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Frome Food Feast 2023 [WFJ #72]
What to eat at the town's biggest street food event
This weekend, one of the most popular events of Frome Festival (and the general Frome calendar by extension) returns, with four new traders from last year’s roster and an opening procession courtesy of Frome Street Bandits.
Now running for more than 15 years, Food Feast has always made a point of including a diversity of cuisines from around the world. This year, there’s Japanese, East African, Tibetan, Spanish, Greek, and North American, among others, from the total of 15 traders mostly either based, originating, or trading in or around Frome.
Just bear in mind – kicking off from 5pm on Saturday the 8th July outside the Cheese & Grain, 3,000 people are estimated to put food to face in the five hours allotted, which means seating is very much limited. If there was one piece of advice from the organisers, it is, and I quote: “bring a foldable chair”.
Frome Festival's Food Feast 2023 line-up:
Cheap Street’s Spanish deli and tapas restaurant is back, serving up patatas bravas alongside their market special – chorizo, fried off on the plancha, served in a brioche bun with homemade aioli, red pepper, rocket, and slow-cooked onion.
The Burger Bus
An American-style Bluebird school bus is set to make its way down to Frome from Bristol, only it’s had a slight career change, now dishing out burgers of six-ounce beef patties, moroccan lamb, or buttermilk fried chicken.
Pizza from The Cheese & Grain
Saturday’s hosts aren’t about to miss out on the proceedings – they’ll be slinging wood-fired pizza from the cafe’s brick oven, and drinks from the bar, all evening.
Those not already familiar with the traditional Japanese savoury pancake okonomiyaki would do well to introduce themselves here, served with homemade sauces, sriracha, and a sesame salad.
My Greek Fat Wraps
My Greek Fat Wraps, a longtime staple on the Frome street food circuit, are back in familiar grounds. Expect grilled halloumi or chicken with avocado sauce, vine tomatoes, red onions, and fresh parsley in pitta wraps, served alongside oregano fries.
Pick Pedal Pour
As you may or may not guess from the name, herein involves a family-friendly exercise of picking a fruit, blitzing it into a smoothie via human-powered food processor (read: a repurposed bicycle), before serving to said human. Perhaps this is how we’ll make and consume fruit-based beverages in the inevitable fossil fuel-free economy.
What is quite possibly Frome’s favourite cocktail bar finds another good excuse to let loose Florence, their converted 1970s VW campervan. Drinks served from it will likely include local inspirations, like the ‘Wildly Bramble’, ‘Rumshack’ and a collaboration with Still Sisters.
Straight out of Wells is Secret Recipe, bringing their Thai green curry, rich massaman curry, and zingy penang curry. Save space for their spring rolls – some people say they’re the best they’ve ever had.
African Safari Kitchen
Come for the lentil curry, fried chicken strips, onion bhajis, and coconut rice; stay for the altruism. African Safari Kitchen operates alongside the MAMA Upendo Childrens’ Trust, which runs an orphanage in the Kitui District in Kenya’s Eastern Province. All of African Safari Kitchen’s profits go to helping kids orphaned in Kenya.
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Also in the business of serving up African delicacies, and also bringers of goodwill, proceeds from Karibu’s food sales go towards improving the lives of orphans in Africa.
Grill Forty Four
Grill Forty Four’s repertoire is fairly wide-reaching, but if there was any one common denominator it would involve meat from Penleigh, slapped on the BBQ or in the smoker for X number of hours. Think smoked brisket pre-braised in Guinness, or 14-hour oak smoked pork butt, or barbequed honey chilli chicken.
Proper ciderists Worleys are back in town to peddle some of the county’s best, each made with heritage apples from Somerset orchards. The line-up includes the medium-sweet Beatnik Billy, and the medium-dry Red Hen.
Still Sisters Gin
Based in Ashton Park near Sainsbury’s, distillers Still Sisters make a point of doing things locally, whether it’s the watercress grown five miles away for their London Dry Gin, or the Dabinett apples from Perry’s orchards for their Somerset Cider Apple Gin. On the day, expect G&Ts but with a twist of Frome.
Local favourites Tibetan Memories take time out of The Good Heart cafe to bring you their mixed veg curry, dhal, and of course their famous momo dumplings.
Frome Weekly Market regular Liam and his wonderfully left-of-field gluten free creations make an appearance here. Expect the likes of his chewy chocolate, chia, and hazelnut cupcakes; spiced apple and plum cardamom slices; and banana bread with peanut butter and chocolate sauce.