Halifax Borough Market is opening late, continental-style, for the first time as local food organisations and producers convene for the first Calderdale Food Gathering.
Calderdale Food Network, which is supported by Halifax Opportunities Trust as grant-holders and Calderdale Food Mixer have teamed up with Calderdale Markets and Totally Locally to host the event – billed as a showcase of the best of Calderdale’s food culture – between 12-7pm on Thursday May 30.
Organisiers say the gathering will bring a European flavour to the market as shoppers get the chance to have a civilised drink as they taste, eat and shop. Markets chief John Walker says it is a taste of things to come: “We want to bring life to the market, and late night opening is part of that plan,” he says.
As well as food stalls, tasters, workshops and exhibits, there will be music and a bar featuring beers from Boothtown’s Darkland Brewery and local gins and wines via The Wine Glass, which is based at the market. Calderdale Food Network will launch its Facebook and Twitter platforms and reveal Calderdale’s Local Food Charter as part of a programme of events centred around Albany Arcade, the market’s flexible space. The Mayor of Calderdale, Councillor Dot Foster, will officially open the event at midday.
The gathering, which is supported by Calderdale Community Foundation, Sustainable Food Cities and Halifax Opportunities Trust, is designed to showcase Calderdale’s vibrant local food scene.
There will be plenty of tasters and food for sale, including organic cheese from Pextenement of Eastwood, veg from Incredible Farm of Lumbutts, herb teas from the Singing Leaf of Todmorden and cruffins -a cross between a croissant and a muffin – from Ritual Bakehouse in Luddenden Foot. Community organisations active in food including the Real Junk Food Project, St Augustine’s, The Outback Community Garden and Kitchen and Food for Life will also be represented.
Chris Sands of Totally Locally is asking businesses and shoppers to consider what they can source locally: “If you’re a restaurant or a retailer, come and see who you can work with. If you’re a customer, come and taste what the area has to offer. If you’re a producer, come along and get networking,” he says. “This is your chance to explore our food scene.”
The Food Mixer, which sells local food online, is taking click-and-collect orders ahead of the gathering for pick up on the day. It is inviting producers, however small, to find out how to sell online. Food Mixer host Marie-Claire Kidd says: “People in Calderdale want local food and our local food scene is thriving. Getting involved in Calderdale Food Gathering, whether as producer or shopper, is a great way to be part of Calder-dale’s exciting food network.” To order ahead from the Food Mixer visit openfood-network.org.uk/calderdale-food-mixer/shop