Food fans flock to city for festival with sunshine on menu

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LEEDS has been transformed into a gastronomic paradise for a city-wide food festival this weekend.

More than 50,000 foodies are expected to eat, drink and be merry at Leeds Loves Food, now in its seventh year.

The heart of the action is the Yorkshire Food and Drink Show in Millennium Square.

The event, backed by the Yorkshire Post, got under way yesterday with more than 10,000 people passing through the gates.

Around 100 exhibitors, kitchens and bars are selling everything from cheeses and chutneys to ice-cream and wine.

Cooking demonstrations will take place every hour today and Sunday, led by chefs from Leeds favourites Create, Brasserie Blanc and Chino Latino. Yorkshire-born celebrity chef Brian Turner was the first to show off his culinary flair yesterday.

Speaking at the event’s launch, he said: “Our local economy depends so much on supporting local produce and in Yorkshire we’ve got a fantastic coastline and the pastures of the Dales and the moors – we’ve got everything in abundance.”

Another famous face will be Blur bassist and cheese-maker Alex James, who will show off his range at Asda’s stand from 11am tomorrow. The supermarket is the event’s main sponsor.

Chief executive Andy Clarke said: “Asda is really proud of its Yorkshire roots and we’re really proud to be supporting this great festival of food.”

Other events are taking place at the Light, the Merrion Centre, Kirkgate Markets, the St John’s Centre, the Corn Exchange and the Victoria Quarter.

Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan said: “It’s going to be a great weekend. We’ve got the weather and we’ve got the food. All we need to do now is enjoy ourselves.”