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    Events, News

    Birmingham Chilli Festival returns

    chillifestival2014The weather today might be a bit drizzly but thankfully Brindley Place’s Birmingham Chilli Festival is back again to put some fire in your belly!

    Themed ‘Celebrating Chillies around the World’ the Birmingham Chilli Festival takes place from 11am – 6pm, today and tomorrow (aka Friday 19 and Saturday 20 September).  In association with Sketts, the event will feature a number of stalls selling chilli plants, pickles, pastes and jellies, as well as some streetfood vendors selling chilli influenced dishes.

    In terms of entertainment, there will be live cooking demonstrations from Cafe Rouge, Thai Edge and David Colcombe from Café Opus, as well as a Chilli Eating Competition.  During the contest, each participant will be challenged to eat a selection of chilli varieties including Naga, Scotch Bonnet, Thai Red and Poblano, until only two are left to face the final chilli-off.

    The event schedule for the two days is listed below.  For more information, visit


    FRIDAY 19th SEPTEMBER 2014       11.00am – 6.00pm

    11.00am Chilli Festival Opens
    11.00am – 11.30am Chilli Chat – Introduction to the world of Chillies
    11.30pm – 12.00pm Kitchen School making an Italian-inspired Chilli dish
    12.00pm – 2.00pm ENTERTAINMENT: Synergy Live (Mediterranean)
    2.00pm – 2.30pm Café Opus at IKON making a British-inspired Chilli dish
    3.00pm – 3.30pm Café Rouge making a French-inspired Chilli dish
    4.30pm – 5.00pm Afia’s Samosa Shop making an Indian-inspired Chilli dish
    5.00pm – 5.30pm ENTERTAINMENT: Eternal Taal Bhangra Entertainments Team
    5.30pm – 6.00pm Bank vs. Piccolino – Cocktails at dawn (well 5.30pm…)
    6.00pm Chilli Market Closes


    SATURDAY 20th SEPTEMBER 2014       11.00am – 6.00pm

    11.00am Chilli Market Opens
    11.00am – 11.30am ENTERTAINMENT: Someone at the Door Samba Band
    11.30am – 12.00pm Coast2Coast making an American-inspired (Louisiana) Chilli dish
    12.30pm – 1.00pm ENTERTAINMENT: Latin Motion, offering free Latino dance lessons
    1.00pm – 1.30pm City Cafe making a Moroccan-inspired Chilli dish
    1.30pm – 2.00pm Thai Edge making a Thai-inspired Chilli dish
    2.30pm – 3.00pm ENTERTAINMENT: Fire Eaters, Stilt Jumpers & Eternal Taal Bhangra Entertainments Team
    4.00pm – 4.30pm Sharian’s Cuisine making a Caribbean-inspired Chilli dish
    4.30pm – 6.00pm ENTERTAINMENT: Rudie & The Revolvers (Caribbean)
    Events, News

    New Optimists present Food Futures

    The New Optimists, supported by Arts Council England, are hosting an interesting new art exhibition at the mac on Saturday 27 September, at 7.30pm.

    Four talented young artists are presenting a work in progress performance which aims to offer some possible futures for food to consider, question, embrace and challenge the audience.

    This performance is inspired by the scientific findings of the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project, where over 70 people, including 40+ regional scientists, took part in a two-year scenario planning exercise about possible food futures for Birmingham.

    There will also be a post show discussion, which will include the creative team, the audience and eminent scientists working in Birmingham.

    To book tickets, or for more information, visit

    Events, News

    Conjurer’s Kitchen Halloween Cake Class

    Screen shot 2014-09-01 at 23.30.12If there was any kind of cake class you should be biting someone’s hand off to get to, it’s surely got to be one of Conjurer’s Kitchen‘s.  In fact I didn’t even realise they did them, but after stumbling across Annabel’s bloody anatomical heart cupcake a few years back I’ve been a fan of her work…and now you can make them yourselves!

    Conjurer’s Kitchen is running a Halloween themed cake class on, well, Halloween afternoon, of course.  For the devilish price of £66.60 (it had to be really) you’ll learn to make the bloody anatomical heart cake, all kept neatly in a blood stained box.  In fact you’ll go home with 4 to 6 of them – and a ‘Bloodbath’ cocktail in a test tube to take home too.

