|Coldsmoking is the only artisan cookery school in Milton Keynes, hosting courses from food smoking, meat curing to cheese making and sausage making. Turan runs the cookery school with his wife Alison in a purpose built teaching kitchen inside the North Pavilion at Great Linford Manor Park so he is hyper-local to the MKFoodFest location.
Turan has been smoking and preserving foods for many years and his ethos is to make these artisan subjects accessible to everyone. He hosts bespoke one day food smoking courses and meat curing & charcuterie courses with the theme of low impact living. The golden thread running through all his work is accessibility, simplification and safety. Turan's easy teaching style and his ability to simplify and communicate these subjects in an understandable and relaxed way has led to many excellent reviews from previous guests. Turan has written numerous food articles for magazines and has also written two books on food smoking. Curing, Smoking and Drying Food is his latest book, published in May 2015.
At this year's MKFoodFest you can chat with Turan, sample some of the foods created on the courses and find out more about them. You will be able to purchase smoked almonds and cashew and there will be a selection of charcuterie for sale, as well as a wide variety of smoking woods and equipment. Places on the cookery school’s courses will also be available to purchase at a special MKFoodFest discount.
|Wharf Cider started its life in Old Wolverton in 2009 under the name of Virtual Orchard, making cider entirely with fruit from private gardens and old orchards in and around Milton Keynes. Over time, as the business expanded apples from other local orchards were used as well as a small commercial orchard in Nether Heyford (near Towcester). In 2017 the business relocated to Wakefield Country Courtyard near Potterspury, just outside Milton Keynes and rebranded to Wharf Cider. However, all of the fruit used is still sourced from these same orchards, which are all within 12 miles of the cidery. Only using locally sourced apples for the cider is an integral part of the company ethos.
All of the apples are picked by hand then pressed at the cidery. The juice then undergoes a cold ferment process over the winter months using wild yeast and then the cider is left to mature typically for a further 18-24 months before being used to create the different cider blends. Every stage of the process is performed in-house, including blending, bottling and labelling and the public is welcome to come to see how the cider is made and to see the production facility. During the autumn you can see them pressing the apples and can even try some of the delicious fresh pressed juice. If you have a glut of apples that you can’t use then they will accept your donations if you wish to drop them off at the cidery.
The cider is marketed under two brands: Wharf Cider (Virtual Orchard as was) is a range of medium-sweet to dry traditional still ciders. The Coachbuilder range is a selection of medium sweet ciders with a hint of other natural flavours, such as passion fruit, ginger and black cherry.
In 2014 Wharf Distillery was founded, initially to create apple brandy using the Virtual Orchard cider. Since then, collaborations with local vineyards and breweries has enabled Wharf Distillery to increase their range to include various brandies, malt spirits and even a whiskey, currently maturing in oak barrels. They also offer other liqueurs derived from locally sourced grains, rhubarb and even beetroot. Since relocating to Wakefield Country Courtyard, the distillery now has its own tap room as well as a shop selling local and speciality food and drink.
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to sample Wharf Cider and Wharf Distillery products as well as purchasing drinks to enjoy on site or bottles to take home with you.
|Jam Moo Kow is a family business established in 2011 in order to make a range of truly local jam, chutney and other preserves from produce grown within Milton Keynes. With Milton Keynes often given an unfair reputation for being a concrete jungle, Hazel wanted to show that not only does Milton Keynes have a vibrant food scene and tourist industry, but it is also possible to grow the ingredients for her jams and chutneys within it. Although Hazel grows most of the fruit and vegetables for her preserves herself, she also receives donations from other people in Milton Keynes and sources some of it from the abundant hedgerow. She also enjoys collaborating with other local artisans and uses local ale, cider, vinegar and honey in her products. The end product of all this care and attention is a range of products that taste fantastic as well as feeling morally good to buy. They are also a great gift to buy to share your pride in Milton Keynes with friends and family or as a souvenir to remember your visit.
Stop by Jam Moo Kow’s stall at the MK Food Fest and sample the tasters. With the ingredients being locally grown, the product range available changes with the seasons but you will be amazed by the array of different jams, chutneys, sauces and cordials on sale.
|It is hard to get further from the sea than Milton Keynes but that doesn’t stop this family run business from bringing locally sourced, freshly made paella and fish-finger sandwiches to local events. And if that wasn’t noteworthy enough in itself, in a climate of overfishing and questionable sustainability, they do it whilst helping to protect and restore our local water courses.
Signal Crayfish, although resembling mini lobsters, are an invasive species and a threat to the wildlife of our rivers and not something to be desired in the UK environment. Mark and his family, under license from the Environment Agency, have been trapping this menace for over 10 years and have been cooking and devising new recipes for them ever since.
