More than 200 years after claiming Britain’s favourite savoury batter cake as its own, Yorkshire is set to host the world’s first Yorkshire pudding festival.
The free celebration will be held on Saturday 1 February 2020, and take place in Leeds the day before the UK’s official Yorkshire Pudding Day. Sweet and savoury spin-offs of the traditional roast dinner staple will be on the menu, accompanied by local craft beer and live entertainment.
The festival will be held in the street-food hangar of Leeds’ Kirkgate Market, the 19th-century city landmark where UK retailer Marks & Spencer was born on a stall in 1884. The festival expects at least 3000 people could attend and is currently on the hunt for sponsors and stallholders. This week, it signed up local craft brewery Northern Monk to supply the bar and plans are afoot to brew a Yorkshire Pudding edition of the brewery’s Patrons Project beer series for the event.
Food vendors already confirmed include a Punjabi street food trader who will dish up Yorkshire puddings filled with curry, a dessert bar that will load them with sweet treats, and the Yorkshire Pudding Pie Company, which makes traditional British pies using Yorkshire puddings instead of pastry casings. These traders will join the Yorkshire Wrap Company, which is already a permanent tenant at the market and specialises in Yorkshire pudding wraps.
In 2017, the traditional Yorkshire pudding became a 21st-century food craze when it received a makeover as a burrito-style wrap, stuffed with all the core ingredients of a British roast dinner. If the Yorkshire Pudding Festival is a hit, Ink Events Company hopes to make the event an annual fixture.
Yorkshire-born Ben Vollans, director of Ink Events Company, came up with the idea for the Yorkshire Pudding Festival. "After realising a food festival dedicated to the Yorkshire Pudding didn't exist, I was determined to make it happen,’ he told Lonely Planet. ‘It's definitely one of many things that has put Yorkshire on the map. It’s a really diverse dish. As a kid, I grew up eating the leftover ones as pudding with fresh berries and ice-cream for pudding."
Food traders are being offered a discount on their stall if on the day they shop for their ingredients inside Kirkgate Market, which is still a thriving local produce market. ‘We have chosen Kirkgate Market as a venue because it is an iconic building of Leeds and we love their community spirit. It is important for us to encourage people to support the local economy and to keep places like Kirkgate Market alive,’ explains Harriet Earl, Ben’s business partner.
There will also be non-food stalls, selling Yorkshire-made cider, homemade chocolates, gifts and homewares, plus children’s face-painting, sand art and a Yorkshire pudding corn hole toss game. Although the event is free, Ink are encouraging attendees to book tickets through Eventbrite in exchange for the opportunity to win prizes.