Category Archives: Foodstuffs

BBC Good Food Show Scotland 2012 – My Highlights

Last weekend I was up in Glasgow for the BBC Good Food Show Scotland. I think most will agree it was one of the best shows yet with a great celebrity chef line up, including the lovely Hairy Bikers, and an even better selection of speciality, artisan and passionate producers from across Scotland, the British Isles and the world!

It’s our London show next week (9th -11th at Olympia) so I’m super busy getting ready for that… but here is a quick run down of my highlights in pictures. Just click on the post title if you can’t see the images!

The show started with a bang as Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry opened the show – after the ribbon was cut thousands of food lovers burst into the show to start their fabulous food experience! It’s a great sight to see, and always gives me goosebumps as the show officially comes to life.

Borders Biscuits were asking visitors to decide whether their new Christmas spiced biscuit should be put into mainstream production. We put our deciding token into the ‘Oh Goodness they’re yummy’ box!

The lovely Kate from Gower Cottage dishing out her amazing brownies…

Whole Foods Market Glasgow were sampling and selling sourdough loaves, giant meringues and Prosecco!

Have you tried Boozeberries liqueurs? Fresh berries inside gorgeous Irish artisan fruit liqueurs… I’m going to be buying some at the London Show for adding something special to sparkling wine at Christmas.

A quick break for delicious fresh cream filled meringues and scones from the Dancing Goat!

Mo and her Cookie Dough! Morag was one of our bursary winners and did a brilliant job of making the most of the opportunity to appear at the show!

Mr Puddledub Buffalo giving out advice on how to cook his fresh buffalo meat.

A quick stop backstage led me to bump into the Hairy Bikers – Si and Dave look great after their dieting and I must say Si looked like a rock star with his skinny jeans!

What is your Christmas meat of choice? A Taste of Galloway were sampling their succulent goose, which is a lovely luxurious way to celebrate at Christmas.

The Champagne Bar was a welcome addition to the show…

We paid a visit to have a well deserved glass of champagne at the end of the day on Saturday – cheers!

We even had a shark!

Only a lucky few of us get to go up and work at our Scotland Show – so the team back in Teddington were delighted that we brought back a range of flavours from the wonderful Ochil Fudge Pantry!

 

I think my highest highlight was walking Mary Berry around the Producers’ Village before the show opened, she was so enthusiastic and interested in the producers and produce!

And now its on to the next one – London is next week, and then our flagship show at the NEC is on the 28th Nov – 2nd Dec. See you there?!

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Pre-Show Madness

I can’t believe our Scotland Show opens in just three days! Three weeks later it will be our London Show at Olympia and then the biggie at the NEC at the end of November. I always try to get organised before the shows but they just seem to sneak up on me.

I wanted to take a breather to tell you whats going on at the shows that I’m excited about…

Great British Bake Off – sessions on the Super Theatres at Scotland and London and its very own theatre at the Winter NEC Show! Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood at all shows, winner at London and NEC and finalists and others at the NEC!!! Will definitely be hanging out backstage to snaffle some tasters!

Good Food Champions – brand new area of the shows that I introduced based on my desire to highlight some of the best producers at the show. From oils to ethical veal, liqueurs to scotch eggs, smoked fish to fresh venison you are sure to find something to get your mouth-watering!

Producers Bursary Award Winners – all of them small, outstanding producers and brand new to the BBC Good Food Shows so go and show them your support. Look out for fresh cookie dough in Scotland, crystalized edible fresh flowers and foraged ingredients in Birmingham and natural seaweed seasonings in London. Take a look at our tasting day here.

World Cheese Awards – nearly 3000 cheeses all out on display is an incredible sight. I always make sure I’m hanging around this area of the show when they announce the winners (Wednesday afternoon). Two years ago Philip from the Cornish Cheese Company won supreme champion and it brought tears to my eyes seeing him win. It was also pretty fun watching him get through bottles of champagne in the bar that evening!