Mark does what he can to raise awareness of the environmental threat and his skills as a chef have seen him cooking up crayfish delights for the likes of Gary Rhodes, Sophie Grigson, the Hairy Bikers, Master Chef’s John and Gregg, Heston Blumenthal and Jay Rayner. So, by eating his crayfish food you will not only enjoy a tasty treat but will be doing your tiny bit to rid our waters of this invasive species.
At the MK Food Fest, come see a 4 foot giant pan of signal crayfish mixed paella and taste signal crayfish and smoked salmon fish finger sandwiches. All their paellas are cooked from scratch on site with no pre-cooking and the signal crayfish used are all trapped within Milton Keynes by the family.
|After visiting the MK Feast in February 2016 and meeting traders pioneering street food in Milton Keynes, Mike, realised it was time to turn a pipe dream into reality. He had been a chef for 17 years and had gained a vast knowledge of the food industry and had spent two years in London exposed to the cutting edge of the food industry. It was whilst in London that he fell in love with the street food scene and found himself wanting to bring exciting new street food back to his home town of Milton Keynes. With a new street food scene emerging in Milton Keynes, it was evident that it was the perfect time to put his plans and passions into action and CluckingOinks was born.
Look out for their distinctive bright pink food truck at the MK Food Fest where CluckingOinks will be serving their tasty buttermilk fried chicken and pulled pork.
|AVegetative State is a Milton Keynes based food company, specialising in plant based cuisine. As such their street food is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Their menu includes seitan bacon and fried egg butties, Korean jackfruit tacos, veggie hot dogs and seitan bacon BLT.
At the MK Food Fest, vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike can enjoy their seitan “bacon & fried egg butties”, BLT, burgers, hotdogs, and barbequed beans n sausages, all served with relish.
|The Wonder Kitchen is probably the most striking cupcake stall you are ever likely to come across. Lily, the bright pink cupcake van is the only bespoke cupcake van like it in the UK. This Brackley based 'cupcake boutique' sells delicious cupcakes and small celebration cakes made with the freshest of ingredients, local free range eggs, and the finest butters and natural flavours. Amazingly, when fully stocked Lily can hold up to 600 cupcakes and these cupcakes come in a variety of attractive and tempting flavours.
Adorned with bunting and fairy lights, Lily makes a striking addition to the MKFoodFest farmers’ market. Stop by to admire this attractive stall and make a selection from the array of beautiful cupcakes on sale.
|Chocolatier Steve has had a love of chocolate ever since he read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid. This love increased after going on a chocolate making course in 2014 and from that he came away enthused enough to start making truffles. Encouraged by his results, he made some for a friend's 30th birthday and his friend was so impressed that he suggested he set up a company. And so in October 2015 The Chocolate Mill MK was established.
The Chocolate Mill MK specialise in the creation of homemade artisan chocolates. Using the finest couverture chocolate and blending it with a range of tastes and flavours, Steve creates beautiful chocolate sensations for the mouth. All the chocolates are made in a home kitchen and make a perfect treat for your loved ones or as a decadent delight for yourself.
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to taste and buy a range of handcrafted truffles in a variety of adult and child-friendly flavours. They can be purchased individually or in gift boxes and look out for the new range of artisan chocolate bars.
|Stu’s Oven started about 5 years ago when Stuart built a pizza oven in his back garden in Milton Keynes. Soon friends and family were able to enjoy delicious pizza, calzones, meats and fish, all cooked with the aid of a roaring wood fire. As the party sizes grew to 40 guests at a time, Stuart realised that this could be a business. As a chef with over 25 years’ experience, it was a possible dream and a few years later he is busy cooking freshly made pizza for events goers and private function guests.
Stu’s wood burning pizza oven will be dishing up made to order pizza at the MK Food Fest. All the dough is freshly prepared then topped with tomato sauce and plenty of mozzarella cheese before being cooked in an oven fuelled by waste wood from a local tree surgeon.
|Smart Raspberry are a national cookery school that offers classes for pre-schoolers, children, teenagers and those going off to University. Working closely with pre-schools, nurseries, primary and secondary schools, they offer tailored workshops to fit into the curriculum as well as extracurricular classes. Their after-school cooking classes are particularly popular and across the country they currently teach more than 700 students each week. In addition, they host school holiday workshops, weekend classes and courses that fit into the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
In Milton Keynes Asma runs her classes in small groups, tailored to the needs of the children within that group. She teaches children of all ages about the importance of being able to cook for themselves and others. By instilling an understanding of nutrition and basic kitchen skills, the children gain a curiosity about food and become excited about cooking and trying new foods. This creates a foundation and encourages healthy eating as they grow into adulthood. Her classes are friendly, relaxed and fun, attributes that make it easy for children to learn.
