They had me at the free beetroot nibbles at the door. If you missed out on this year’s Fine Food Fayre in Younger Hall this past Sunday, save the date for 2014’s.
Fitting with this year’s theme of community, Younger Hall was abuzz with a great mix of local businesses, town folk, and students all brought together for a love of fantastically fine foods. From fudge to oils and teas to cakes – and even local favourite Janetta’s ice cream – food vendors from around Scotland gave St Andreans and visitors from other towns in Fife a taste of pure delight. Fayre Director, Victoria Albrecht, praised the "absolutely divine" chocolate and salted caramel brownie from Alchemy & Cake. (Alchemy & Cake went on to win the event's award for Best Stall for that year.) Charities Campaign co-ordinator, Kelsey Gold, also revealed her favourites in an interview with STAR: the cold pressed rapeseed oil and the Wee Fudge Company’s homemade fudge.
Further surprises awaited visitors downstairs in the Stewart Room, where societies representing various cultures from around the world featured an international array of local cuisines. Molly Cram, a fourth year student, named the Malaysian Society’s bandung – a drink popular in Malaysia and Singapore consisting of milk flavoured with rose cordial syrup – as her favourite item from the entire fayre. “Now, I want to visit Malaysia,” said Molly to STAR.
Also found in the Stewart Room was the Transition initiative, featuring a pick-at-your-own-risk of four types of cookies. (Don’t worry – all the flavours were delicious.) You could even make your own fruit out of homemade play dough. We scored the recipe from a volunteer to share with you: 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of oil, and add some optional cream of tartar as well. Mix well with the desired food colouring and put all the ingredients on low heat to make one (very) big bag of play dough.
Hidden treasures also lurked in the kid’s room just off from the main event: cookie decorating and macaroni jewelry, organised by the Fine Food & Dining Society. One result was clear: I should not quit my degree to become a jewelry maker or a cookie baker. My cookie design was rightly labelled as belonging to the style of Jackson Pollack – a generous description of the monstrosity I had created and promptly consumed all in the name of saving the community.
The event was the great culmination of a lot of work. Organised by a five-person strong committee led by students Victoria Albrecht and Becca French, the Fine Food Fayre was a collaboration along with the Find Food & Dining Society and the Charities Campaign, who added the event as a part of their RAG Week calendar. This committee met weekly in the lead up to the day, ultimately bringing together over thirty Scottish businesses and nine student societies for an event that drew in a crowd of nine hundred. All the hard work didn't leave out the opportunity for its organisers to also enjoy the Fayre: "We were able to enjoy the event," noted Victoria, while talking to STAR. "I didn't want to miss a minute of it." In talking about the event, Victoria said, "I am very grateful to have had such an incredible team to work with in putting together the Fine Food Fayre. We are extremely pleased that it was so well received by the businesses, the students and also the Fife community. And we look forward to a successful Fine Food Fayre 2014!"
The Fine Food Fayre was one event within RAG Week. Kelsey called the event one of RAG Week’s most unique events – not only because it’s RAG Week’s only day-time event. RAG Week (short for Raising And Giving), now well over fifty years old, hosts events throughout this week. Kelsey says she’s “very excited for all” the events for this week but specifically holds a place for the Disney Bop this Friday in her heart. You can by tickets for all the remaining RAG Week events at the box office in the Student’s Association Building.