Feast for foodies at Eat Reading LiveBy David Millward
June 01, 2012
Visitors to Reading town centre will have much more than shopping to keep them occupied over the coming week.
A two-day celebration of food gets under way today with Eat Reading Live and The Oracle hosts a Riverside Feastival next week in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Aromas of cuisine from around the world will circulate around the town centre today and tomorrow.
Eat Reading Live will be launched at 10am in the east end of Broad Street with an Omelette-athon omelette-making race and chef Gennaro Contaldo, star of BBC’s Two Greedy Italians, will be taking to the main stage at noon to give a live demonstration.
A host of respected chefs from local restaurants such as Mya Lacarte and Forburys Restaurant will be giving demos throughout the two days.
On the Cookery Stage in Market Place, there will also be masterclasses in subjects ranging from bread making with Warings Craft Bakers to easy ways to dress shellfish with Kevin Little from The Smelly Alley Fish Company.
The Farm Shop, at the west end of Broad Street, will feature food direct from the producers, including Chilliqueen, Riverford Organic Farms and Tucci’s Kitchen.
Restaurants from around the town will also be offering ‘street food’ versions of their dishes and there will be a barbecue in Market Place.
Guy Douglas, business improvement district manager at Reading UK CIC which is organising the event, said: “Most people coming to Reading, if they haven’t been here for a while, are genuinely surprised by the amount of restaurants we have in the town.
“Of course we have all the well-known national brands but they are balanced by some terrific independents. Our food really reflects our town; diverse, exciting and top quality all the way. At its heart, this event celebrates all those aspects of Reading.”
Meanwhile, The Oracle Riverside will be transformed into a 1950s’ street party next Wednesday and Thursday with traditional family activities, music and more food.
Youngsters will be able to enjoy vintage games like Splat the Rat and hopscotch while 1950s-style hostesses will wander around offering treats from The Riverside restaurants and bars.
A string trio and a jazz band will be playing throughout both afternoons and the entertainment steps up a gear in the evening.
Cats and a Fiddle will be performing a blend of gypsy jazz and swinging clarinets, The Rockabellas will take the crowds back with the sound of the Andrews Sisters and the entertainment will peak with a spectacular adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set to Beatles music.
There will also be a number of special deals on offer from the restaurants and bars and some cocktail samples in the evening to add to the celebratory atmosphere.
Sam French, marketing manager at The Oracle, said: “The Riverside Feastival will bring together the whole community to celebrate this important occasion here at The Oracle.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors for two days of great live entertainment as we mark a real summer of celebration for Reading.”