Food & Drink

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The Independent Culture
SINCE 85 PER CENT of "Indian" restaurants are owned and run by Bangladeshis, food plays a large part in the Bangladesh Festival, Europe's largest celebration of Bangladeshi arts and culture, all over London until 25 July. At the opening tomorrow in Brick Lane - aka Banglatown - restaurants will open on to the streets with treats, street food and snacks. Look for sleek glass and chrome Cafe Naz which bore the brunt of the recent Brick Lane bombing, back in business in days. Graze your way through the day, and enjoy performances, music and dancing. Some well-known Indian restaurants, including The Red Fort in Soho and Le Raj in Epsom are promoting Bengali cooking. Information 0171-354 4141, opening celebrations, Brick Lane, London E1, 11 July, 11.30am-6.30pm.

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AS GREAT tautological names go, cookery writer Thane Prince is up there with Rip Torn and Lorne Green. For years she wrote recipes for another newspaper. This month she opened a cookery school in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. This takes a hands-on approach to preparing and cooking fish and shellfish straight off the boat. Courses also look further afield with French, Italian and Moroccan cuisine, and there are sessions for beginners and men. Prices are pounds 75 for a day including lunch and drinks, pounds 400 for a long weekend. Aldeburgh Cookery School, 84 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk IPI5 5AB (01728 454039).

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GASTROPOD MAKES no apologies for banging on about farmers' markets, but feels slightly sheepish mentioning those organised by, whisper it, a supermarket chain. Isn't it to loosen the chains' stranglehold on food supplies that farmers' markets are cropping up all over the country? ASDA, however, is putting itself forward as the farmer's friend with local producers selling vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese and wines outside some stores. There's one in Perth today, and others on July 24 and 25 (ring 0500 100 055 for details). Inside the stores traditional cheeses are stocked in the regions where they're made - Lancashire in Wigan, Caerphilly in south Wales and Swaledale in Yorkshire. This interest in promoting local produce is ASDA as we know it now. The takeover by American cost-slasher Wal-Mart has yet to be finalised, but its policy of massive out-of-town stores on "green field" sites is hardly environment-friendly.

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