18-21 April York Chocolate Festival
Everything chocolate takes place in York over Easter: a chocolate market in Parliament Street, demonstrations and activities in the Guildhall and St Sampson’s Square. Melton’s Too are running a three course chocolate menu accompanied by chocolate wine and chocolate stout and York Cocoa House will be holding a Make-Your-Own-Easter-Egg event.
3-5 May Dales Festival of Food and Drink
Leyburn hosts with a 80 produce stalls, demonstrations by local chefs, Farming for Food events and a hands-on bread-making workshop for children.
24/25 May Malton Food Lovers Festival
While York relies on home grown talent (see below) Malton gets a bit star struck. Jean-Christophe Novelli is the big name at this year’s Food Lovers Festival. He will be joined by the BBC’s Incredible Spice Men, and Channel 4’s Michael Chiappa, two series new to me. For me, the best thing about Malton’s festival is its produce market: jolly striped market stalls packed with Yorkshire produce and a real sense of good cheer.
20-29 June York Spring Food Festival
In the run up to the Grand Depart, York are putting on a summer festival (as well as their usual September event). No guesses on the theme but Diane Hammill of Wild Harvest will be Gathering Gastropods, a snail hunt in the parks and gardens round the city. Bring them back and, if you’ve still got the appetite, chef will cook them up, with garlic butter no doubt
As well as French themed markets in Parliament Street and St. Sampson’s Square, there will be a bouillabaisse masterclass by chefs from the Cleveland Tontine, cookery demos from the lovely French bistro on Walmgate, Cochon Aveugle and the secrets of macaroon making with Florian Poirot (can he really be called that?) a York based Frenchman who has just launched his own company, FP Macaroons.
Festival regulars include Karen Hardwick and Festival Director, Michael Hjort hosting a food and wine matching event, Andrew Pern from the Star Inn the City and chef Stephanie Moon, foraging and cooking the way of Le Tour. No need to get thirsty either, there will be a very French Champagne tent and a very Yorkshire real ale bar.