Hackney Food Festival promises global treats

The first global food festival in Hackney will take place tomorrow as part of the We Love Hackney Weekend. The event will include world music and entertainment, and tents will offer food from the Caribbean, Nigeria, Tunisia, India, Japan, Bangladesh, Spain, and British burgers for the less adventurous!

Jane MacIntyre, who is the organiser of the event, and also runs the Hackney Homemade Market, said: “(the aim of the day would be) to celebrate Hackney especially in the wake of recent disturbances”.

She added: “Hackney is a wonderfully multicultural area with food literally from all over the world on offer. I love food and enjoying it is a great way of bringing people together. The food festival runs alongside Hackney Homemade Market, which happens every Saturday and is an obvious accompaniment. We hope to make the festival a regular event.”

The festival will take place at the St John-at-Hackney Churchyard Gardens, Lower Clapton Road, E5, near  the Mare Street, Narrow Way. Local residents will have a chance to sample snacks from around the world, shop for vintage clothes, handmade goods, books and bric-a-brac. For entertainment, they will be treated to a Brazilian carnival, fusions of Afrobeat, soul and reggae, belly dancing and folk music – sounds that define the multicultural mix of the borough.

Delarie Johnson is one of the vendors at the forthcoming festival. She said: “A festival like this is a good opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds to come together in order to experience an array of foods that they have probably heard about but have never had the opportunity to try.

“This kind of event can also expand the knowledge and experience of these types of food. It is also an opportunity for vendors to also sample foods from other cultures and use these types of events to network.”

Local residents, Jonathan Aldenton and Ruth McGeough, are looking forward to the event as a way of community building. Aldenton said: “The food festival is good news for Hackney. You’d be amazed how many good cooks there are and how much top class tucker is made in Hackney. Hackney needs successful small enterprises to flourish and the food festival can help with that.”

McGeough feels that the festival is important to the borough; she said: “Food brings people of all ages and backgrounds together. In light of recent events it’s so important for our local community to come together. I’m a great believer in the healing properties of food (sorry if that sounds super cheesy!).”

The Hackney Food festival will take place on September 17, from 10am to 6pm.

For more information, go to: Hackney Homemade Market and We Love Hackney Weekend.

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