Social media, video and a new cultural vibe are making a difference to the food scene in our town.
Bristol has an exhilarating vitality about it, as pop-up restaurants, food stalls, food markets and food producers, growers and chefs impact on the city.
Bristol Food Connections Festival has just finished. This embodies the activist food culture in Bristol like no other event.
By the people for the people, Bristol Food Connections is about grass roots involvement with food – from growing on waste land, food education, sharing different cuisines to re-purposing the accepted food production infrastructure.
It’s ambitious, sometimes chaotic, community-led and challenging.
Using social media to spread the word, the Festival, now in its third year and run entirely by volunteers, is connected to its disparate contributors via the internet; it’s what glues it and fuels it.
As part of the event earlier in the month, Mendip Media along with a host of interested foodies celebrated British asparagus production with a five course meal made by Michelin star chefs in a Mongolian yurt next to the main railway terminal; an event supported by a brilliantly orchestrated social media campaign.
This cross fertilisation of media, the internet, food and raw talent is raising the temperature to boiling point and fusing new cultural possibilities.
And now Bristol has the elite Silver Award for being a Sustainable Food City.
As part of a network of cities and towns across the world, Sustainable Food Cities membership involves developing a cross-sector partnership of local public agencies, businesses, academics and NGOs committed to working together to make healthy and sustainable food a defining characteristic of where they live.
And in Bristol it’s little surprise that as one food festival finishes, another bold and noisy food event is upon us.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day bursts into life tomorrow on 20th May.
Billed as an annual global day that celebrates good, fresh, real food that shouts about the benefits of cooking from scratch, it has a slickness of purpose that comes from big financial backing.
But for all its professional video-led marketing and absolute mastery of internet communications, it is no less serious about changing attitudes to food.
In fact, thank god for Jamie Oliver’s elevation from pukka TV chef boy to a serious player in food politics.
Jamie is a champion that might just succeed, because of his social media savviness, in dragging not only the food retailers and their supply chain but a so-far indifferent public, out of the morass of poor eating that we’ve become accustomed to over many decades.
Viva the Food Revolution!