This time last year Leeds Indie Food Festival was just about to begin for the very first time, fast forward 12 months and it’s back and bigger than before, whilst staying true to the heart of indie.
Last years events inspired my foodie views and introduced me to so many fantastic people, places and things that have made my taste buds infinitely happy.
To kick of LIF16 Mum, Amy & I headed to Laynes Coffee at Sheaf Street Cafeteria where Sarah from Noisette Bakehouse teamed up with Izy Hossack (a favourite foodie blogger of mine) for a brunch of simplicity and wonderment in equal measure.
Since mum took the awesome step to become vegetarian on January 1st I have been on a mission to find places for us to eat that don’t lazily only offer vegetarians risotto or bloody mushroom pasta, there is so much more to veggie & vegan food and Sarah & Izy know that all too well and prove the point with mouth-watering dishes that not only refuse to miss meat, they are better for their absence.
I was thrilled with Amy text me to ask me to be her plus one for In Defence of Plants, and even more thrilled when I managed to wangle a spot for mum too!
Just look at the dishes on that menu, things I would never think to pair together, that I would never have thought would taste like heaven.
We each ordered, mum went for the Dill & Potato Waffles, I opted for the Chickpea Crepe & Amy went for the sweet option of Oat Pancakes and it only seemed right to have a sharing side order of sourdough toast with Chickpea Smash.
For me the best part of eating aren’t simply the flavours, but in fact the textures and the pairing of ingredients and how they inspire me to want to recreate the dish at home. I think all of us felt exactly this way when we tucked in to devour the edible art in front of us.
Did I mention that the food is not only vegetarian, but vegan in fact, and I, on the other hand am most certainly a carnivore so find most meals are lacking if there isn’t some meat in sight. Let me tell you, I tried all of the food on the table and not one of the dishes would or could have been improved by meat, as you can see from my entirely cleaned plate!
I’ve never liked Tofu, it’s a strange thing that I can never seem to cook well, it always ends up in tasteless cubes and are avoided at all times. However, my brunch came with tofu smash, which was made from silken tofu flavoured with turmeric and lord was it good, so good in fact that I quizzed one of the chaps at the event for the recipe which he kindly offered up and I will be recreating it at home as an alternative to scrambled eggs as it has the same fluffy, rich texture and flavour.
I don’t think my words can do justice for just how wonderful this meal was. I’m in the midst of a shuffle around in the way I eat and the food I tasted and the conversations I had have added fuel to my fire of desire to eat with more consideration and consciousness.
Huge thank you to Sarah for reminding my mum why she has changed the way she eats and why I’m learning to embrace meat free eating. Mum left so inspired by Sarah that she’s heading down to Bath next weekend for a cookery course with Anna Jones.
Finally we ended brunch with super duper tasty cookies, no dairy, no gluten, yet all about the taste.
The most perfect start to Leeds Indie Food Festival, huge thank you to Sarah for being awesome and I cannot wait to come back and try more tastiness!
I’m not sure I will ever become vegan or even veggie, but what I have now is a much better understanding of the breadth of possibilities meatless food can offer. What I plan on doing, on the back of this brunch, is not always to build a meal around the meat, it won’t always work, but I’m going to try.
You can still get your mitts on Leeds Indie Food Festival passports as well as find out about all the incredible wealth of events happening in the city.
I have a list as long as my arm of events I will be going to, food I will be eating and if you want to keep up with my Indie Food Festival escapades you can follow me on Snapchat…