European Capital of ‘Food’ Culture Seminar

1 Tom Bliss gave a short intro to explain how we got to where we are now (audio here).

2 Sonja Woodcock talked through the headlines of the Food Audit – please see here for details (audio here).

3 Trish Cliff gave this presentation about Food Tourism (audio here).

Food Tourism (Trish Cliff – UoL)

4 Tom Bliss talked through the presentation that Sarah Priestley and Dinah Clark were sadly unable to deliver themselves

City of Culture Bid Process (Sarah Priestley – LCC)

5 Trish Cliff moderated an engagement session around Sarah and Dinah’s 5 key questions – all in relation to Leeds food culture:

1.What could Leeds do better?

2.Why should Europe care about Leeds?

3.What’s your big idea to put Leeds on the map?

4.What does culture mean to you / what is your culture?

5.What makes you proud of Leeds?


1 What could Leeds do better (regarding food)?

Recognizing, celebrating & promoting cultural diversity through food

More independent eateries & retail outlets

Create incubator & pop-up cafés & food stalls

Have a “Leeds Food Stall” in Leeds station as a showcase of local food & to create opportunities for new producers to test the market. A great opportunity for people arriving and leaving the city to take a bit of Leeds with them.

Increase links to local farms

Develop a ‘buy local’ campaign

Support more Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes ie. Swillington Farms

Support a local & sustainable food wholesaler that supports local producers & supplies independent cafes & shops

More independent greengrocers

Making more use of public spaces

More competition at farmers markets

Celebrate ‘good, healthy, sustainable’ food for everyone

Support people and groups to grow their own food

Challenging stigma of poverty through food sharing as a community

Create more opportunities eg. Street parties

Reduce food waste

Celebrate socially responsible companies ie. Pret  a Manger

Share leftover food from restaurants/cafes with people in need of food – don’t throw food

Share allotment member skills / have more events on allotment sites to invite others in = inspiration & opportunity for skill share

2 Why should Europe care about Leeds (in regards to food)?

Many Europeans live here happily in amongst other people from around the world creating a melting pot of people and cultures which creates a diverse food culture especially if ‘food production to health’ is fair & sustainable (cradle to grave healthy food)

As a prominent UK city we set an example to the rest of the country

Food has to be central to planning issues

Leeds is in the North!  A different UK than London and the south

3 What’s your big idea to put Leeds (food) on the map?

Make sustainable culture the ‘unique selling point’ of the Leeds 2023 bid

Set up incubators to allow food businesses to be established quickly and easily (possibly as a condition of planning consent)

Look at all the good stuff that happening & communicate what’s already going on

Take one good example, make it unique ie. Curry Mile in Manchester

Make more from our cosmopolitan cuisine

Make the cuisine as cosmopolitan as the city

Turn Kirkgate Market into La Boqueria (Barcelona) a food Mecca for all tastes and budgets

Re-brand Otley Run as Vegan Run! Re-branding existing successful events/activities to have a sustainable food focus

4 What does (food) culture mean to you / what is your (food) culture?

Street food

Sharing culture through food

More access to healthy food & healthy eating

‘Feast days’ sharing food culture, both historical traditions & Leeds panoply of cosmopolitan cultural offerings

Traditional meals eaten regularly ie Sunday lunch

Growing, cooking, sharing & composting food


Yorkshire curd tarts – a competition to find the best one!

A ‘new culture’ of Leeds food that represents everyone that lives here – from pies and fish and chips, to bhajis,  stir fries,  pumpkin pie, kimchee and hipster coffee

Allotments, ferrets, whippets & flat caps (?)

5 What makes you proud of Leeds (food)?

Its ethnic & cultural diversity

Its history

Different demographics – tensions & solutions

Independents – food – drink

The people

Green spaces / edible spaces


Academic / research environment

Many community-minded people

Innovative projects

Lots of networking & partnerships

Co-operatives: bread/growers/coppicing/food/housing

A city that feels like a town – friendly

Parks that are well used

The countryside is nearby


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