BBC Food and Farming Awards – held at the show on the Wednesday afternoon, I’m making time to watch the awards ceremony this year as the shortlist of nominations is so exciting! You can add a theatre seat to your booking if you have tickets for the Wednesday.

Right, back to work… hope to see you at the shows and please just ask if you want to know more about any of the exciting stuff going on at the shows!

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Food Find of the Week – Iberico Blood Chorizo

After a boozy afternoon at the AEO Excellence Awards on Friday, where I was delighted to be part of the team that contributed to the BBC Good Food Show Summer to make it win best consumer show 2011, I stopped off at The Real Food Market for some dinner. That’s me rather smug with the award below, and the team collecting the award…

Anyway, enough showing off, back to the food! After a couple of bites of my boyfriend’s delicious Jacobs Ladder burger it was time to find my own dinner… I went for one of Black Acorn‘s flame grilled Iberico chorizo rolls, with grilled red peppers, rocket and chilli sauce which was really delicious, especially with a large glass of their special recipe sangria!

I was intrigued by their Iberico blood chorizo so bought one (£5) to take home and try. It is made from acorn fed black Iberian pig meat mixed with some of its fat and blood, which is then minced and flavoured with pimentao paste, garlic, wine, vinegar, salt and spices. I had planned to eat with scrambled eggs, but didn’t have the eggs so ended eating dry fried on its own as a pre dinner snack. I like the richness that is similar to black pudding but the added texture, saltiness and spice that comes from a chorizo style sausage really made it unique and delicious. Next time I would probably try with scallops or prawns, perhaps on the BBQ.

You can buy Black Acorn’s range of Black Iberican pig charcuterie from their website, or if you are in London why not try one of their chorizo rolls and a sangria down at the Real Food Market on the South Bank?

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Food Finds of Weeks Gone By…

So, I started the Food Find of the Week thing to force me to post on a weekly basis – but due to various distractions I’ve let it slip, and owe about 6 food finds to catch up! Ooops! So, following the BBC Good Food Show Summer just a couple of weeks ago, and a full on food filled diary to follow, I have collected a number of food finds for your pleasure…

Tan Rosie

I was really excited to meet Lee Sylvester of Tan Rosie Foods fame at the BBC Good Food Show Summer, who produce a range of Caribbean specialities and run a really popular, Birmingham based supper club. The sauces were great, but I particularly liked her fiery chilli fudge, which not only had a nice heat to it, but you could really taste the chilli flavour too. The ginger, vanilla and chocolate  and chilli fudges were also really good and worth a try.

 

Pelagonia Range

A delicious and unusual range of Macedonian meze items including roasted peppers, pumpkin jam and Aivar, a gorgeous aubergine and pepper dip. They come in really attractive jars and are very well priced around the £3.50 mark. They have limited stockists around the country but will also be on show to sample and buy from at the London BBC Good Food Show in November.

Peter’s Yard

Many people will have heard of this brand by now, but I have to feature them here as I was totally inspired by a talk by one of the co-founders, Wendy, at the recent Foodie Bugle Lectures. The artisan crisp breads are made to a traditional Swedish recipe here in the UK and are not only really good for you, but delicious too! The original bakery is up in Edinburgh, and is on top of my must visit list!

Lahloo Tea

Another speaker at the Foodie Bugle Lectures, Kate Gover, who I have met before but never realised her faultless passion and drive for tea and her own growing business Lahloo Tea. I particularly liked the tasting notes on the tea tins, of the few I saw two mentioned baked apples with brown sugar and butter, and one talked of madeira cakes – great to be able to pull out flavour notes from the tea that you can relate to. She has recently opened a tea pantry in Bristol, which is also on my must visit list, and is planning on opening more outlets across the country in the future, definitely one to watch!

