The Big Feed

Big Feed Festival flavours come to campus

Banbury’s Big Feed festival on campus last Sunday saw around 300 people come together to share food and ideas in blazing autumn sunshine.

Local residents and families ate Mexican cochinita pibil (pulled pork) by Silvia Alvarado, hand-made Pakistani dishes by Azmat Khaliq, Malaysian food cooked on-site by Yolanda Tapping, and fresh home-made Polish dumplings by Marta Kepska – all Banbury-based chefs, living and working locally.

The Food Story Cinema showed food interviews made by Banbury Aspirations Campus Sixth Form during their Aspirations Employability Portolio project, alongside free popcorn, and apple cake baked using local fruit by Rachel Steiger. Nearby, the campus Virtual Reality team including VR technician Jack Sharkey, ran a VR Fruit Ninja experience all day. 

The festival was supported by Cherwell District Council and Visit Banbury, and the marquees were kindly supplied by Tony Ingham and the Oxford Sea Cadets. Admission was free, and all food was free to everyone.

Mike Hirons of Produce Warriors showed off the best local veg, and discussed the wide range of food careers available locally with Veronica Dwirah, the entrepreneur behind Roni’s Jams, as well as John Butcher of Newly Weds Foods, Amy Lance from HelloFresh and Will Griffiths of Jacobs Douwe Egberts, all global firms with a Banbury presence.

Riki Therivel, who runs a community fridge in Oxford, showed how such an idea could work in Banbury, and Emma Boisselle explained her role as Morrisons ‘Community Champion’, while Paddy from Buzzy Beans raised a laugh with his tales of life serving coffee in the lay-by between Adderbury and Deddington. Silvia Alvarado explained how she cooks food from around the world in her role at a local nursery.

Tea was served with banana bread by Olsen Haslam made with surplus bananas from local supermarkets, supplied by Banbury Food for Charities.

The ‘Feed Your Mind’ panel challenged listeners to consider the relationship between food waste and food poverty, with lively debate between Valerie Richards of Banbury Food For Charities, Sarah Williams of the Banbury Food Bank, and Helen White from Love Food Hate Waste. Surinder Dhesi offered insights on Banbury’s Sikh community kitchen, with political perspectives from Cherwell district councillor Sean Woodcock.

The day finished with free chocolate fountains and fruit - and lots of ideas to take away for the future.

It was brilliant to see so many people at The Big Feed, and the staff and community team really want to thank the student volunteers and all our supporters for their help.


The Big Feed team, left to right: Sara Haslam, Rebecca Mileham, Jan Hetherington, Matthew Teller and Carine Foster.

Many thanks to Keiyara Kennedy in year 10 (BA), Carine Foster, Assistant Principal, and Rebecca Mileham, our Chair of Governors, for the photos.

See The Big Feed gallery on the Banbury Academy website for more photos.

View Images