The 20th to 27th of April saw another Camberwell Food & Drink Festival, and I missed almost all of it. Typical. Luckily my wife, Ana, was around, so here’s her report on the Food Fair that kicked it off:
The Festival started with a food fair on Camberwell Green where some of the best local restaurants, cafes and producers met and fed a crowd willing to spend the whole day lying in the sun — it was such a beautiful spring day. It attracted people of all ages, who happily shopped/ queued for food and sat on the green, surrounded by food stalls, just to chat, read, listen to the music and watch the colourful balloons against the clear blue sky.
Camberwell was represented by House Cafe, No 67, Falafel and Zeret. As much as I enjoy their food, I wanted to check the guys from outside our borders. I tried a delicious Orange and Ginger Marmalade from Thurstons Preserves and some really tasty cheese from Bath Soft Cheese. There was fresh meat, fish, vegetables and bread there too; if I was planning to go home after the event, I would have done my shopping for the month there.
Then I found Braziliana Cafe and I couldn’t resist having a coxinha and a Guarana — a fried chicken croquette and a soft drink that are very popular in Brazil, my country of origin. Later, the owner Mariana Camarotte prepared feijoada, a stew of black beans with beef and pork, in the demonstration kitchen. It was quite nice to see so many people taking an interest in Brazilian food and the live cooking session helped her to sell more portions of our most famous dish.
The idea of having a stall on the farmers market on Saturdays for each restaurant to showcase their dishes and engage with the community could work well.
There are lots more pictures of the Food Fair on the Flickr stream of Changify, an organisation aimed at helping to bring about social change at a local level. They ran an event, which I was able to attend, on the last day of the Festival. This event was to gather local opinion about food options and introduce people to some of the local amenities. The morning session had some talks, including one from the Glengall Wharf Garden, a community project in Burgess Park. Then we split into two groups to have a small taster lunch, one group at The Bear and the other (mine) at The Crooked Well, where they explained their origins and how they aim to source food locally.
My group then took a tour of some of the shops in the area, and The Secret Garden, run by Tom aka TomTom aka Monkeycat, of this parish. In the afternoon there was a further workshop, but at that point I had to leave.
It’s great to see people working to effect change, so I recommend you have a look at their website to see what it offers. If nothing else, they introduced me to the delicious crepes and galettes of Maloko, the new cafe opened in the former Paul’s Continental Olive Shop, run by some lovely and friendly guys who have a mission to provide healthy vegan food at low prices.