Category Archives: Celebrity Chefs

BBC Good Food Show Scotland – Highlights

I am recovering today from a particularly brilliant BBC Good Food Show Scotland – I worked hard and played hard and hope that anyone that either visited, demonstrated or exhibited had as good a time as I did! From kippers to karaoke this blog is going to cover my personal highlights – please do add your own to the comments section.

The Port of Lancaster Smokehouse brought their traditional kipper smokers, and mounds of kippers and smoked meat, fish and game. You can order ‘kippers by post’ on their website.

We don’t do stand awards… but if we did my winner would be Crabbies, it was magical!

Although I don’t like whisky, I think one of the most innovative products we have at all our shows is the Whisky Tasting Company‘s tasting sets – perfect if you want to try whisky but not buy full bottles of each (especially the expensive ones!).

Really good smoked salmon from Rennie’s Smokehouse.
Mojito Jelly from Trotter’s Independent Condiments – tangy and tasty.
The Commonwealth Orchard‘s beautiful apple display.
Just Slate‘s gorgeous slate cake stand.
The Truckle Cheese Company‘s range seems to grow every time I see them! Make sure you try their chocolate cheese if you see them!
 
Luponde Tea‘s delicious teas ready to sample. 
Super shiny knives from Hammer Stahl Cutlery.
Gorgeous cupcakes from Truly Scrumptious.
Iron Brew Sorbet from S. Luca Ice Cream. 

Miss Tunnocks (Caramel Wafers) took a tour of the show – that dress is made out of wafer wrappers!
The Rachel’s Organic team enjoying a few drinks at our exhibitor party.
The team went to a lovely Italian restaurant on the Saturday night – Fratelli Sarti, on Bath Street. From there it went downhill with a rather fun karaoke session! We were all very proud of the show this year and hope all our visitors enjoyed!
 
So, countdown now begins for our next show – MasterChef Live, hope to see you there!

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Great Haymarket Exhibitions Bake Off!

On Wednesday Haymarket Exhibitions paid tribute to the final of the Great British Bake Off by holding their very own Great Haymarket Exhibitions Bake Off!

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Time for (Heston’s) Dinner

Back in April I treated, and surprised, my boyfriend to Heston Blumenthal’s then brand new restaurant Dinner. It was amazing, and I can’t believe its taken this long for me to write about it!

Dinner is Heston’s London restaurant, hosted in the rather grand Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge. It is “inspired by historic British gastronomy”, headed up by Ashley Palmer Watts and was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had (and probably the most expensive!).

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The Italian Butcher – Cooking at La Cucina Caldesi

Back in August I visited La Cucina Caldesi to try Giancarlo Caldesi’s Italian Butcher Cookery Course. I was promised meat, meat and more meat and it sounded great! I hadn’t ever been to a cookery lesson or course before, so I was really excited and unsure what to expect from the day.

I arrived early at their Marylebone cookery school, and was greeted with coffee and biscotti by the very friendly, and very Italian, cookery assistants. Giancarlo then appeared, unfortunately with a limp after falling from a ladder, with a cheeky smile on his face despite his obvious discomfort. He is one of the most enthusiastic, charming and funny men I have ever met and it was a pleasure to watch him teach and share his passion for food.

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Ludlow Food Festival 2011

The Ludlow Food Festival is probably one of the most successful regional food festivals in the UK. The organiser’s strict policy to ensure all exhibitors are from the Ludlow Marches area means you are sure to find genuine local produce and meet passionate artisans from the area. As suggested in my previous post, the passion for food that shines through in the town is what, I believe, makes the Ludlow Food Festival the huge success that it is.

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Producer Highlights – BBC Good Food at Westfield

We had a lovely selection of producers at  BBC Good Food at Westfield London – visitors could choose from cheese, chocolate, fine wine, curry sauce, apple crisps, rapeseed oil, sausages, cakes, chutney, olives… I could go on. Instead I will take you on a brief tour of the producers in pictures!

The stands – ready and waiting for the shopping centre to open.

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BBC Good Food at Westfield – Backstage and After Hours

Over the weekend we took The BBC Good Food Show on tour to the luxurious Westfield London Shopping centre – bringing a selection of our favourite producers, the very best talent and a little taster of the magic we create with our shows. This post will take you back stage to see what goes on behind the scenes and give you a glimpse of the goings on in the green room!

First we will start with the stage – we were really proud and James Knight Pacheco was a brilliant host over the weekend!

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Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival – Best Bits

Although the restaurants at Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival were awesome, I realised while writing this second post that what I liked most about it were the other bits! A mini farmers market, Mussel Men, giant fruit on forks, the WI, sparkly brownies, music, crumpets and strumpets!

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Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival – My Pick of the Restaurants

I was delighted to have the chance to visit Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival down on Clapham Common on Saturday. I took my best friend and we had a wonderful day in the sun, filled with amazing food, bubbly drinks and great entertainment and music.

There is so much to report from the Big Feastival that I’m splitting the day into two posts, starting first with the restaurants. We made the most of the opportunity to try both the local, and the well-known restaurants by sampling our way through their taster plates…

Popcorn Shrimp by Redhook was cooked to order, so was hot, crispy, juicy and full of flavour. I took an extra one home for my boyfriend to try as it was so good!

