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The Oxford Cultural Collective at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival


The Oxford Cultural Collective is proud to maintain a strong working relationship with the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, now one of the world’s leading events of its kind, which this year welcomed around 500 speakers to Oxford.  OCC contributes a series of high profile events which capitalise on the public’s growing fascination with food, drink and culture.


This year’s events included the annual Oxford Cultural Collective Dinner, held on 17th March 2018 at St Cross College, University of Oxford, which served as the opening dinner of the festival. Staged in honour of the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, dinner was prepared by four of the UK’s most distinguished chefs – Angela Hartnett OBE, Jeremy Lee, Margot Henderson and Fergus Henderson OBE, in partnership with Chef Paul White of BaxterStorey and his team at St Cross College. The menu, a showcase of fine British ingredients, featured baked salsify, smoked and cured fishes with pickles, melting braised shoulder of hogget and a traditional steamed lemon pudding.(For photos, follow link).


“The best banquet I have ever been to – the perfect opening to the festival.”

Jeremiah Tower


Additional OCC events at this year’s festival:

Dr Jessica B. Harris, distinguished food historian and Patron of OCC, was interviewed by Boyd Tonkin, former Literary Editor of The Independent, about her recently published memoir, My Soul Looks Back. In an emotive session, Harris reflected on her time as a young writer and academic, living in the West Village of New York, when she found her place as part of the city’s black intelligentsia.  She recalled a distinctive era, and those with whom she mixed who made it so significant, including Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. (For photos, follow link).

Chef Jeremiah Tower, widely regarded as the father of modern American cuisine, prepared a Californian lunch with the assistance of students from the Oxford School of Hospitality Management. Guests enjoyed an extravagant menu of Curried scrambled eggs with a sea urchin and chervil sauce; Tournedo of capon breast, spring vegetable ragout and morel mushroom sauce; Stilton soufflé with a walnut relish; and Rosemary shortbread, pears in Riesling, elderberry flower-rhubarb syrup and strawberry ice-cream. (For photos, follow link).

In conversation with Don Sloan, renowned chefs and food writers Sabrina Ghayour, José Pizarro and Skye McAlpine explored Food and Drink: defining a sense of place. (For photos, follow link). Diana Henry, one of the UK’s most admired and prolific food writers, discussed her newest book, How to Eat a Peach.

The Oxford Cultural Collective acknowledges the generous support of its sponsors at this year’s FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, BaxterStorey and The Vintner.

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