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Leeds Indie Food Festival 2017 - the insider knowledge

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Food, glorious food at an event that showcases the best culinary talents in Leeds

For the third year running, this May shines the spotlight on Leeds’ independent food and drink talent over an eighteen-day festival.


From 11-28th May, almost one hundred innovative and inspired events will take place across the city, this year broken into one of three festival events strands: Eat, Drink or Do.


We spoke exclusively to Festival Director Matt Dix to glean some insider information about some of the most exciting events on the line-up, and to get his take on the shape of the Leeds food and drink scene.


With such a broad array of events, picking out any highlights is, of course, both very personal and very tricky. That said, Matt was particularly excited about LIF’s presence this year at one of Leeds’ most architecturally pioneering buildings. “We’ve got some stellar stuff going on in the Corn Exchange,” he notes, “and it’ll be the first time we’ve really used one of Leeds’ most spectacular venues.”


Combining our enduring passion for all things Scandi together with a restaurant with an amazing track record for using the best in local, seasonal produce cooked in the most creative of ways, one of the highlights of LIF in the Corn Exchange will, of course, be Harrogate heroes, Norse.


“Festival favourites Norse will be popping up over the first weekend for some Scandi fine dining,” Matt tells me. “You can go and eat from an amazing menu, with a bar and tastings from The Champagne Concept and Whittaker’s Gin, plus talks from Signe Johansen, author of ‘How to Hygge’.” Get all of the Scandi you need, wrapped up in a big, tasty bow in the beautiful Cuthbert Broderick-designed Corn Exchange, on the evening of Friday May 12 or all day and evening on Saturday May 13


Although Leeds Indie Food was born in celebration of the great food showcased by informality and pop-ups around Leeds, we’ve seen the city up the ante in terms of fine dining options over the past year. I asked Matt whether we’ll see that reflected in the LIF line-up.


“I definitely think we’ve seen venues upping their game this year,” he acknowledges, “and I think the more formal dining we’ve seen recently is a sign of a maturing food scene.” As well as the innovative informal events and the excitement of Norse’s occupation of the Corn Exchange, Matt reveals that “Ox Club are set for an amazing (yet to be announced) takeover event with an award-winning London restaurant.” We’re all ears.


For more information on LIF and to stay uptodate on its ever-expanding line-up of events, go to

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