Octopus to launch food and drink festival

Octopus to launch food and drink festival

Octopus Publishing Group is to launch a food and drink festival at London’s Southbank Centre this year, featuring authors including Marco Pierre White, Sabrina Ghayour and Gizzi Erskine.

Cookbook Confidential: The Food & Drink Festival will be held on Saturday 5th September and feature discussions, classes, demonstrations and tastings with food and drink authors from Octopus’ list.

Foyles will be the official bookseller and partner for the festival.

Group publishing director Denise Bates said: “We are thrilled to be hosting our first food and drink festival at London’s Southbank Centre this September. The day will be an opportunity to celebrate our wonderful authors and their work, and share them with an even wider audience.”

Caroline Brown, Octopus’ head of publicity and marketing, told The Bookseller that the festival would give authors on Octopus’ list the chance to work together, as well as be celebrated.

“We do a lot of events with our food writers, and more and more I was finding I was putting authors together for events,” she said. “It makes sense to celebrate the list [in one place] and it’s a nice thing for our authors to feel part of the Octopus family.”

Most of the events at the festival will feature more than one author. Among those confirmed to appear are wine expert Jancis Robinson, cookbook author Diana Henry, baking expert Eric Lanlard, Leon co-founder and Metro columnist John Vincent, Chetna Makan from “Great British Bake Off”, Duck & Waffle’s Dan Doherty, and children’s food brand Ella’s Kitchen.

Brown said authors would continue to do individual events and appear at other festivals.

“This is a nice extra,” she said. “We really support lots of festivals and our authors love going to events. This is not in any way to replace that at all. This is really just a day to come together and thank our authors and celebrate them as well.”

Foyles’ marketing manager Simon Heafield said: “We're really excited to be involved in Cookbook Confidential. Octopus has one of the most dynamic and original cookery lists around, and this presents a fantastic opportunity to bring readers and gastronomes together to celebrate great food - and great food writers.”

The full programme and ticket details will be announced in the coming weeks.