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Pop up BBC Good Food Show at Westfield London!

Over the last couple of weeks the team have been busy getting things ready for our first ever pop up event at Westfield London. We have brought together some of the very best MasterChef and BBC Good Food Show talent for our Cookery Theatre and have gathered a selection of the most popular producers and retailers too. Continue reading

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All over for another year – BBC Good Food Show Summer 2011 Highlights

Wow, I can’t believe the show is over for another year! Time seems to be going so quickly at the moment. I have a well needed day off today so am taking the opportunity to run through some of my personal highlights of the show. I hope you enjoy them, and if you visited I would love you to add your highlights in the comments section below!

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Easter Treats

Easter is a great opportunity to eat, drink and be merry – I have been back in North Norfolk (West Runton to be precise) staying with my sister and have certainly made the most of it this year. So, while I sip on a cup of tea and nibble on the ear of my chocolate bunny, I will recount some of the highlights…

My sister had been warned by her local council that she needed to clear her allotment and start using it, which is fair enough due to there being such a high demand for allotments these days. She has been focusing on fitting her new kitchen, so the allotment has taken a back seat over the past year. So Good Friday was spent turning her allotment from this:

To this wonderful, tidy allotment ready for planting fruit and vegetables for the year ahead:

Its a lovely place to be, with the sun so warm and view out over the North Sea. Obviously there were a few hot cross buns here and there and scampi and chips as a treat for lunch over in our local pub garden. I love the feeling of being really hungry after exhausting work – the food always seems to taste better too.

On Saturday my boyfriend and brother and law went fly fishing for trout. The lake was nearby to a lovely farm shop (Groveland) so I picked up some lovely meat from their butchery for a BBQ and spent a small fortune on bits and pieces from the farm shop too. The catch of the day was a 2.5 lb rainbow trout, which we put on the BBQ stuffed with lemon and onions.

While waiting for the boys to return my sister and I had some wonderful Norfolk asparagus, bought fresh from the farm shop, which we dry fried, sprinkled with sea salt and dipped into melted butter.

I rewarded the boys with some aptly named ‘Sunshiny Beer’ from the Norfolk Square Brewery, which was refreshing after their long day in the sun. I don’t like beer so much, so didn’t try it, but my boyfriend thought it tasted very malty, sweet with a slight hint of honey.

On Easter Sunday we invited over my Grandparents for a roast which we had planned to eat outside in the sun. Unfortunately the cruel North Sea decided to cast its cold foggy shadow over West Runton so we were forced inside, but it was lovely all the same. We had a huge roast chicken that my sister had bought recently at the Aylsham farmers market, with fresh vegetables, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce and some seriously good gravy.

I was on dessert duty and had been inspired by Raymond Blanc and his kitchen secrets to make meringues, so I made a huge Pavlova, some lime and lemon curd with the leftover yolks, whipped up some cream and then topped it with fresh raspberries. I must say it did impress and really tasted delicious.

The research and preparations…

I adapted a lemon curd recipe from an american website, as it was the first I saw that used the yolks of the eggs only. I had a mixture of lemons and limes so replaced some of the lemon zest and juice with limes. It was easy to make and really tart and creamy.

I used Raymond Blanc’s recipe for the Pavlova, which I think worked really well.

I whipped up some double cream and filled the hollow I had created in the centre of the meringue, crisscrossed the lemon and lime curd across the top (this could look neater if done using a piping bag) and then placed a raspberry onto each of the crosses. I was really pleased with the finished the result, and think it makes an easy (especially if you buy the meringue and curd!) and impressive summery dessert.

This last bit didn’t last too long!

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MasterChef Live Challenge

Sometimes it’s not so great working for the BBC Good Food Shows and MasterChef Live – it means I can’t enter the MasterChef Live Challenge!!

It’s a chance for  members of the public to cook their signature dish live on stage for John Torode and Gregg Wallace, at the BBC Good Food Show Summer in June.  

It’s a great opportunity to really show off your cooking skills and potentially get your talent noticed… it doesn’t cost anything to enter  so why not give it a go (or put one of your talented friends or family members forward) – click here to go to the application form.

 John Torode said “This is your chance to be judged like all the MasterChef elite from the series but LIVE. This is no time for a risotto or crumble but your opportunity to truly impress us with your culinary creations.”

Gregg Wallace added: “If you’re thinking about cooking an omelette you can go home now!”

I certainly wouldn’t consider an omelette (I’m not very good at them!) and risotto is almost as bad as trying a chocolate fondant on MasterChef. It’s a real talking point in the office… I’m not sure what my signature dish would be – what would you cook for the challenge?! 

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The Sweet Life (La Dolce Vita)

I spent the day on Friday visiting La Dolce Vita, a show with an aim of bringing a taste of Italian lifestyle to London. I had a great time meeting Italian producers and sampling a mouth-watering array of cured meats, cheeses, olive oil and other regional specialities.

The Italians really do know how to present their products, I think it’s down to them being so passionate, and so proud of what they do. A stall selling a variety goods, but mostly pasta, piled flour and filled it with fresh eggs to demonstrate the simplicity of the ingredients and encourage engagement too – the stand was certainly one of the busiest in the show.

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