Food and Drink Festival 2015 – A Preview with Jean Bernard

Foiod and Drink Main imageThe food and drink festival is an annual celebration of the diverse flavours and culinary delights found within the borders of Levy. Now in it’s third year, FADFEST 2015 is shaping up to be the liveliest and most ambitious so far. Organiser and local resident Jean Bernard divulges a bit more about this year’s packed events…

“I believe it is important to showcase the variety of food available on our doorstep”


Hi Jean, we hope you’re not too busy with all the behind the scenes work that organising a festival can bring. How much help have you had from the community at large?

The community at large have been great! Their help so far has been mainly by joining in and becoming event organisers. Folk also help by keeping our presence alive on social media and the festival website. They are also super helpful putting up posters and distributing flyers.

Other ‘doers’ in the community such as Friends of Cringle Park, Levy Market and Green Bank Residents Association are organising community picnics and the LCA give their support.

Local residents are behind this year’s mega launch party as well as an afternoon tea aimed specifically at older residents in our community.

What do you think set’s Levenshulme’s FADFEST apart from the larger festivals in the region?

There are a few things. It’s a festival organised by folk in the community who want to show off the talent of people who live, work, socialise or have a connection to Levenshulme through family and friends. It’s a vehicle by which emerging businesses can take tentative steps to test their products on a bigger and willing audience. It’s also an opportunity for more established businesses to show off too.

It’s also a great way for individuals and community groups to organise an event and highlight what they do.

The festival has a field-to-fork agenda that encourages us to learn and discuss many different aspects of food and drink in creative ways and in lovely venues dotted around Levenshulme. Our venues include allotments and parks, the library, pubs, clubs, cafés and people’s homes.

Things to do at the Food and Drink Festival 2015

We’re really excited to hear about the range of events you’ve got happening. What would be your top 3 picks for anyone who has never been to Levenshulme FADFEST before?

That’s a tricky one, with the variety of events on offer choosing three is very difficult, but I would say fadfest launch events are always very special – this year Taste Africa is a sure fire winner.

Any of the picnics on offer, they are all free and are a great way to enjoy a community get together and always include activities for children and yummy cakes!

‘Pop-ups’ are a pretty special feature of Fadfest too. There’s quite a variety, all of which are about great food in intimate surroundings.

There are also some wonderful workshops that are interactive and fun (ooh that’s four!)

This year’s festival is focussed on local produce with international flavours and the theme is Good Food, Good Health. Why do you believe it is important to showcase the variety of food available in Levenshulme and celebrate the benefits of eating healthy?

We are very lucky in Levenshulme as we have a community made up of people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The cuisine we find in our cafés, restaurants, and takeaways and the wide variety of produce, fruit and veg we can buy locally as a result is fabulous.

I believe it is important to showcase the variety of food available on our doorstep so that we can keep our diets eclectic, exciting and interesting; all of which makes eating a more healthy diet less of a fad or chore but rather our preferred choice.

A good diet for the youngest and oldest members of our community is particularly important as they are amongst the most likely to succumb to illness. Good habits established early in life can help towards an active and healthy older age.

Are there any non food and drink events planned within the festival this year we should look out for?

Our community textile project ‘Sew Levenshulme and Neighbours’ started this year. The big reveal is at our Global picnic on the 14th June 2015.

I hope we get 100 people to create possibly the world’s largest tablecloth. The annual Open Gardens event at the beginning of June is going to be fab and the various local primary school summer fairs are always worth a visit.

As a very active member of the community, we’re curious to know after all the hard work is over for FADFEST 2015 what will you be spending your time on?

Planning! Pulling a small team together to make Fadfest 2016 even more spectacular!

Thanks Jean, you’ve really sold it to us. We can’t wait to see you at a picnic very soon. To find out more information visit the website and head over to our events page to see our best picks for FADFEST 2015.


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