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to meet Asma and talk to her about the classes that she runs throughout the year. She will also be offering some hands on cookery fun for children and they will be able to follow a simple recipe and make a fruity treat to take away with them.
|It was in 2008 that Denise found out that she had intolerance to gluten. Initially she searched the shops for gluten free alternatives to cakes and other goodies she had previously enjoyed but not only was she frustrated by the lack of choice but often disappointed by the dry, crumbly and tasteless products she bought. Fed up, she began baking her own, endlessly experimenting in her kitchen until she perfected recipes that were moist, tasty and easy on the eye. My mantra has always been ‘taste first, gluten free second’.
Soon her friends were enjoying her creations as much as she was and she realised she had the basis of a business. Gluten Free Goodies was born and later grew and developed into SIN with retail customers, coffee shops and airlines placing orders for her Little Black Box of gluten-free cakes. Along the way she has won taste awards and added recipes to the range. Although Denise’s mantra has always been “taste first, gluten-free second”, her business runs a dedicated gluten free commercial kitchen with a BRC certification for total coeliac food safety.
At the MK Food Fest you can buy premium gluten free cakes and brownies from SIN. These include all the classics - Victoria Sandwich cake, Coffee & Walnut Cake, Chocolate Brownies, Raspberry Bakewell Cake, Carrot Cake, Lemon Curd Cakes, Orange Polenta Cake and Gin & Tonic Cake.
|Pastures Farm is a poultry farm situated on the Northamptonshire / Buckinghamshire border between Olney and the beautiful village of Yardley Hastings. The farm enjoys great views of Yardley Chase, large ancient woodland to south east of the farm and is surrounded by mainly arable land. James has farmed at Pastures Farm since 2000, having previously worked with his father, Tony, at Olney Park Farm.
The farm raises both free-range and barn reared birds and all processing and butchery is carried out on the farm. The meat is hung for up to 5 days to achieve the matured flavour. The birds are sold at farmer markets and in a few local shops and to some nearby restaurants. Christmas is a particularly busy time at Pastures Farm, with free range Norfolk Bronze turkeys, geese, ducks, cockerels and guinea fowl all being in demand.
At the MK Food Fest, Pastures Farm will be serving up hot duck wraps with cucumber, spring onion, hoi sin and plum sauce, and Cajun chicken breast with garlic mayo and salad. They will also have an assortment of their farm shop products including handmade chicken pasties and pies, sausage rolls and preserves.
|Reasons to Season is not only the name of this food business but also a mission statement. With her range of innovative seasonings and condiments, Brigit is determined to add variety to kitchen favourites and encourage experimentation and exploration in the kitchen. Simply put, she wants to give people a reason to season their food. As a trained food technologist with 15 years’ experience in the food industry Brigit has seen how food is continually changing and following trends and she wants to ensure that her customers are equipped with the flavours to help them keep up.
Reasons to Season will have a full range of marinades and sauces available at the MK Food Fest to taste and buy and Brigit will be on hand to talk you through the products. Having made them herself from scratch in her kitchen in Leighton Buzzard she knows exactly how they should be used and she will be able to inspire you and encourage you to be more creative in your kitchen.
|Beekeeper Honey is a small friends and family run business that collects and sells natural, local honey in the Buckinghamshire area. At the MK Food Fest you will be able to buy a selection of Buckinghamshire honey straight from the hives. Whether you prefer your honey set or runny or even still in the comb, they will have products to please. You will even be able to buy their award winning honey with almonds, voted Best Local Product in the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards 2017.
|Penny’s memories of childhood will resonate with many of us, being full of boundless happy trips to the British seaside; sand in your sandwiches, paddling in ice cold sea, and of course, wonderful ice creams. It was her longing to reinvent these fabulous times of yesteryear and treasured nostalgia that led her to the creation of Penelope’s Vintage Ice-cream.
Penelope, the charmingly restored 1971 vintage ice cream van, used to live in Scarborough but came to her new home in Northamptonshire in May 2014. She needed a lot of TLC, but has retained all original fixtures and fittings. She is painted in shell pink and vintage white, in keeping with her original appearance, and she has been hand finished by a traditional sign writer.
With the appropriate van, it was necessary to find the right ice-cream. The ice-cream served from Penelope is luxury handmade dairy ice cream and sorbet produced by the award winning Saffron Ice Cream Company, based on a family farm in the picturesque town of Saffron Walden. The luxury ice cream is passionately produced, using only the finest locally sourced ingredients, taking ice cream back to its heritage. Their creamy dairy ice cream and refreshing sorbet is produced by hand every day in small batches to ensure superior quality and consistency.
Every event needs an ice-cream and the only one fitting for a local artisan food fair in Penelope’s Vintage Ice-cream. At the MK Food Fest, look out for the distinctive pink van, decorated with bunting. Expect only the finest dairy ice cream and sorbet, served in a delicious crisp sugar cone or in a traditional tub.
|Open Air Foods is a specialist artisan food retailer and catering company, championing handmade and homemade over machines and mass production. As a family business, they endeavour to fuse together their passion for cooking with the skills they have gained over the years to create fantastic, fresh and flavoursome food for private parties, street events and outdoor markets.
