Adrian Kirikmaa: Why I love Bristol Food Connections

If there is one person who embodies Bristol’s food ambitions, it’s Adrian.  A born and bred Bristolian, he is a director and on the steering group for Bristol Food Connections, driven by his passion for how his city eats.  Connecting people and food is at the heart of what Adrian does, and his list of accomplishments is impressive.

Alongside Food Connections he has started up The Food School, a vocational cooking school run by chefs, and he is also involved in Bristol County Council’s ‘Teaching a City to Cook’, an initiative to get the city cooking and using fresh, seasonal produce.  He has used his skills to develop recipes and offer cooking lessons using waste food for the Matthew Tree Project and supports the Bright Sparks programme for young people.

He was voted best food ambassador at the 2014 Bristol Good Food Awards and has just received the Lord Mayor’s medal for charity work in the community.  And if that’s not enough, he recently opened his own restaurant in Keynsham, B Block, and is Food Development Manager for St Monica Trust.

Adrian is a firm believer in the power food has to enrich people’s lives, and sees Bristol Food Connections as a perfect way to do this, reaching out to people who aren’t connected by food to get them talking and hopefully cooking!  In 2016, he ran the “Family Cook Off’ in the Hartcliffe branch of Morrisons where City of Bristol catering students and top local chefs cooked some healthy dishes for the local community to try.  It went down so well that people had cleared out the fruit and veg aisles by the end of the day!

Through his tireless community work, he has seen first-hand how much food has to offer; it can give confidence and purpose to those on the margins of society, improve wellbeing and health, and bring families together by sitting down to eat, something he feels has been lost over the years.  “I want to bring some of that back,” he explains, “And show people how simple and easy cooking is and how much happiness it can bring.”

When asked what it is he loves about Bristol’s food scene there is no hesitation. “Its independent streak!” he declares; there is no doubt in his mind that Bristol’s sustainable food movement makes it a great place to cook and possibly the food capital of Britain.


Adrian’s favourite places in Bristol: 

Bringing people and good food together