Thursday, 6 August 2015

Foraging at Foodies Festival? Paul Wedgwood Would

Paul Wedgwood tells me he occasionally gets into a spot of bother with people at Food Festivals who give him a hard time. "I've been verbally abused by people screaming 'why can't I get a table at your restaurant?' at me." He seems such an easy-going chap too. Fanny Cradock had similar issues when she appeared at her sell-out performances in Edinburgh at the Usher Hall. Mounted police were called in to calm the disgruntled crowds who couldn't squeeze in to see her. I think that 'Wedgie' will be more than able to handle his own security at this weekends Foodies Festival, in it's 10th year in Edinburgh, but keep an eye out for the horses just incase.

Fanny Cradock Foodies Festoval Paul Wedgwood

Fanny was known for her 'will they/won't they' drama-laden soufflés at demonstrations, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, and ultimately never failing, naturally. Paul will be capturing some of Fanny's spirit on Sunday with his unplanned demo style. "I'll be doing something new, something I haven't done before using just whatever is in the fridge, whatever I have to hand and maybe some plants picked in Inverleith Park on my way!" Washed, of course, he assures me.

Fanny Cradock Foodies Festoval Paul Wedgwood

Paul is clearly a fan of wild food, and madcap times. His assistant James is called over to confirm to me his demo style, "Aye, he sometimes prepares a wee bit, he just goes on stage and does what he does. It's like 'oh look what I've got today, what can I make?' kind of thing." Expect to see the ever enthusiastic Paul with a supportive, friendly arm around James' shoulder at the demo though. "My team are the backbone of my business" he tells me, "everyone is as important as each other, if they are happy I am happy." Don't tell Fanny.

Fanny Cradock Foodies Festoval Paul Wedgwood

Like Fanny, Paul isn't classically trained, finding his way into many prestigious kitchens while doing a Hotel Management Degree, and staying put. Like Fanny he likes to take old school recipes and adapts them, inspired by the likes of American Chef Charlie Trotter, Danish maverick René Redzepi from Noma and Brazilian Alex Atala. Unlike Fanny, his creations are clean, fresh and modern with that wild signature twist. What we will see at Foodies all depends what's growing nearby on the day. Keep an eye out for Paul if you have one of the allotments next door.

Fanny Cradock Foodies Festoval Paul Wedgwood

Paul has been on a Chef Swap to Fanny's beloved Florence recently, and is hosting his part of the swap in Edinburgh in October. He took his Sweet, Sweet Potato Gnocchi to them, what will they give back in return? For Foodies, Paul is aiming to open a few Edinburgh eyes to his restaurant. "When we opened we thought we would be really tourist driven being on the Royal Mile, but it's so foodie round here now with fantastic shops like Cranachan & Crowdie, locals are flocking in." When they can get a reservation of course. Form orderly queues at Foodies this weekend, who knows you may be part of the show. "I like to react to the audience so I may pull someone who looks enthusiastic on stage to help!" Let's hope it's not someone who couldn't get a table at Wedgwoods, or a local allotment owner, it could get nasty. Mounted Police are on standby.

Fanny Cradock Foodies Festoval Paul Wedgwood

I am delighted to be an Official Foodies Festival Blogger. See you at the Festival!

Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 0844 995 1111

Friday adult day ticket £10.00 (£8.00 concession)
Saturday or Sunday adult day ticket £13.00 (£11.00 concession)
3-day adult ticket £20.00 (£16.00 concession)

Friday VIP ticket £35.00
Saturday or Sunday VIP ticket £38.00
VIP tickets include a welcome glass of bubbly, access to the VIP tent with private bar and refreshments throughout the day, priority entry to food and drink masterclasses, a goody bag and a showguide.
All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.
Open times:
Friday 7th August: 11am – 7pm
Saturday 8th August: 10am – 8pm
Sunday 9th August: 10am – 7pm