Open Air Foods was set up by the Holden & Trotter family in 2012, retailing artisan cheese and local produce in the Home Counties. Having worked in the hospitality industry for a number of years, they were tired of seeing overcooked burgers, soggy white bread and pig roasts at outdoor events and were frustrated by the lack of food provenance in the supermarkets. They set up Open Air Foods with the aim of serving exceptional hot food at events and retailing a unique range of produce online and at local markets. They are involved in every aspect from collecting cheeses from the cheese makers, preparing marinated olives, right through to packaging orders ready for delivery.
With years of experience and an obsession with food, they bring the very best in artisan produce direct to the customer.
At the MKFoodFest they will have a range of artisan farmhouse cheeses, handpicked from across the country, along-side tempting bowls of marinated olives and antipasti. There will be samples to taste and the chance to find out more about their catering services too.
|By making vegan food the star of the menu rather than a soggy afterthought, The Broken Spoon ensures that vegetarians and vegans can enjoy their food. At the same time even the most confirmed meat eaters won’t feel there is anything lacking. Combining locally sourced ingredients with global influences, they are able to cater for all occasions offering both savoury dishes and cakes and desserts.
Susan, the owner and founder of 'The Broken Spoon', holds professional cooking qualifications and is a pastry chef too. She was born in Switzerland and brings her continental influences to her cuisine. Her passion for food has allowed her to create many delicious dishes and by teaming up with Helen she was able to fulfil her dream of running her own business. Helen specialises in vegan cakes, having her own business under the name of ‘Poppy Delights’. Having been a vegan since 1999, Helen has a thorough knowledge of the vegan diet, although her cakes are so delightful you would never know they are vegan.
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to sample their food, find out how to book them for your special occasion and buy from their range of vegetarian and vegan foods including cheese, savoury and sweet snacks and vacuum packed food to take home.
|Russell Cook used to be a high level electronics -engineer working for global companies. He was fed up with always being away from home, staying in hotels and living out of suitcases. Similarly, his wife, Vanessa, was tired of dealing with all the corporate policies within local government in her public sector job. Knowing they wanted a change but not knowing to what, it was a happy co-incidence that Russell saw a Riverford Organic van while he was stuck in a traffic jam on the M40. Intending to only see about ordering a box, they soon discovered that Riverford didn’t deliver in the Milton Keynes area. Seeing an opportunity, they worked with Riverford and their sister farm in Cambridgeshire to establish a delivery area in Milton Keynes and beyond. They sold their first box in February 2005 and today they make around 800 weekly deliveries and have taken on further territories and drivers.
Russell and Vanessa enjoy being part of the local community. They attend shows to tell people how Riverford works and how people can benefit from using Riverford Organic boxes. Once customers have signed up to a veg box delivery, there is plenty of personal interaction and support with tips on helping to keep veg as fresh as possible to recipes for making the best possible use of the produce.
Come and meet Vanessa at the MKFoodFest and find out more about Riverford Organic boxes and simple ways of cooking with vegetables.
|Mr and Mrs Fitz are extremely passionate about good food and ensure their ingredients are sourced from ethical and morally sound producers. Using ideas and experience from their own food adventures, they enjoy making people happy with their fabulous food and are able to cater for anything from a 1000 head dinner party or a cosy night in.
Offering everything from pre-cooked roasts with all the trimmings, savoury stews, exotic cuisines and sumptuous salads to delectable puddings and desserts, they are also well known for their hog roasts and spit roasts. For these they only use locally raised produce and hand pick their suppliers, using many years of experience and ensuring quality is of paramount importance.
Being based less than an eighth of a mile from the MK Food Fest venue, Mr and Mrs Fitz Fabulous Food is the most local of all our local stallholders and will be serving up one of their hog roasts for the occasion. Forget any ideas of a dry tasteless hog roast, this hog roast is a local free range 'happy' hog that has been spit roasted for a minimum of 10 hours. Not only is the hog fabulous, it will be served up four ways, using collaborative products from other local artisan producers. The “Vietnamese” will be on Geoff's exclusive artisan French colonial breads with spiralized daikon and local carrots spiked with Chinese black vinegar, plus a swoosh of locally made oriental plum sauce. The “South Pacific” will be on Geoff’s artisan Hawaiian rolls with a pineapple & Wharfside MK50 special overproof rum salsa. The “Chinese” one will be drenched in Chinese style BBQ sauce. The “Traditional” will be served up with Virtual Orchard apple sauce and Cider drunken onions. In addition, they will be serving up their USA blend prime beef burgers in brioche buns with a hand-cut slaw and a selection of artisan low batch condiments. Can you eat more fabulously and local, Mr Fitz asks?
|Minkiemoo Bakery is known for its beautiful cakes, both for special occasions such as weddings and at local events. A regular at Wolverton Farmers market and the Sunday Streetford Sessions as well as making regular deliveries to the café at Waterstones, Minkiemoo cakes are always popular with customers. Perhaps what many people fail to realise as they tuck into their cake delight is that all the cakes in the Minkiemoo Bakery range are suitable for vegans and most are gluten-free too.
