Food and fashion focus in city of style
Two prestigious events which will set pulses racing for food and fashion lovers were launched in Birmingham yesterday.
Last night the prestigious launch party was held at the Radisson SAS for Style in the City Birmingham. The city was picked to stage the inaugural four-day event which will be hosted by Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Aston-born rock star Ozzy.
The event, which will be held from April 3 to 6, will also be attended by Stella McCartney and a range of other fashion personalities, including TV's Trinny and Susannah.
It has been billed by retail and tourism chiefs as a "major coup" for the city and organisers said they were "thrilled" that 23-year-old Kelly Osbourne had agreed to present a number of catwalk shows in front of audiences of up to 600 people in a marquee in Centenary Square.
Singer, TV and radio presenter Kelly first shot to fame when she starred in The Osbournes - a reality TV series about her famous dad and his family.
She is starting to make her own name in the fashion industry, presenting Sky One's Project Catwalk - a show that searches for the next big fashion designer. She is also launching her own fashion line, Stiletto Killers, and becoming the face of high street chain Accessorize.
Stylists Trinny and Susannah have also signed up to the event, which they will use to launch their new Style Academy - a stage version of their What Not To Wear TV programme, where they dish out brutally honest advice.
Meanwhile, tickets went on sale yesterday for the Taste of Birmingham festival.
The event will see thousands of food lovers once again flock to Cannon Hill Park in July to sample the best in local food.
Music from the Jam House pub - which is based in St Paul's Square - will keep the crowds entertained throughout the festival, one of a series of Taste events being held across the country.
Now in its third year, it will celebrate the finest food and drink in Birmingham and the West Midland. Guests will also be raising a glass or two to some of the region's best restaurants.
Neil Rami, from Marketing Birmingham, explained: "The previous two festivals have put us on the culinary map. "Now in 2008 we are going to show once and for all we lead the way in food, restaurants and festivals."
Visitors to the event will get the chance to sample signature dishes from some of the area's leading restaurants including Michelin-starred Simpsons, Opus, Lasan, Aria at the Hyat, Itihaas, Malmaison, Hotel du Vin and the Oriental. Several prestigious restaurants from outside Birmingham will also take part in the event for the first time this year.
There will be a demonstration of skills from celebrity chefs and food writers in the Taste Kitchen while a producers' market will offer the chance to buy some of the Midlands' best food and drink.
Andreas Antona, executive chef at Simpsons, said: "I have been involved with Taste of Birmingham since its creation and have seen the quality of the festival grow with each year. Birmingham is truly at the heart of the British restaurant scene."
The three-day Taste of Birmingham event will begin at 5.30pm on Thursday, July 10, with a VIP night.
Tickets start from £12 and can be bought from the box office 0871 230 5581 or www.channel4.com/taste.
One-day Style In The City passes cost £25, or £65 for a platinum pass, which includes exclusive treats and lunch. Details: www.styleinthecityevent.co.uk or call 0871 231 0838.