    The class is taking place at La Banca on the Pershore Rd.  For more details and I’m guessing to book a place, contact 07890 480 952, or visit the website for more details –

    Events, Food and Restaurant News, News, Pub and Drinks News

    Summer Food Events

    Summer is traditionally a bit of a quiet time for pop-ups as everyone seems to be off festivaling it up.  But not this year, this year there’s a whole pile of delightful food adventures to get your teeth stuck into.  Below is a list of a few of them – as much to remind me as help promote some great food vendors!

    Hare & Hounds Summer Kitchen Takeover

    Clarke and Lee are back with their Asian soul food at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath on Thursday 31 July at 6.45pm.  The menu includes: Fried Capeling, Sriracha Mayo; Radish, Watermelon, Coriander Oil, Black Sesame; Lamb Rendang, Nasi Lemak, Sambal Ikan Bilis; Kaffir lime granite; and Green Tea and Red Bean Falooda.  Tickets cost £22.50 (plus booking fee) and are available TicketSellers.

    As part of the kitchen takeover season at the Hare & Hounds, Pop Up Dosa will be there on Thursday 7 August for some authentic Kerala delights.  Pop Up Dosa are a firm favourite at Full to the Brum as is their Gunpowder chutney, so we’d really recommend this one.  Tickets for a 3 course meal for just £12 are available from TicketSellers.

    I’ve not experienced Alan ‘Fingy’ Thomson’s Peruvian and Latin food but if he’s teaming up with Pip’s Hot Sauce we know it’ll be good.  They’re at the Hare on Thursday 14 August from 7.30pm, with £15 for 3 courses and tickets available from TicketSellers.

    Pika Pika

    I’ve caught Pika Pika a few times when they’ve been at Cherry Reds in Kings Heath, but they’re down the road at Ort Cafe in Balsall Heath this time round, with a pop-up event on Wednesday 30 July from 6pm.  Booking can be done by calling Josie at Ort on 07845083322.


    Brum Yum Yum’s Lunch Market is running until August which means this Friday lunchtime you have one more chance to catch it at the Square in Birmingham City Centre.  But fear not, Brum Yum Yum will be popping up at its usual monthly spot in Kings Heath.

    Kitchen School’s Supper Club

    Based in Edgbaston, the Kitchen Cookery School’s supper club starts on Friday 8 August with a seasonal experience where they reinvent the unloved marrow.  Three courses, including all wines, are £50 and dinner starts at 7.30pm.  On the night you’ll be talked through the menu and have some interesting aspects of the cooking process demonstrated to you (Sous Vide, foam making, and molecular gastronomy insights, as examples).  It sounds like a fantastic experience for food enthusiasts and we’re looking forward to trying one in the future.

    The Church’s Crayfish Boil

    After the success of the last few it’s easy to see why the guys and gals at The Church are bringing back their Crayfish Boil on 25 August for the Bank Holiday weekend.  For £15 you’ll be severed up a bowl of fresh crayfish served in a cajun broth with sweetcorn, potatoes and lemon, plus a Soul Food Brownie for afters.  Food is served from 4pm and tickets are available here.

    Events, News

    Borne2Bake charity cake competition

    Cake is brilliant, charities are ace, so it only seems reasonable that together they’ll make a damn fine match.  Coupling the two is Borne2Bake, who are inviting people to enter a charity cake baking competition to raise money for a Birmingham-based charity.  And for those that like to taste test, there’s the option to help pick the winners.

    The competition takes place on Saturday 12 July with bakers dropping in the goods at 11am and the taste test starting at midday.  It’s taking place at the New Inn in Harborne, so you’ll be able to get yourself a nice drink to go with all the charity cake (I recommend a nice Tom Collins cocktail).  Categories up for judging include best cupcake, best decorated cake and best tasting cake.  Prizes so far include a meal for two & bottle of wine at Zizzis, meal for two and drink each at The Plough, a £15 coffee voucher for Urban Coffee Co and a tray of Cupcakes from Fallen Angel Bakery.

    Borne2Bake are raising money for Red Boots who are based in Moseley and are part of the Foundation for Conductive Education.  They seek to work with children and families of children with neurological motor disorders, such as cerebral palsy.  The organisers have seen the amazing work they do helping children unable to sit upright, walk, hold things or feed themselves progress to walk with braces, hold objects and some even feeding themselves.

    For more information check their Twitter or take a look at the poster below – there’s lots of contact details on there!  And Good luck to anyone entering.