A vegan herself, Debbie set up the Minkiemoo Bakery several years ago after her colleagues were impressed by the cakes she brought into work. For a while she took orders for birthday cakes from her friends and colleagues before successfully making a cake for a friend’s wedding. Realising she had both the skill and passion to turn her hobby into a business, Debbie launched Minkiemoo. More recently she made the switch to all vegan ingredients and took the decision to make her cakes gluten-free where possible in order to cater for all dietary needs and ensure that no one has to miss out on enjoying a beautiful cake no matter what the occasion.
No matter what your dietary requirements, everyone should stop by Minkiemoo Bakery’s stall at the MKFoodFest to admire and enjoy the beautiful cakes. Be surprised by the diversity of the range, including layer cakes, lemon meringue pie, millionaires shortbread and cheesecakes. There will be something to please everyone.
|Tyco’s Treats is the creation of Tracy and Neil who have combined their passion for animals with their love of cooking. They adopted Tyco from an animal shelter in 2010 and although he loves treats some of them don’t agree with him. Having bought homemade treats at other events, they discovered that Tyco loved them and they didn’t upset him. Encouraged, they tried making their own treats for Tyco and some of his furry friends and received plenty of positive feedback.
Their treats proved very popular at their first stall at a local animal rescue so they decided to continue making them and to help raise money for charity at the same time.
The MKFoodFest strives to cater for everyone so it seemed only fitting to ensure your pets don’t miss out on the foodie fun too. Here you will find Tyco’s Treats selling a selection of their home made treats for dogs and cats.
|Page and Moyse is a catering firm run and operated by sisters Joanne Page and Louise Moyse. With their mum coming from a food background, the girls grew up in a food orientated environment so it seems only natural that they should choose catering for their profession. Joanne is the head chef, having trained at catering college in Bletchley during the 1980s.
Specalising in creating high quality outside catering, they use as much local and seasonal produce as possible. Since establishing the business in 2012, they have worked hard to build a reputation for providing food that not only looks great but more importantly tastes great.
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to sample their canapes, purchase their beautiful meringues and find out about their private catering service.
|Hippopot teas are made exclusively from dried herbs and (in some blends) fruits. As none of the blends use anything from the tea plant they are not really “tea”. The proper name is “tisane” but as most people call these herbal infusions, “tea”, Hippopot Herbs are happy to go along with that. With no green or black tea, however, the tisanes are naturally free from caffeine and there are no additives or preservative; just natural herbs for you to enjoy!
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to browse a selection of the blends, specially prepared by Alice Nugent, a qualified herbalist and a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) and the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP). Find the right blend for you or make an appointment to see the herbalist.
|Jeff Payne, the man behind Jeff The Chef, first fell in love with cooking food 21 years ago as a young chef at the beginning of his career. Over the years he has worked for a number of top UK brands including the Woburn Estate, Marriott Hotels, Whitbread and Mercure and has been a Head Chef in a 2 AA Rosette establishment. In 2015 he won the Best Chef in the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards and then went on to form his chef catering and hog-roast company. Jeff and his team of trained chefs, waiting staff and front of house managers provide the finest and freshest locally sourced ingredients and specialise in corporate hospitality, weddings, and private functions in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. In addition, Jeff the Chef provides award winning hog roasts and gourmet, locally made hot dogs.
At the MK Food Fest, Jeff will be selling his gourmet sausage hot dogs, made to his own specification by Woburn Country Foods from locally farmed meat.
|The Indian Orchard specialises in homemade Indian style pickles, chutneys and savoury snacks based on family recipes passed through the generation. It is a small family business that is run from their home in Milton Keynes. All the recipes are of traditional Gujarati style, a region of India whose cooking is synonymous with rich flavours and taste. All our products are suitable for vegetarians, and dairy and wheat free.
At the MK Food Fest, The Indian Orchard will be selling their range of homemade Indian Style pickles, chutneys & savoury snacks and will have a variety of their chutneys out for you to taste.
|Ryan Horne has always had a passion for real ales and craft beer so he decided to learn the necessary skills to open his own microbrewery. After learning traditional brewing techniques and perfecting recipes using only good quality natural ingredients, he opened a 6 barrel brewery in Bow Brickhill in March 2015. Since then this microbrewery in the picturesque village on the edge of Milton Keynes has gone from strength to strength, introducing new brews and working on collaborative brews with other local artisan brewers. In 2016 his Triple Goat Porter won best local product in the Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards.
