touch of French taste and flavour will come to Coventry city centre when the second Food
Festival hits town today.
A French market is setting up home in Market Way and Smithford Way on Friday, Saturday
and Sunday to bring the best of continental produce and crafts to the city.
Around 30 stalls representing all parts of France will be open for business and looks
set to be a big success as the bedrock of the Food Festival.
Last years event was such a huge hit with local
people and visitors that the City Centre Company, which manages and promotes the heart of
Coventry, has had to bring back top TV chef Paul Rankin by popular demand.
The popular star of MasterChef and Ready, Steady, Cook will demonstrate the skills that
have made him one of the top masters of his art in the UK and he will also be the judge of
the Coventry Chef Of The Year competition to be held on Sunday 26 September.
And Rankin, who runs the highly successful Roscoff restaurant in Northern Ireland, is
delighted to be heading back to the Midlands.
"I had a great time in Coventry last year and am delighted to be returning. It was
a great fun event and there were big and enthusiastic crowds in the city centre.
"I will again be giving some demonstrations and there will be the competition
which promises to be great fun. I understand there are four chefs involved this year so
you can bet there will be a good competitive edge.
"The French market sounds interesting and I will be having a look myself just in
case something takes my fancy."
Garry Clark, events organiser for the City Centre Company, said Rankin had happily
agreed to return to Coventry.
"Paul was superb last year and really entertained the crowd. In fact he proved so
popular that this year we are going to erect some seating. We are planning to ask Paul to
cook a French dish to continue the Gallic theme.
"The market should be fascinating. It is the first time we have had a traditional
French market in the city and they will be selling a wide range of genuine French produce
as well as a host of crafts.
"We are again organising the Coventry Chef of the Year competition and have lined
up Nigel Elvin from the Allesley Hotel, Gugu Harwood from the Hippopotamus restaurant in
Warwick, Iqbal Ahmed from the Ocean Restaurant in Radford and John Clinton of the
Courtyard by Marriott.
"The trainee chefs will again do battle, cooking a meal from just £5 of
The City Centre Company events are designed to entertain regular visitors to the heart
of Coventry as well as draw people in and help traders.