Latvia's Wild Food Festival returns with an open-air banquet

With the festival season well under way, the Wild Food Festival returns to the village of Zaube later this month, with a remarkable open-air culinary banquet at its heart.

Now in its second year, the festival which takes place July 14, aims to spread the delights of the food and drink that can be obtained from Latvia's forests, fields, rivers, lakes and the Baltic Sea, with an emphasis on unprocessed and healthy eating and indigenous culinary traditions.

Nor is it a case of porridge and grey peas all round: in addition to the regular tastings, masterclasses and offerings from local producers, for the first time there will be a high-class Wild Food Banquet at the ancient Zaube Oak.

Organizers say the menu will consist of nine courses hosted by famous chefs, caterers, hunters, fishermen and local producers from Amata Municipality, who have joined together to create a unique celebration of tastes from nature.

"Local cooking traditions inherited over generations will be combined with contemporary chefs' performances, with Dzintars Kristovskis of the Anna Hotel, presiding over the main dish – roast venison. Roasting takes three days and is finished just before serving," says the mouth-watering description.

The banquet will cost 50 euros - a lot for a picnic, but not bad for a nine-course meal by top chefs - and part of the proceeds will go towards restoring the park and ancient avenue of trees where the banquet takes place.

The Zaube Wild Food Festival starts at 13:00 and continues with live music and dancing all night long. During the festival there will be a green market, cooking demonstrations, tastings of wild and healthy food, an international cooks' competition with wild ingredients, a competition of countryside cakes, music, creative workshops... and even a salted cucumber and potato peeling competition.

More information and tickets can be found at the official website.

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