Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square to celebrate food glorious food
London's reputation as a culinary capital has improved dramatically over the last few years and this free, family-friendly event will be an opportunity to taste delicious food at an English Food Market amidst the iconic surroundings of the square.
Around 20 stalls will offer high quality food and produce and there will be a banqueting table for 250 people decorated with red and white bunting between the fountains.
A five metre high, interactive dragon, created by leading events company Emergency Exit Arts, will offer a prize for youngsters taking part in a quest during the afternoon and form the centrepiece of the rustic banqueting area.
There will be cookery demonstrations by well-known London-based cooks, including: Andy Bates (Eat My Pies, 'Street Feasts'); twice Michelin star holder Paul Merrett (The Victoria); Rachel Davies (Rachel's Kitchen cookery school); and award-winning chocolatier Paul A Young.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “St George's Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the very best of what England has to offer, from music, to theatre, to film and this year we're focusing on food. London offers a one stop shop, a smörgåsbord of mouth-watering food from around the world, but our Feast of St George is a chance to savour some of the tasty delights that originate closer to home, accompanied by great entertainment. From pies and mash to scotch eggs and hog roasts, there's something for all tastes, plus the chance to pick up some cooking tips from fine chefs. Happy St George's Day!”
Live music and other entertainment will add to the festivities, including traditional English music from Princes in the Tower and Dante Ferrara, who hark back to Renaissance times and Mandrake, who recreate medieval carnival music.
There will also be contemporary music on a bandstand in front of Nelson's Column, featuring some of the talented young musicians and singers who have taken part in the Mayor's Gigs busking competition.
They include 2012 winners the James Riley Band, whose first EP is out at the end of the month and last year's Eurostar winners, Jamie Thorn and the Mystery Pacific, who recently travelled to Paris to busk in the French capital.
Jesters and jugglers will create mischief around the square and shadow puppets will tell the tale of Jabberwocky about a boy who slays a dragon.
People will be able to take part in traditional English games, including croquet and for youngsters there will be a special children's marquee offering crafts and storytelling activities, plus London Arts Portfolio will be giving children's drawing classes.
Information about London's farmers markets will be available on the day and Love Food Hate Waste will show how to make food go further and reduce waste.
Team London volunteers will also be on hand to provide additional information and assistance.
PROGRAMME (subject to change)
COOK’S CORNER - COOKERY DEMONSTRATIONS 1pm Paul Merrett, The Victoria (www.thevictoria.net) 2pm and 3pm Rachel Davies, Rachel's Kitchen (www.rachels-kitchen.com) 4pm Andy Bates, Eat My Pies (http://eatmypies.co.uk) 5pm Paul A Young, Paul A Young (http://www.paulayoung.co.uk)
ENGLISH FOOD MARKET Showcasing London's independent food producers specialising in traditional English foods. Hix's Fishdog (leading London chef Mark Hix, brings sustainable fish fast food; ScoffandNosh (Pork, brisket & ploughman's); Egg Boss (Scotch eggs); The Jolly Hog (hog roast); Hart Catering (hog roast); Wholefood Heaven (vegetarian hot food); The Pie Cart (English pies); Community Kitchen (picnic food, sandwiches); Mother Mash (pie & mash, sausage & mash); Popina (biscuits and cakes from new start up business); Eat My Pies (pies, pasties, English picnic food); The Flour Station (bread, buns, muffins); Paxton & Whitfield (cheeses & chutneys); The Fresh Lemonade Company (traditional lemonade); Peyton & Byrne (readymade English picnic hampers; English breads, cakes and biscuits); Paul A Young Fine Chocolates; Ice cream cart / sweets cart.
OTHER STALLS The Textile Studio (kitchen goods); Bobbins Furnishings (kitchen goods); Love Food Hate Waste; London Farmers' Markets; Forage Wild Food (Jason Irving explains how to forage in London).
MUSIC MEDLEY BANDSTAND In front of Nelson's Column, a traditional Bandstand decorated with red and white bunting will showcase a range of winners and other performers who have taken part in the Mayor's Gigs competition for young buskers. 1pm Jamie Thorn &The Mystery Pacific (Gigs 2012 Eurostar winner, from Richmond) 1:40pm Charlotte Campbell (Gigs 2012 Institute of Contemporary Music Performance winner, Hillingdon) 2:10pm The Guy From Archway (Gigs 2012 group, Islington) 2:50pm Richard Burrell (Gigs 2012 finalist, Brent) 3:20pm James Riley & Danny Pagarini (Gigs 2012 overall winner, Lewisham) 3:50pm Megan McCall (Gigs 2012, Ealing) 4:30m Tyler Rix (Guest artist - musician, model, actor from Barnet) 5:10pm James Riley Band (Gigs 2012 overall winner, Lewisham, EP out 28 April)
Notes to editors
• Gigs is the annual busking competition organised by the Mayor as a key part of his Music Education strategy, which aims to strengthen and promote music education for young people, as well as supporting London’s creative industries.
• The music competition is open now to Londoners aged 11-25, who can sign-up at www.gigsbigbusk.com.
• This year's shortlisted acts will take part in live performances at Gigs busking pitches at iconic London locations, major rail and tube stations and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The best acts - as chosen by expert industry judges and the Gigs public vote – will go head-to-head in the Gigs Grand Final at Westfield London on Sunday 8 September.
• Winners will have the chance to win a coveted year's London Underground busking licence, recording sessions at a top professional studio, a year’s course at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, coaching from chart-topping songwriters, music equipment, exciting performance opportunities and specialist industry advice to help them towards a career in music.