The Ledbury, Lyle’s, Kitty Fisher’s, Pied à Terre – these restaurants are on the must-visit lists of foodies, and often require reservations made well in advance and an excuse to splash out on a truly memorable meal. But if you head to Ark Franklin Primary Academy in Kensal Rise, London, on Saturday 11 June, you’ll be able to sample small plates and signature dishes from the kitchens of each of these esteemed eateries – and many more. Named the Fork to Fork Festival, this one-day event is raising funds for an open air classroom next to the Ark Franklin Primary School, giving children the chance to learn in a more creative environment.
‘I first got the idea for Fork to Fork walking past a scrub piece of land attached to a local school on the way to the park with my children; I couldn’t believe nothing was being done with it,’ says former MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers, who co-founded Fork to Fork. ‘When the school was taken over by Ark a year later it seemed logical to get in touch and suggest doing something with the land. But to transform the land into an open air classroom – a place where the schoolchildren and locals could get in touch with growing food and learn about science and nature – we needed money. In walked Laura Harper-Hinton, another local mother and cousin to Margot Henderson who had masterminded the Soho Food Festival for the last five years. Margot gave us a lot of pointers, plans and help, while Laura got the ball rolling and Fork to Fork was born.’
There will be over thirty-five stalls at this year’s event – all of which will sell small plates at an incredible £2.50 each – as well as food trucks, pop-up bars from Beavertown and Bibendum Wines, live music across two stages throughout the day, plenty of activities for young children and a raffle with prizes including luxury hotel stays, restaurant vouchers and cookbooks. All proceeds raised will go to supporting the open air classroom. ‘I’m looking forward to eating, obviously, but the music is going to be great,’ says Thomasina. ‘The bar’s fantastic too, and the raffle has some absurdly good prizes.’
The restaurants with a stall at the festival include: