Real Food Festival promises sustainable and ethical food

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More than 500 artisan food producers are lined up to show their wares at the Real Food Festival at Earls Court in London next month, 5-8 May 2011.

According to organisers, the event will be a celebration of extraordinary food and drink that has been sustainably and ethically produced.

Jamie Oliver’s new range, the JME collection, will be previewed at the show. The 57-strong product range has been created by Jamie and his team and produced by some of the UK’s finest artisanal producers. It will only be available to independent stores and delis.

Special features at the Festival will include Jo Wood and Arthur Potts Dawson’s Mrs Paisley’s Lashings pop up restaurant; a special reception hosted by the Organic Trade Board plus a debate on the most pressing issues facing food production today, hosted by the BBC Radio Four Food Programme and chaired by Sheila Dillon.

A programme of trade seminars and demonstrations, designed to help visitors add value to their businesses, will take place in the Pride of Place Kitchen; while the Dragons’ Pantry will put food producers through their paces.

Dragons include Owen Gower (Mitchell & Butler pub group) Zoe Jackson (Jamie Oliver) and John Farrand (Guild of Fine Food).

Industry experts will be on hand to present on topics including cheese dating (or matching) to sexing up the deli counter.

The first day of the festival will also see the conclusion of the School Food Matters/School Farms Network Grow Your Own Omelette Competition. Two secondary and two primary schools will go head to head in this last leg of the competition, which has seen them grow all the produce to make up their omelette recipe.

The judges – Jo Wood, Arthur Potts Dawson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Rosie Boycott – will make up the deciding panel and the omelettes will be cooked by chef Tom Aiken.

The popular Real Food Theatre also makes a return and hosts chefs including Ashley Palmer Watts, Fergus Henderson, Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Richard Bertinet, Henry Harris and Giorgio Locatelli.