Hornes Brewery will have their range of real ales and craft beers available at the MK Food Fest to enjoy on draught for on-site consumption and also in bottles to take home to drink later. Samples will be available to try before purchasing.
|Neneview Dairy is a Northamptonshire based, award winning maker of goats’ cheese. Using milk from goats cared for on the farm by their dairy staff, they craft different hard cheeses by hand in their cheesery. Forget what you think you know about goats’ cheese, these cheeses come in forms that you may only have associated with cows’ milk in the past. There are Cheddar type cheeses, mature blue cheeses, red cheese, crumbly and smoked varieties.
At the MKFoodFest you will find Neneview Dairy selling a range of their cheeses from their distinctive trailer in their stylish packaging. Stop by to taste their samplers and chat about their different cheese and prepare to be both surprised and pleased.
|Good Times Café is a 1976 Vintage Citroen HY van based in Bletchley well-known for serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches made with local sourdough and using a signature blend of cheeses. They also have a reputation for serving up a proper cup of coffee and some tasty home bakes.
Originally the husband and wife team, Bob and Aida Watson dreamt of opening a local coffee shop with a retro feel and an atmosphere of good-times music. However, after completing a detailed business plan and budget it became clear that they didn’t have the capital required to launch the business. Deflated but not defeated, and following a suggestion of a friend, they turned their attention to the possibility of converting a van into a mobile coffee shop.
They soon fell in love with the vintage Citroen HY van. Their next task was to source one and then they had to restore it, convert it and start up their business. The Good Times Café was launched in September 2015 and now Bob, Aida and Harry (the van) are a regular feature at numerous local events and further afield.
Although they still hold on to their dream of one day opening a coffee shop, Harry is now part of the family and will always be affectionately remembered as the first step towards pursuing their dream.
Look out for Harry at the MK Food Fest where Aida and Bob will be serving up their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches made with artisan sourdough bread and a selection of locally sourced cheeses. They also specialise in barista coffees, a selection of teas, a tasty hot chocolate and some delicious homemade cookies.
|It is hard to find someone more passionate about bread and baking than Geoff. However, he is very clear that bread should be made using traditional methods and simple ingredients. From the family run artisan bakery in Westbury, North Buckinghamshire, his makes every item by hand using slow fermentation methods, taking up to three days to make a loaf.
While Geoff’s Real Artisan Bread is predominately a wholesale bakery, supplying the catering industry, they do attend events and markets in the region but only if they share their ethos. We are, therefore, pleased to welcome them back to the MK Food Fest this year. Expect a selection of artisan loaves, flatbreads and their famous cinnamon rolls, but make sure you get there early as their products sell out fast!
|Ravina Kaur, founder of Kaur’s Spice, is keen to introduce people to the authentic taste of Indian food rather than what you buy in supermarket jars. Although her friends would enjoy the authentic taste of Indian food when they came over for dinner, they were fed up that they could not recreate the same authentic taste of Indian food in their own kitchens. To solve this problem Ravina devised a selection of spice bags. Ranging from mild to extremely hot, the spice mixes make it easy to cook authentic Indian food and curries.
All the ingredients are dry and measured out and full instructions are provided for the perfect curry. All you need is a couple of onions, tin of tomatoes, meat, veg or pulses, a bag Kaur's Spice and a little water. There is no msg, artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, packed in a nut free environment and suitable for vegetarians and vegan. Other popular Kaur’s spice mixes are onion bhaji, pakora spice, fish pakora spice, raita spice and tandoori spice mix.
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to chat with Ravina to discuss your likes and dislikes and she will help you discover the perfect blend of spices for you. After buying her spice mix you will be able to easily re-create authentic Indian food at home.
|The ambition of the team behind Fistful of Spice is to pair chillies with quality sourced ingredients to create sauces with a fusion of spice and character. Their products are created using quality sourced produce, herbs and spices, with the aim of retaining flavour as well as the characteristic heat. Where some other hot sauces provide searing pain levels of heat but lose out on flavour, Fistful of Spice sauces pack a punch of flavour as well as that endorphin releasing heat.
We are pleased to welcome Fistful of Spice back to the MK Food Fest this year. Whether you are a chilli nut or a bit of a wimp, you will be pleased to know that Fistful of Spice will have their range of handmade homemade artisan hot sauces and a balsamic vinegar infusions out to taste, conveniently lined up in order of heat.
|Connie the Vintage Travelling Tearoom is a gorgeous 1965 vintage caravan converted into a Travelling Tearoom. Since 2015 she has been available for events, festivals and private hire. Specialisaing in cream teams, local products used where possible.
