‘Lifechanging’ Street Food To Feature At City’s Spring Festival

THIS weekend sees Sefton Park play host to over twenty of the region’s top street food traders as part of Liverpool Food, Drink and Lifestyle Spring Festival. Launched last year, the Spring festival is the younger sister event to the popular September food and drink festival which celebrates its 10th birthday next year, and the organisers have introduced a brand new format for 2016, with five zones to explore over a brand new festival site located next to the Children’s Playground. Each of these zones has its own look and feel, and in one area, The Meadow, visitors will discover a veritable village of the region’s best independent street food operators and local producers. Set against a backdrop of live musicians and DJs, with outdoor dining areas and bars there’s a diverse mix of cuisines to enjoy, ranging from Greek to traditional British, American to Laotian – but as well as some mouthwatering offerings, there’s more to some of these menus than first meets the eye, proving that food can actually change lives for the better. Two traders with interesting back-stories make their festival debut this year. Fritto, is a Liverpool social enterprise which makes and sells a range of handmade Italian Street Food including Panzerotti (fried pizza) and Arancini (stuffed rice balls), whilst Smokin’ Blues is run by an ex-fine dining chef, who gave up a prestigious career to pursue his love of Deep South cooking. Fritto’s story began at Granby Fourstreets Community Market in the summer of 2015, when the organisers invited owner Luca to sample his Italian street food menu on the local community. Fritto combines Luca’s two passions: food and social change. Born and bred in Milan, but moving to Liverpool to further his studies in sociology and criminology, Luca’s aim is to make a positive contribution to society using food; to promote wellbeing and support independent living; to provide constructive and enriching support to vulnerable or at-risk young adults, through a series of mentoring activities and food workshops. After eleven years of cooking in top restaurants, chef Morgan Boyle decided to leave the kitchen behind after a trip to Tennessee, and to pursue his love of ‘low and slow’ cooking, perfecting smoked flavours, authentic rubs and sauces of the Southern US states. Quitting his job, he imported a smoker from America, customised his truck, and Smokin’ Blues was born. Morgan now serves quality street food at many of the best regional fairs and markets across the country. Specialising in Brisket, Ribs and Pork all smoked over natural hard woods, everything is made from scratch and all meat sourced locally – following his dream, he’s passionate about building a sustainable and responsible business and his aim is to bring his own brand of ethical and unique food to the British public. Speaking about this April’s event, Festival Director Denise Harris commented: “We’ve got a fantastic line up of street food traders all ready for the Spring festival, and just like Luca and Morgan they’re all massively passionate about what they do – it’s so inspiring to work with people who are completely committed to serving the best possible quality food and drink. We’d encourage visitors to the Spring Festival to speak to the traders and share in their enthusiasm and of course sample a few different menus and discover some new tastes and flavours.” Tickets are now on sale for the Liverpool Food, Drink and Lifestyle Spring Festival and available from www.liverpoolfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk