A Festival of Food and Cultures

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August 28th, 2013
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This Saturday, 31 August, Parliament Street will be taken over in spectacular fashion through a fusion of cultures, shared and celebrated with members of the public. YUMI’s (York Unifying Multicultural Initiative) Community Street Festival will be holding an array of activities and displays to allure the senses, and highlight the number of cultures present in York. The festival is the build up of a year’s hard work, development and collaboration that shares the skills and talents of local people.

The community led project is food-focused, bringing YUMI’s community garden to the streets in a display that has been designed and created by volunteers, and showcasing a multitude of edible plants, from the more commonly known potatoes and onions to the elaborate and exotic tomatillos and oca. But this produce, the result of months of sowing and tending to the allotment, are not just for show, featuring in a number of the cuisines served on the day.

Food is a key part of YUMI; it brings people together. From family gatherings, ceremonies and social occasions, it serves a large portion of our memories. Telling the story of our childhood, and home. The YUMI cooks will be giving a taster of their culinary story with food from around the world, from across the seas of India, Japan, Hungary and Greece, just to name a few. Sweet, savoury, tangy and spicy, there’s a chance to try it all as this year they will also be selling taster portions, giving you the opportunity to have the full international experience. And each signature dish has the takeaway option with recipe cards on sale.

This unmissable event has been the collaboration of YUMI’s cooks, publicity team, evaluation cew, volunteer team, garden designers & builders, event management team and kids activity leaders. Alongside the food and show garden, families of all ages can get involved in the garden trial, Rangoli (a form of Indian floor art) and biscuit decorating with Bettys chocolatiers. And whilst the event is for one day only, the time and training that has gone into has made the world of difference for those involved, one cook Mamta said, “It has helped build my confidence in dealing with the public and also developing health and safety skills when cooking at a public event. When you’re cooking at home its one thing but cooking for the public is quite another thing. So to have been through the training YUMI provided has been brilliant.”

Another of YUMI’s volunteers Sara told us about the excitement now building up to the day, “I can’t wait to see local people and visitors connect with people from York’s multicultural communities at our Festival. It will be great to see the results of all the training and support programmes coming together in one day. So many people have been involved in different elements of this community festival to see them all working together and proud of what they have achieved will be fantastic.”

Something for everyone, YUMI’s festival is sure to be a highlight of the weekend, a chance to experience the international, locally.

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