This year’s TALKS: Food Writers, Celebrity Chefs, Sourdough Specialists, Wine, Cheese, and Feminism

May 11, 2018

This year’s festival speakers are already creating quite a buzz amongst the city’s food and drink fans, and we reckon the day-long schedule of talks at the Main Event is going to be a huge highlight at Eat Cambridge 2018. We know you’re always excited to hear from our favourite local foodie talent, and this year’s jam-packed line-up is no exception!

On Saturday 19 May at the Guildhall, eleven speakers will take centre stage in the Council Chamber (just across the hall from the Main Event’s food and drink stalls) and impart wisdom and tasty titbits on everyone’s favourite subject: food and drink. This year, we are thrilled to welcome local chef and author Rosie Sykes as host of the Eat Cambridge talks programme. Join Rosie from 10.30am next Saturday to hear from our finest chefs, food writers, local experts on bread, cheese, and wine, and take away some excellent insights into seasonal cooking, food and wine matching, the city’s foodie history, and behind-the-scenes knowledge of the restaurant industry and our food tourism economy.

Rosie Sykes in garden

Read on for a run-down of this year’s topics and check out the full schedule HERE.

10.30am: Rosie Sykes 

Local chef and author Rosie Sykes introduces our programme of food and drink talks, tastings, and information sessions. Rosie is a chef and food writer who has cooked in the kitchens of some of Britain’s most celebrated chefs, including Joyce Molyneux, Shaun Hill, and Alistair Little. Her critically acclaimed gastropub, The Sutton Arms in Smithfield, London, established her as one of the most exciting cooks working in the UK. Rosie has previously written for the Guardian Weekend Magazine as ‘The Kitchen Doctor’. Most recently, Rosie has written two excellent and inspirational recipe books: The Kitchen Revolution (2008) and The Sunday Night Book (2017).

10.45am: Rosie Sykes and Rachel Roddy

Our special guest speaker, food writer and chef Rachel Roddy, joins us from Italy to compare notes on seasonal produce with her long-time friend Rosie Sykes. The Guardian columnist Rachel Roddy lives in Rome with her Sicilian partner and son, having moved there from London in 2005 where she began writing about food on her blog racheleats.wordpress.com. Rachel’s first book, Five Quarters, was published in 2015 and won both the André Simon Food Book Award and The Guild of Food Writers First Book Award. Her second book, Two Kitchens, was published last year, and Rachel has also written for The Financial Times, The Telegraph, delicious. Magazine, and has an award-winning weekly column in The Guardian called A Kitchen in Rome. Come and peek inside a typical spring shopping basket and find out what Rosie and Rachel most enjoy cooking and eating at home, in their respective corners of the UK and Italy.

Rachel Roddy

11.15am: Hilary Cacchio

Having cooked on islands without electricity, ships without kitchens and in celebrity homes in New York, Hilary has a pretty down to earth view of food and an unshakeable obsession for seasonal local produce. Hear more about Hilary’s book (Sourdough Suppers), her passion for real food, and how real bread holds together any great meal.

11.45am: Mark Anstead

Whenever you dine in a restaurant there is the daunting challenge of selecting wine to accompany your meal. At Cambridgeshire Wine School, Mark Anstead loves to demystify wine and make it easy to understand. Join Mark for an introduction to pairing wine with food, learn the sommeliers’ secrets and experience a demonstration of how different foods can completely change the flavour of wine.

12.15pm: Vhari Russell

Life-long foodie, food industry devotee, and renowned networking whirlwind Vhari Russell is founder of local food and drink marketing agency, The Food Marketing Expert. Our appetite for seeing and engaging with foodie content on social media is huge, still and growing. Hear Vhari’s take on why food is everyone’s favourite subject, and how we will be consuming it in the years to come.

12.45 – 1.15pm: Duncan Catchpole, The Cambridge Organic Food Co.

A drop-in information session giving the latest news and updates on Cambridge Sustainable Food’s ambitious ‘Food Hub’ project to revolutionise the local food system: providing services and facilities to local food businesses and significantly increasing the amount of locally and sustainably produced food that is consumed in Cambridge. Come along and find out more from Duncan at this informal session and Q&A.

1.30pm: Caroline Biggs

Long before our city’s thriving street food scene began, street vendors had a long history of providing a wide variety of food items to urban dwellers. Meet some of Cambridge’s Victorian shopkeepers and hawkers and find out more about where and how Cambridge people purchased their food, in the days before supermarket chains led to their demise.

Hum-closen cheese board

2pm: Hum-Closen

When we think of a cheeseboard, it is often something reserved for special occasions, served at the end of a meal, with the only question being: before or after pudding? Increasingly, cheesemonger Suzannah is pleased to find cheese being served where it quite rightly should be – anywhere in the meal or as the meal itself, without pomp or ceremony – simply as a delicious piece of food.  In this tasting we will take cheese off the cheeseboard (and out of a sandwich) to remember that it is probably the original and best ready-made food.

2.30pm: Food and Feminism

Commonly, women are called cooks, and men are chefs. Are these titles and roles outdated and outmoded? Is cooking a lost art and what has feminism got to do with it? Join Dr Sue Bailey for a quick culinary history trip from the suffragettes to the female-run kitchens of the present day!

Alex Rushmer

3pm: Alex Rushmer

Alex Rushmer is a Cambridge-based chef and food writer. After reaching the final of Masterchef in 2010, Alex opened the Hole in the Wall in Little Wilbraham which was named one of the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants by The Sunday Times. Almost a year after the final service at the much-loved Hole in the Wall, Chef Alex talks us through his experience of ‘how to close a restaurant’.

3.30pm: From clone towns to slow towns – examining festival legacies

Having completed some thorough and insightful research on Eat Cambridge during the past few years for Anglia Ruskin University’s business school, Dr Mike Duignan will examine how the physical and digital presence of food festivals create operational and strategic benefits for small businesses, and supports their longer-term competitiveness in the era of the ‘clone town’.

Exciting stuff, eh? Tell us which talks you’re putting to the top of your to-do list – use the #EatCam18 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and follow event updates on the Facebook event HERE.

Don’t forget: entry to all of the talks is FREE and all sessions are included in the £2 entry fee to the Main Event. You can pop in and out of the programme to hear the talks you are interested in, or grab a seat and stay for them all! Make a note of the times of your chosen talks so you don’t miss out – you can find a handy guide to the talks and timings in the festival programme. We’ll have stacks of copies on hand on the day in case you need one!

Get planning your #EatCam18 schedule and we’ll see you there!

Need to know more? Get the full details about the Main Event and the location, timings and programme online HERE.

Receive festival news and sneak previews...

Don't worry, we hate spammers too so we promise we'll only email you roughly once a month.