Leeds’ legendary celebration of independent food and drink is back for 2022, and it’s on a mission to promote the city as the ultimate foodie destination. This week, Leeds Indie Food (LIF) announces details of its mini festival, alongside the launch of a brand-new website showcasing stories from the local independent sector. LIF 2022 kicks off on May 19th, which marks the beginning of 10 days of unique experiences, events and collaborations from some of the best indie food and drink businesses around.
Highlights include a meeting of minds between Ox Club and Kirkstall Brewery, who are joining forces to lay on an exclusive tasting menu filled with Yorkshire produce and beers old and new. Rolling Social Events is also set to team up with Starward Whisky and The Tetley to put on a unique, local supper club experience, and again with Plantation Rum and Bastards Bistro for rum-based shenanigans at Grindhouse on Upper Briggate.
Handmade pasta specialists Sarto will team up with Latitude for an evening of exquisite food and drink. The evening, set to take place on 25th May, will include a five-course meal paired with aperitifs, wines and digestifs.
Exclusive collabs are just the start of this year’s incredible LIF programme, which also includes a vegan yoga and brunch event at The Tetley on May 21st, where lovers of mindful movement can focus on breath as well as breakfast. ‘Parts Unknown: A hammage to Anthony Bourdain’ will be presented by Friends of Ham, inspired by the cult culinary hero’s trips to Spain and Italy, a 5 course tasting menu will be paired with various wines, beers & cocktails. Each course will be introduced and inspired by a clip from the award-winning ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’.
Further exclusive events during the week will see authentic Italian cuisine Stuzzi host an evening of ‘zero miles dining’. Celebrating a whole host of local independent suppliers who supply Stuzzi on a weekly basis, produce will be provided by Yorkshire farms, producers, foragers and farmers. And Bao fans (i.e. everyone) will be treated to one of Little Bao Boy’s infamous Laksa evenings.
The all-new LIF website has also landed, the website has been created to not only promote the smorgasbord of events on offer as part of the festival, but also to create an inclusive hub for Leeds’ independent businesses all year round. The site will host everything from columns and competitions to interviews, opinion pieces and sneak previews – serving to educate and inform food fans and traders on all things indie in the city.
Keen to be a voice and a celebrant for independents as well as a support network, Leeds Indie Food are committed to pushing initiatives such as Independents Day in July which promotes independent businesses. LIF will also be announcing further new initiatives for the hospitality sector in the city which will include promoting such topics as mental health in the industry and healthier eating. An incredibly exciting new-style restaurant week plus an annual celebration will also be announced in due course.
Simon Fogal, Founder Leeds Indie Food:
“What can be said about the last couple of years that hasn’t already been said? Like all hospitality businesses we pivoted constantly as we went from our annual festival in May to signposting people to indies, creating supportive merch, hampers, magazines and more.
We listened to businesses and helped initiate Chow Down at Temple Arches. The time has come to start back, telling our story and raising the profile of some of the smaller indies as well as the bigger boys, really trying to put Leeds on this map. The mini-festival is here but we are planning so much more, we have set ourselves some big goals and are planning a lot of initiatives too. We want to celebrate indie culture too, having a thriving indie food scene helps a city tell a story, so we want to strengthen this part. To get involved (everyone is welcome) just contact us via our website.”
Tickets for LIF 2022 are on sale now. Head to the website to browse the experiences and grab your tickets while you can.