Words: Emily Mullen
What’s a festival again?
Picture the scene, it’s early morning you’ve awoken from your three and a half hour slumber by the lad six tents over who thinks he is using his inside voice to talk to his sleeping friends. You peel your eyes open and put a hand on your glitter-strewn head, while the King of the Revellers waves his portable speaker around playing Drake’s Isolate Me, the track of the Summer. The daylight is too bright for sleep and not warm enough to dry your rain-soaked tent, you have one choice and that’s to start your day. Climbing out of the tent, you are newly born, the sun kindly warms your dishevelled clothes and the lad six tents down has collapsed on the remnants of a camping chair. Journeying through the eerily still campsite, you find a queue-less food truck (that accepts card). The year is 2022 and you are at a festival, and here are the top nine things that you want to shove in your face hole while you are there:
Janet’s selection of highly transportable foods would be perfect for a festival setting, things like their gyoza, ricebowl and bao are easy to grab with both hands and stumble away to a dry spot on the ground. Janet’s healthy options would give wounded stomachs a rest from the traditional festival food diet of chips, chips and more chips.
There’s something a bit tribal about festivals, it could be the proximity to nature, the gathering of large groups or the deafening amount of noise created (that may or may not scare off predators). Which makes a gra for barbecued meat even stronger in that environment. BSKEWERS definitely fulfils the brief of barbecued meats, since they serve beef, chicken, pork and everything that could possibly be put on a skewer. Plus their goods are mostly served on espetinhos, making them insanely easy to grab and gnaw on the way to the main stage.
Newly launched out of Pablo Picante’s old digs in Dawson Street, All Hail has come up with a pretty revolutionary food concept. They just serve one thing and do it incredibly well. All Hail’s jerk chicken box would be the perfect food package for starving revellers since it’s a pretty round meal, made up of jerk chicken thighs, corn on the cob, coconut rice and beans, rainbow slaw and mango hot sauce, which is practically all of the five a day you are going to get at a festival. Plus the simplicity of the menu will help hungover heads and hopefully keep the wait times down.
Since Baste’s spot in Portobello is practically a festival in its own right, it’s easy to imagine the team at a festival in 2022. They’ve got an unholy selection of grilled meats but their Hannan hanger wood-grilled steak, with beef dripping fries, salsa verde, smoked garlic aioli, charcoal salt, surely something you would spill your last pint on the ground for.
While it’s being pitched as picnic food, Project PICNIC’s scotch eggs sound like the ultimate drunk festival food. A dense packing of meat moulded around a hard-boiled egg. Plus the construct of scotch eggs makes them perfect for placing into your pocket at a moments notice when your friend that you’ve been trying to get through to all night finally responds with a location pin. Project PICNIC also does a pack of picnic food, which would be wonderful for a bit of rare sun and a breakaway into the calm of nature, before all the drunk people emerge.
Selling at a couple of food markets around the city out of a converted Subway van, Kahuna Pops are already transportable. Their homemade ice pops would be the perfect antidote to all the lukewarm cans of Rockshore consumed, you can either opt for Kahuna Pops in the form of an injection of fruit or a cooling stick of organic milk to line your stomach. Plus on the off-chance, the sun shines that Irish Summer, the Kahuna Pops will cool you right down.
With a name like Love Supreme it’s surprising that they don’t have their own festival already. But it’s easy to imagine their croque monsieurs selling out lippity split at one of them. What with the healthy level of béchamel sauce over Emmental and Gruyere cheese underneath the toasted Firehouse buttermilk bread this Croque Monsieur is the correct level of filth, plus the little pots of pickled onions and relish on the side for added variety. Easy to transport and cut into manageable slices which are helpful for drunk people with limited thought process involved.
Winedown’s big sister Meltdown has been well-established as bonafide filth slingers, taking the city by storm with their toasted cheese sambos. Winedown was launched in December 2020, with a concept was born out of creating “fancy food and fancy wine”, the team were forced to pivot into takeaways. They have made a name for themselves combining the favours of meltdown’s toasted sandwiches into croquettes. They’re perfect festival food offering isn’t the only thing preparing them for festivals, they’ve also got a playlist created by bopspinner Tara Stewart ready to go when the time comes.
Of course Bonobos can bring their new pizzas along to the festival. But we mostly want them for their new Gin Bramble which looks like it could potentially be a juice but is in fact a great way into having a delicious fruity hair of the dog since it’s made up of gin, creme de mure, lime and cloudy apple. The nice little bottle it comes in definitely wouldn’t pass through the eagle eyes of festival security staff but it’s nice to imagine sipping on that bottle from the neck like a real g.
Elsewhere on District: Last Supper Belfast 004, Dylan Murphy