Countdown is on to Leeds Food and Drink Festival

The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival
The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival
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STREET food from across the globe will be among mouthwatering treats on offer when the Leeds Food and Drink Festival returns to the city later this month.

The ninth free annual three-day festival - which is sponsored by Aldi - will feature a wide range of food stalls in Millennium Square from Friday June 28 to Sunday 30.

The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival

The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival

The festival is run in partnership with the Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds City Council, with support from Heart Yorkshire.

Megha Mehta and her two business partners Komal Patel and Pallavi Rane will be serving up spicy dishes at their Namaste India stall.

Meet the stallholders for the 2019 Leeds Food and Dink Festival
Megha, who hails from Mumbai, said Namaste India offers the kind of authentic Indian street food that is incredibly popular in her home country.

Megha, who has lived in Leeds city centre for the last eight-years, helped run her first street food stall at the Indian Food Festival at Kirkgate Market in Leeds last September.

The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival

The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival

She said: "People really loved our food. The Leeds Food and Drink Festival will be our first really big event and we are excited and looking forward to it."

Namaste India will be serving up tasty treats including Aamchi Mumbai Vadapav, one of India's most popular street food dishes.

It consist of a bread bun stuffed with a fried potato filling with three varieties of sauces and topped with onions and sauces.

Joe Wills, 25, of Huddersfield, will be offering gourmet burgers and fries from his mobile food van called The Ox Box.

The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival

The 2018 Leeds Food and Drink Festival

Joe, who has worked as a chef at pubs the Royal Oak in Ripon and the King's Head in Masham, launched The Ox Box last month.

He said The Ox Box will offer handmade burgers and fries topped with a choice of slow cooked pulled pork or beef brisket.

Joe said his most popular burger is the 'Porky Blinder' - a 6oz beef patty topped with cider braised pulled pork, homemade pickled red onions, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce - all served in a toasted brioche bun.

Joe said: "I'm really looking forward to the festival."

Here is what to expect at this year's Leeds Food and Drink Festival
Kirk Hewitt of Birmingham will be travelling to Leeds with his food van Treasure Taste, which offers Caribbean cuisine with a twist.

His menu includes jerk chicken with rice, peas, gravy and salad in a burrito.

Kirk, who previously worked as a chef at hotels The Belfry and The Ramada in Sutton Coldfield, has been running the business since 2004.

He said: "I'm looking forward to giving people quality food and good service."

George Welton, 27, who runs Brown & Blond brownie making business based on Tong Road at Wortley, Leeds, will be at the festival for the ninth consecutive year.

Mr Welton was 18 when set up the business in the garage outside his parents' home in Cattal near York.

He now makes around a million brownies a year, using 18 tons of chocolate and describes them as a "rich and chewy decadent treat."

Flavours include cookie dough and black forest and raspberry white chocolate is one of his best sellers.

George said: "Our trade at the festival has grown significantly over the years with return visitors and as people get to know the brand.

Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake, said: “Leeds City Council is proud to be supporting this great event.

"Leeds has a thriving independent food and drink scene offering a unique experience with something for everyone to enjoy.

"The Leeds Food and Drink Festival is a real celebration of one of the city’s biggest cultural assets so we look forward to it being another great success later this month.”

The festival will run from 11am to 8pm on Friday June 28 and Saturday June 29 then from 11am to 4pm on Sunday June 30.