Food glorious food

The first ever Bristol Food Connections festival runs from 1 – 11 May 2014 and University of Bristol will host a series of events

Bristol Food Connections is a new event which brings together food communities from across Bristol in a celebration of taste and culture. Local suppliers, sustainable initiatives and cutting edge research will be showcased alongside market stalls, demonstrations from celebrity chefs and the festival’s very own BBC Learning Zone.

Bristol is the first UK city to have a Food Policy Council and Good Food Plan, and Bristol Food Connections aims to build on this pioneering attitude towards the produce we consume.

The University of Bristol’s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group will set up shop at three Dawkins Ales pubs across Bristol to investigate whether drinking alcohol changes people’s perceptions of attractiveness – a phenomenon more commonly known as ‘the beer-goggles effect’.

Professor Peter Barham, from the School of Physics, will give a talk entitled ‘Molecular cuisine: what is it and should we encourage the use of science in the kitchen?’ where he will discuss various innovations, including how vacuum distillation can extract flavour from foods and how liquid nitrogen can be used to cool products and create dramatic effects.

Professor Barham introduced chef Heston Blumenthal to many of the scientific techniques he famously combines with gastronomy and the talk will discuss how these innovations have been used and adapted. The talk is organised by the Centre of Public and Ceremonial Events and will take place on 7 May.

On 9 May, Professor David Main from the School of Veterinary Sciences, Angela Wright from Compassion in World Farming, and Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association, will debate how animals in our food chain are treated and whether the UK livestock industry, the government and retailers are delivering the animal welfare standards that the modern day consumer expects.

Soil, Seeds, and Social Change is a new hub co-ordinated by the University’s Mark Jackson and Naomi Millner from the School of Geographical Sciences, and Karen Tucker from the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. The hub includes artists, social scientists, activists, community practitioners and scientists from across Bristol, who will form a panel of diverse experts to debate whether local food is the future of sustainable production, on 3 May at Hamilton House.

The festival will link food issues with exercise through the Bristol 10k run and Bristol Walking Festival, which take place during the 10 day event.

To find more information and booking details for these events, see the Centre for Public Engagement website. You can follow University of Bristol events on Twitter at @CPE_Bristol, Bristol Food Connections at @BristolConnect and use #BristolFood.

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