At the MKFoodFest the Pop up Tearoom will be selling hot and cold drinks including 'freakshakes', homemade cakes, brownies, tray bakes and cream tea's as well as homemade sausage rolls and panninis. Some vegan products will be included in the above selection.
|The Concrete Cow Brewery was esablished in August 2007 by Dan Bonner and quickly became established as the leading micro-brewery within the Milton Keynes area. Taking its name from the famous concrete cows created by Liz Leyh, the brewery supplies real ale to pubs, shops and the general public. Dan uses modern equipment, traditional methods and his skills and knowledge to produce a range of different beers to suit different palettes. Using only the finest malted barley, whole hops and brewing yeast, the plant is able to produce around 1580 pints per brew. The beers are then put into kegs, bottled or canned using the in-house canning system installed in June 2016.
At the MKFoodFest Concrete Cow Brewery beers will be available to taste, to buy by the glass or to take home in bottles and cans.
|Safina set up Chins Kitchen in September 2011 using her love of cooking and skills to bring her Indian cuisine to the public, whilst being able to work from home and care for her three children. It began with a 'Wednesday Curry Night', which was well supported by friends and the local community. Since then this has evolved into a regular 'Friday Curry Night'. Named after Safina’s pet name as a child, Chins Kitchen specialises in catering for events, functions and parties, offering Indian cuisine, using the finest and freshest ingredients and influences from Safina’s mother’s traditional Pakistani cooking. In addition, they offer everyday treats, birthday cakes, cupcakes and gifts. And if you would like to learn how to cooker authentic Indian food at home, you can join Safina on one of her cookery courses.
At the MKFoodFest, visit Chins Kitchen stall to purchase kits to help you put together the perfect curry at home, enjoy some homemade treats and some traditional Indian food.
|Catering U Like was set up in 2012 as a catering company specialising in private functions and specialises in homemade pasties, cakes, quiche and cookies. Whether you have sweet tooth or prefer something savoury, Lydia has it covered and you will enjoy professional quality and presentation with a proper home baked taste.
Stop by Catering U Like’s stall at the MK Food Fest to pick up a slice of cake or to enjoy a piece of quiche or a homemade pasty.
|Bucks Star is a real ale microbrewery based in Milton Keynes, using carefully sourced ingredients and traditional artisan brewing methods to create the purest quality real beer possible.
Datis Gol, the head brewer and founder, embarked on his journey of opening a boutique micro-brewery after becoming curious about the differences between mainstream beers and micro-brewed artisan beers. In 2013, whilst continuing to learn the basics of brewing, Datis took steps towards opening up his own brewery in his hometown of Milton Keynes. From the brewery’s inception, his brother, Daria, has also been involved in the business, sourcing the highest quality ingredients that keep the beers pure. Bucks Star is possibly the first solar-powered micro-brewery and focuses on ecology, health and community.
At the MK Food Fest Datis will be selling his artisan real ale to take home, concentrating particularly his eco-friendly re-fillable growlers.
|The Verey family have been farming at Manor Farm, Bourton, Buckinghamshire for four generations. David and Ann Verey have been breeding Suffolk and Charollais lambs for market for the past 30 years, in addition to breeding and fattening Aberdeen Angus cattle for supply to one of the national supermarkets.
In 2014 Tim and Helen Verey started a new venture rearing Oxford Sandy and Black pigs for meat. Shortly afterwards they set up an on-farm unit with their brother-in-law, Big Dave, to enable the production of homemade sausages on site. The farm also runs a flock of pedigree Wiltshire Horn sheep, which produces a lean, succulent meat, full of flavour. The Very family strive to give their animals a stress free life, enabling them to produce great tasting meat.
At the MKFoodFest you will be able to purchase a range of their meat and products including sausages, bacon, pork, lamb and hogget.
|It was 20 years ago when Nick first went to the Baja. Although his main intention had been to learn to surf, he fell in love with the people, the lifestyle and the food. It was during that first trip that the idea of Baja Cantina was conceived; the idea of never having to leave the beach to eat. With twenty years of travel experience, he may not be able to conjure up the sunshine and the surf but he can offer you fresh and tasty Mexican food, served from his beloved vintage Citroën van. It is a little shack on a sunny beach, an oasis of fresh, fun food.
Look out for the eye catching vintage Citroën van at the MK Food Fest, where Baja Cantina will be selling made to order Mexican street food. Specialising in tacos, nachos and quesadillas, all their food is sourced as locally as possible and served in biodegradable packaging. The food is fresh, fun and, above all, delicious.
|Peels Juice Bar is located at Milton Keynes Central train station where it is open daily selling smoothies, juices and teas and coffees along-side a selection of wraps, salads, soups, porridge and healthy snacks.
At the heart of everything they do is an unshakeable conviction in the health-giving, life-affirming power of their juices. For that reason they devote every ounce of their energy to conceiving explosive blends of flavoursome, nutrient-rich juices, smoothies and healthy food, designed just for you.