Demijohn

Angus Ferguson is a BBC Good Food Show regular, but he never stops impressing me with his passion, enthusiasm and simply outstanding liqueurs. This year his new flavour was Morello Cherry Brandy, which was really delicious but I always fall back to his Rhubarb Vodka, which was particularly tart this year. At the end of the show Angus was busy finding picnic fayre to satisfy the participants of his upcoming annual elderflower picking pilgrimage – lucky pickers!

Hardiesmill

I took home a couple of souvenirs from the Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, last week – some Hardiesmill Aberdeen Angus popeseye steaks and a beef haggis. The steaks were really, really tender and you could really taste the difference of grass-fed animals in the fat too. The highlight was the haggis, which didn’t seem as fatty as the lamb based version, and had a lovely delicate flavour and firm texture. You can buy fresh beef products and charcuterie from their website.

So I think that brings me up to date with my fabulous food finds, but I must find the time to write up more highlights from the BBC Good Food Show Summer, my judging of the Great Taste Awards, my visit to the Royal Highland Show and the wonderful Foodie Bugle Lectures too! Its been a busy few weeks!

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Brockley Market – My Highlights

I recently took a trip down to the much talked about Brockley Market and was really impressed! Created by a local photographer (Toby Allen) with a passion for food, dedication to succeed and the ability to spot an opportunity to create a new market to benefit his local community. I had a lovely time there, great producers, great street food and space to either sit or stand around and eat. Here is a quick run down of my highlights.

Amazing looking stand and food from Mike and Ollie, must try on my next visit.

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Food Find of the Week – Quince Juice

My latest food find is perfect for Summer cocktails – quince juice from Norfolk producer Drove Orchards. I was very happy to find it in my sister’s fridge and just had to try it. I drank it with Vestal Vodka‘s Amber elderberry flower liqueur, with a little soda and lots of ice, a delicious cocktail to drink in the sun.

I’m not sure where my sister got it from, but I believe it’s widely available across Norfolk delis and in their farm  shop near Hunstanton (definitely visiting next time I’m back in Norfolk!). Their website says they are hoping to start selling their range of juices online soon, but give a number to call and order if you can’t wait that long!

It’s so good that the Great Taste Awards judges awarded it two gold stars last year, here’s what they said about it:

 Good smell of Quince.  Slight Cloudiness.  Pleasant honey flavour.  Blended very well.  Quince comes through very nicely – good balance.  Sugar is well in control, good tartness.  ‘Grown-up’ product – this would be lovely even with a mixer.  A summery drink.

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Food Find of the Week – Natural Seaweed Seasonings

This week’s food find is from The Sea-Spice Co who have created a range of super healthy seasonings made purely from naturally harvested, Celtic seaweed. Fiona Houston and Xa Milne, also known as the sea spice girls, have established themselves as experts in seaweed foraging through their own book ‘Seaweed and Eat It: A Family Foraging and Cooking Adventure’, magazine columns and radio and TV appearances. Earlier this year they launched their range of sea~sons, and seem to be going from strength to strength!

I must admit to only having tasting the seasonings with bread and oil, and haven’t had a chance to try in a recipe yet. I’m really keen to try the pepper dulse, which is known as the truffle of the sea, sprinkled on top of seared scallops. The range also includes sea lettuce, which is bright green and looks a bit like parsley to be used as a garnish or towards the end of cooking. The dulse is a deep purple colour, and the tasting notes suggest a hint of smoked bacon and that it is strong and robust enough to pair with meat and game, almost like an anchovy equivalent. Shony flakes are a blend of seaweeds to be used as a table condiment and to add colour and flavour in cooking. Finally, Celtic Kombu provides an umami boost to dishes and can be used as a stock. I can’t wait to get experimenting!

Find out more by following @seaspicegirls on twitter, or if you fancy trying some, you can buy from the range at their online shop. Their website also gives some great recipes and suggestions for use, along with the story behind the company and some of their recent success stories.

I will update once I’ve had time to use some in a recipe, but for now I will keep dipping my finger into the pouches when I need a savoury kick!

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