Q. What are your predictions for Cambridge food and drink in 2016?
Happy New Year! Here’s to another foodie one in 2016… Dedicated Cambridge foodies out there will be pleased to hear that the trend for local, independent food and drink is set to continue this year – at pace. There’s an unwaveringly huge appetite and support for the many food and drink openings; steadfast new food favourites are still going strong; and we’re seeing local success stories like Hot Numbers expanding within the city. In 2016, I want to see established food businesses who have been serving our community for years brought to the fore, too, like Les Ward’s empire of village greengrocers and fantastic Arbury butchers, The Art of Meat.
The local food and drink festival which helps celebrate this amazing local scene, Eat Cambridge, is back again in May (7-22 May 2016) and will be a fantastic and thorough showcase of all that’s good, new and growing in the local food and drink scene. People’s interest in shopping and eating truly local products isn’t waning either; this year will see the growth of some inspiring schemes to hand-pick and deliver the best local food and drink direct to your door, such as Cambridge Artisan’s gift hampers. Look out for newbie producer/pop-up ‘allotment’ too, who are intent on turning locally produced and allotment-grown goodness into the most delicious and beautiful cakes and savouries possible. I’m looking forward to the return of the Cambridge supper club this year. Yep, it did quietly slip off the radar somewhat in recent months. I’m talking the original, authentic supper club experience of booking in advance, waiting for the menu release, and then rocking up at the secret location to enjoy a proper feast. In my opinion, the best supper clubs see the cook’s home transformed into a (tiny) pop-up restaurant. Rumour has it there are at least two ‘hosted at home’ supper clubs in 2016; one featuring fine dining and one true Indian home cooking.
Our beloved street food scene is still very much on the up in Cambridge. My street food venture, foodPark, is growing further this year with still more new traders setting up and creating innovative street food menus, new and revamped vans on the way, and new pitches and events coming up around the city. I’m particularly looking forward to a jam-packed summer of monthly foodPark NIGHT MARKETs and some intriguing collaborations with other local independent businesses in 2016. The onset of the street food residency is on the cards, too. Whilst not new – Craig at The Free Press pub has championed a rotating line-up of street food chefs at the pub’s kitchen – some great city centre venues are now embracing this trend, like Novi with its Steak & Honour residency.
Enjoy! Look out for my tips on what’s hot in the Cambridge food scene, every month in Cambridge Edition.
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For more top tips on eating and drinking in Cambridge, visit Heidi’s blog www.movingfoodie.com