A FOOD and drink festival has announced a radical rethink to match the city’s mushrooming gastronomic reputation.

The Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival will be spread across the year in 2015.

The tantalising line-up includes major free events such as the Big Sussex Market on New Road on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, and a huge seafront Sussex and The World Weekend on the weekend of May 30-31.

The Hove Lawns will have a Live Food Show, Brighton Beer and Cider Festival, Rockinghorse Children’s Food Festival, Brighton Wine Festival, a host of English Wine Week activities and masterclasses, and a craft furniture installation created by Yelo Architects and FareShare Brighton and Hove using food packaging waste.

Festival director Nick Mosley said: “Our city’s and county’s growing reputation as one of the UK’s leading food and drink destinations and producers has made the festival team radically revisit our programme of events.

“This year - with the generous support of our sponsors and supporters - we’re spreading the festival over four main periods to create a platform to showcase the brilliant food, drink and hospitality offering, whilst nurturing the many small and independent restaurants, bars, retailers and producers we enjoy in Brighton and Sussex.”

Surrounding the free weekends is an extensive programme of tours, trails, tastings and themed dinners.

Highlights include pop-up at the Sea Life Brighton aquarium by chefs from the much-anticipated The Set restaurant, A Taste of Guernsey supper club with hostess Cantina, experimental event Food Lab featuring seven chefs and producers at 64 Degrees, a movie-themed Three Chefs event at Curry Leaf Café, food trails through The Laines and Kemp Town, a beer and cheese matching dinner with Harveys brewery and La Cave à Fromage at Jeremy’s Restaurant in Haywards Heath, and two International Chef Exchange dinners at Terre à Terre and Drakes with guests chefs from Vancouver and Saint Lucia.

Nick added: “Whilst the local food economy is always close to our hearts, our international partnerships are becoming an increasingly strong strand of the festival’s offering.

“Through our International Chef Exchange initiative, we’ve grown strong reciprocal arrangements with hospitality and tourism businesses across the globe with our Spring Harvest alone seeing friends from Vancouver in western Canada, Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, Läckö Kinnekulle in Sweden, and the beautiful Channel Island of Guernsey participate in our events whilst we participate in theirs, promoting the gastronomic offering of our region.

“It’s exciting for the festival team and our colleagues in the food and drink industry that some of these partnerships are now leading on to joint European Union projects.”

For further details of visit www.brightonfoodfestival.com