At the MKFoodFest, the knowledgeable Master Juicers and Juice Team Members will be leaving their usual home at the station to be on hand to make the perfect smoothie and juice for you to make your day come alive.
|MK Snap was set up 25 years ago to deliver a leading program of education, life skills, work preparation and opportunities to adults with learning difficulties. These include adults recovering from stoke or head injury, those with visual or mobility impairment and those with learning disabilities.
Now based in Walnut Tree, MK Snap provides support through a personalised learning plan for very learner in a fun, motivating, safe and caring environment. This is achieved through a mixture of education, training, socialising opportunities and workplace experience. One aspect of this now includes participation in the running of a weekly café at the MK Snap building. The Thursday café offers the adults a chance to learn new skills and have work experience in all aspects of the running of the cafe from making the cakes to serving customers.
At the MKFoodFest members of the MK Snap team and some of the learners will be selling a selection of their handmade cakes. This will be both a fundraising venture as well as learning opportunities for the adult learners.
|Saf’s Kitchen produces mouth-watering homemade Indian dishes, suitable for any dietary requirements, by combining fresh local ingredients with aromatic home spices and Saf’s cooking talents. Her Indian cuisine, mixed with aspects of other cultures, has gained a reputation in Milton Keynes and she is a popular trader at local events. She also caters for private events and offers cooking classes.
At the MK Food Fest, expect to be tempted by freshly fried spinach & potato pakoras, vegetable samosas filled with potato, pea and sweetcorn and meaty lamb and pea samosas. There will be homemade naan bread, chapatie, pilau rice topped with a great selection of curries and fillings and homemake chicken tikka kebabs and pakora kebabs. All this is topped with rocket salad, kachumbar, raita and spiced onion chutney. All dietary requirements are catered for from vegetarian and vegan to gluten-free and halal.
|Nicky Kenny is a Wolverton based photographer who has accidentally found herself with a growing reputation as the maker of fine homemade fudge. It started in Christmas 2015 when she made some as presents for her friends and family. It went down a storm so she decided to start selling it as a side business to support her photography. At first she only made vanilla fudge but has now added chocolate fudge to her range too and it can be purchased in bags or attractively presented in vintage tea cups.
At the MK Food Fest Nicky will be selling her home made vanilla and chocolate fudge, made in small batches from her home in Wolverton. It will be sold in jars, antique cups and saucers, mugs, and pretty bags straight for scoffing.
|It was whilst on maternity leave in 2015 that Rebecca started her business, baking and decorating birthday cakes and the occasional wedding cake. Operating under the brand Rebeccas Bakes & Cakes, she quickly established her cake making business and started supplying Waterstones Cafe W in Midsummer Place Intu MK in December 2016 with loaf cakes, cutting cakes, cupcakes and muffins. Since then Rebecca has rebranded her business as The Blue Whisk Bakery and she continues to supply cafes and attends local markets and events with her selection of brownies, cakes and cookies/biscuits all home made from fresh ingredients.
At the MK Food Fest you will be able to buy a selection of Blue Whisk Bakery cakes, brownies, biscuits and other tray bakes.
|Supremo Coffee is a new mobile venture for the twice UK Barista champion, Thomas Polti. Normally at work at The Chequers at Millbrook in Bedfordshire, Thomas serves his own specially developed blend of coffee. Highly reputed in the Industry and once quoted as “The greatest barista Britain has ever produced”. Thomas' knowledge of coffee has taken him to Scandinavia and Russia where he trained other up-and-coming baristas.
The beans are sourced from India and South America; roasted medium/dark from the finest Arabica and Robusta to give a rich, full-bodied taste with a clean, balanced flavour. The coffee is available in 200g packs for you to enjoy at home and attractively packaged for ease of selection depending on your requirements.
At the MKFoodFest Supremo Coffee will be serving up their special blend of coffee to enjoy hot as well as their bags of beans to take home. Alongside this they will have hot chocolate, organic teas and homemade tiramisu.
|Adrianna’s Bread is a Bletchley based micro bakery, making handcrafted breads to order from organic ingredients.
The Adrianna’s Bread story started five years ago when Adrianna decided to abandon shop bought bread to make her own. She feels there is an overwhelming number of unnecessary additives and harmful preservatives in mass produced bread so she started making her own, stripped back to the very basic ingredients. Over time she has learnt a great deal about sourcing ingredients and traditional methods to make sourdough. From making bread for themselves, it expanded into making loaves for their friends and family and then into a business.
At the MKFoodFest Adrianna’s Bread will be selling their additive and preservative free breads, made from organic flour. These include white wheat sourdough, mixed wholewheat sourdough and rye sourdough. Come along and sample the bread and buy a loaf or two.