Sue Hitchen is the director of Foodies Festival, an annual event celebrating all things food and drink. The festival began in Edinburgh 10 years ago and now pops up in 9 other sites around the UK. Each festival is a family friendly feast with plenty of things to see, do and eat for adults and kids.
In our Local Hero interview, Sue tells us more about celebrating Foodies 10th anniversary in the place where it all began and which foodie gems she recommends in Edinburgh.
Foodies Festival is 10 years old this year, what was your motivation for starting the festival in the first place?
I wanted to launch a fun, family friendly food festival that highlighted wonderful Scottish food and gave visitors the opportunity to learn from top chefs and to cook their recipes at home.
What are your highlights from the past 10 years?
Introducing young children in their own Cookery Theatre to tastes of food from around the world and watching their astonishment when they identify their tastebuds by dying them purple.
We’re sure you’re planning a big celebration for the 10th year, are there exciting details you can reveal to us now?
Our 10th anniversary year will be a great celebration and we are introducing more fun events than ever - we are looking forward to a giant cake, record breaking attempts with champagne corks, King of the BBQ competition and Best Home Cook prizes.
What sets Edinburgh apart from the other UK locations you host Foodies in?
The Edinburgh event is the most fun festival as comedians, musicians and other festival acts take part in the Chefs Theatre with our top chefs and showcase on the live music stage.
This year is also the Year of Food & Drink which is all about shining a light on Scotland’s natural larder. What Scottish produce are you particularly fond of?
Rape seed oil which is delicious, healthy and local - grown on family farms across Scotland and the only cooking oil I use at home - you can't beat it to roast potatoes.
What do you think makes Edinburgh such a great place for eating and drinking?
Fine dining with Michelin star chefs, family start up restaurants cooking recipes passed down through generations and a recent growth in really interesting street food outlets - vietnamese buns, lobster and macaroni cheese are my favourites.
Where is your favourite place to eat out in Edinburgh?
Field for its wonderful fine dining in a relaxed and cosy dining room, where you are always made very welcome by the owners.
Which one of Edinburgh’s foodie hidden gems that you would recommend to a new visitor?
Paul Kitching 21212 which is fantastically inventive, combining flavours so creatively that your taste buds are buzzing with the many surprise elements.
When you hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh’, the first thing that springs to mind is?
An exciting calendar of events that brings people and attention to Edinburgh and allows people to try new things.
What makes you particularly proud to come from/live/work in the city?
The Festival is what makes Edinburgh for me - such energy, creativity and enthusiasm attracted to the city for that vital month.
Foodies Festival 2015 is at Inverlieth Park from 7th to 9th August. See what's on the line-up on the Foodies website.