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York Food Festival 2023: Embracing Community Spirit and Culinary Excellence

Friday 22nd September to Sunday 1st October

The York Food Festival proudly announces its forthcoming 26th anniversary, promising an unusual celebration of gastronomy and community vitality. What sets York apart is its deep-rooted community orientation along with the enthusiastic engagement of numerous local organisations.

Festival Director Michael Hjort succinctly captures the festival's ethos, saying, "We want to run an event that celebrates local talent and is run by and for the York community. The world is full of Food Festivals these days; what's different about York is that it's not a couple of guys off TV and a market brought in from anywhere."

These are the major highlights:

Hands-On Cookery in the Food Factory and Schools Program: At the festival's core lies the "Food Factory," where visitors of all ages will indulge in immersive, hands-on cookery workshops, free of charge. These workshops will not only educate but also inspire. The Schools Program is set to welcome 1200 students at no cost to schools, igniting a passion for homemade, wholesome, and locally sourced cuisine.

Refugee Day Coordinated by Yahala Mataam: On Wednesday, 27th August, the festival will host a special Refugee Day, masterminded by Yahala Mataam. This heartwarming event aims to foster cultural exchange through food, music, and storytelling, as we unite in the celebration of diversity and inclusivity.

Food Trails and New Cookie Tour: Embark on a gastronomic journey with our Food Trails, a full day of nibbles and a gentle walk around the city, uncovering hidden culinary gems. New for 2023 we are introducing the Cookie Tour, a delightful addition for our young visitors.

Enhanced Facilities at St Crux Hall: This year, St Crux Hall hosts additional stands, overall there are more than 80 stands throughout the festival. Weekend additions will further elevate the experience, providing ample opportunities to explore and enjoy. The Yorkshire Mark organization will host a substantial stand, offering locally produced foods, right outside St Crux Hall.

Live for St. Leonards Music Event: For the first time the Live for St. Leonards Music Event has two stages – the main stage in the Entertainment Marquee in Parliament Street and a new acoustic stage in the York Gin enclosure on St Sampson's Square, promising an unforgettable free musical extravaganza featuring local bands and singer-songwriters.  (St. Leonards is York’s local Hospice, and will be collecting donations)

Marking the 70th Anniversary of York-Dijon Twinning: Join us, from Thursday 28th, as we mark the 70th anniversary of the twinning between York and Dijon! The Dijon stand, an impressive centrepiece, will be abuzz with exciting demonstrations, sales, and delectable sampling of culinary delights from Burgundy.  The Grand Hotel is working with the Festival to promote their cuisine and the wines of burgundy at a celebratory dinner to which they and the festival have invited the visiting Mayor of Dijon and the Lord Mayor of York on Friday 29th.  Tickets are on sale to the public, for this and a diverse range of events to suit all budgets.

Citywide Tastings and Local Business engagement: Immerse yourself in citywide tastings, including dedicated events focusing on Yorkshire wines and Burgundy food and wines.  Local businesses’ involvement spans from hosting festival events within their premises to active participation in demonstrations, tutoring, tastings, and occupying stands at the festival. 

This theme extends at: York’s Finest Pork Pie Competition at Bedern Hall Supper: Don't miss the chance to pick the best pork pie in York at the medieval Bedern Hall, adding a savoury twist to the festival's offerings.

Additionally, anticipate a diverse program of informal food and drink tastings in the demonstration area and at St Crux featuring demonstrations and tastings by Brew York, Ippuku Tea, Love Cheese, York Gin and others.

Find out more here: