A city is only as good as the sum of all its parts, and so it follows that the communities that make up Bristol are vital to the strength of its food scene. They enrich it with knowledge and wisdom, from the natural melting pot of different ages, cultures and ways of life that live together here.

Bristol Food Connections is a city wide food festival taking place from 29th April – 7th May 2016. Over the nine days of the festival, thousands of people will break bread together all over the city in feasts of all shapes and sizes: supper clubs, workshops, cookery demos, banquets, street food markets, and everything in between!

But at the very heart of Food Connections is its community programme, a series of events specifically curated for those people who wouldn’t ordinarily partake in the festival. Not everyone is able to make it to the city centre – whether for financial reasons or physical reasons – so the community events take place within the communities themselves.

The events are designed to be fun, engaging, and more than anything else, useful and informative for those who attend.

This year’s community programme includes Cook n’ Converse, now in its third year. These invite-only events bring together those facing significant challenges when it comes to accessing good healthy food, and connecting them with those in a position to do something about it. This year’s three events focus on cooking affordable healthy food, alternatives to takeaways and cooking with the elderly. Led by Barney Horton and Britain’s Youngest Head Chef Luke Thomas, they explore recipes share skills and pass on knowledge in interactive, hands on sessions.

On Saturday 7th May, the Bristol Hindu Temple is inviting anyone to come and share delicious vegetarian food and learn about Hindu philosophy. Hinduism is based on care, love and sharing and food is a key part of life for Hindus. Food is seen as nutrition, health and a gift from God, as all food is blessed and offered to God before it is eaten and shared with the congregation.

And, did you know there are 91 languages spoken in Bristol? 91 Ways to Build A Global City is holding a free event at Bristol’s iconic Malcolm X Centre to bring together people from communities across Bristol to celebrate the diversity of the city. There will be food and live music from Somalian, Afro-Caribbean, Egyptian, Iranian, Middle Eastern and other communities, as well as dance, crafts and fun for children and families.

And brand new for this year is the Food Jam, a salvaged milk float with a sound system which will be visiting four communities around Bristol, stocked with kitchen equipment and fruit and veg that would otherwise be wasted. Motivators from the local community will be there to get locals together to bump ‘n grate and juice ‘n blend together – creating soups, salads and smoothies, to music that will have everyone on their feet and dancing.

There’s only three weeks until Bristol Food Connections 2016. Head here to find out more and buy tickets.

Photograph: Adam Gasson 

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