with foodie festivities and fringe events. It’s been a blast, but it’s now time to say goodbye to #EatCam18 and, after catching up on a lot of sleep and a mountain of admin, get planning for next year’s food festival!! The two-week long celebration of Cambridge food and drink will be back again in May 2019, and I’m already itching to announce dates and start pulling together another exciting programme bursting with the best in local food. But first, some thank yous to the many, many amazing people and businesses behind this year’s successful festival…
After Eat Cambridge had a year off in 2017, I was thrilled to receive such a huge number of applications from local businesses wishing to hold stalls at this year’s Main Event and from fringe event hosts with excellent ideas for showcasing our local food scene. Huge thanks to all of our stallholders and event hosts who showed such enthusiasm and excitement for the return of the festival; you all helped to make Eat Cambridge a real success and your positivity and passion for what you do have been totally contagious throughout the whole process! It was a joy to bring you all together in one room at the Main Event and into one jam-packed events programme for the incredible festival fortnight. I hope everyone attending the festival this year felt the same – I know that I loved watching so many customers enjoying, exploring, and discovering everything that we had to offer at Eat Cambridge. Thank you to everyone who marked the dates in their diary all those months ago; poised to book fringe event tickets the second the festival programme hit the website; and then came along to experience the many pop-ups, suppers, talks, tastings, one-off dinners, and all-day foodie celebrations. It was AMAZING to see so many local food lovers eating, meeting, and tweeting throughout the festival!
I’ve had some incredible support from local sponsors and partners, too. Thanks to Burwash Manor, Cambridge Live, Pint Shop, Rubber Cheese, and Minuteman Press for helping to make Eat Cambridge happen, and to our media partners Cambridge Edition and Cambridge 105 Radio for getting the news out there and promoting the festival far and wide! The thing I love most about partnering with such a great group of businesses is that there are some pretty awesome individuals that I get to work with along the way. Massive thank yous to Clare and the team at Burwash Larder, and Lindsay at Flock Cafe – all fantastic female forces getting an enormous amount of great stuff done for our food scene! We had a great day at the Guildhall for the Main Event thanks to the Cambridge Live team. Thanks to Izzy from Pint Shop for being so supportive, organised, mega enthusiastic, and getting stuck into the whole ethos behind the festival with some great collaborations. It was an absolute pleasure to work with our pals at Rubber Cheese on the festival website and programme again – thanks to Kelly and Trudy in particular. Shout-outs to Dario and the team at Minuteman Press too for (very) last minute printing as standard (sorry!), and, last but not least, thank you to Cambridge Edition’s excellent editor Nicola and to Julian and the team at Cambridge 105 Radio for the ongoing support. Special mention goes to Alan from Flavour 105 for camping out in my car at foodPark (my day job) to record interviews every couple of weeks, come rain or shine!!
There are many more people who helped out along the way, often behind the scenes, and I couldn’t have done it without them and owe them all HUGE thank yous! The advertisers who supported the production of the festival programme; the amazing crew of volunteers who worked tirelessly at the Main Event – Ed, Carri, Jess, Carly, Lyndsey, and the fantastic Rosie who kept the programme of talks ticking along seamlessly; and the fascinating speakers who so generously donated their time to share their experiences in food and drink. Thank you to the lovely Charlotte Griffiths for coming up with the idea for our new photography competition and helping me judge (stay tuned for the #EatCamCam winner announcement!) Huge thanks to Dr Sue Bailey for early brainstorming sessions, inspired event ideas, and for putting together and hosting a fringe event in character as Fabulous Fanny – a first for Eat Cambridge, which was very much enjoyed! I was also incredibly chuffed to have the support of Rosie Sykes and fellow food writer Rachel Roddy, who organised and hosted a spectacular opening event for the festival and raised almost £2000 for local charity Wintercomfort. Thank you to Rosie and Rachel for being so willing and enthusiastic and embracing Eat Cambridge so wholeheartedly, and to the whole team at Wintercomfort for getting involved, and to all of YOU amazing people who attended the dinner and gave so generously! Finally, a big (and crucial) thank you to Tom and the guys at Outspoken who jumped into action, often at a moment’s notice, to pedal copies of our programme all over the city.
Thank you again to everyone involved in this year’s festival. It’s been incredible, and that’s all thanks to the amazing collective effort of our brilliant local food and drink scene. I’m looking forward to catching up with many, many more people who played a role in this year’s Eat Cambridge festival, and I’ll be busy behind the scenes confirming all the important details for May 2019 very soon. Watch this space!
Heidi White, Eat Cambridge organiser
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