Category Archives: Producers

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 – Egg Boss Scotch Eggs

This week’s first food find of the week is the fabulous Egg Boss who makes his own scotch eggs along with a brilliant brown sauce. I’ve been following the egg boss AKA Sean Lawson on twitter for a while and finally met him at Brockley Market last week. I went for a Holy F**k egg, checking for children in the locality before ordering, which is pork combined with The Ribman’s delicious Holy F**k hot sauce.

The photos below have been provided by Egg Boss – I was so taken by the eggs that my camera skills went to pot!

The scotch eggs can either be taken away or served sliced in half with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, celery salt and black salt (I think that’s what it was anyway!) along with a dollop of the Egg Boss’ own brown sauce, which had the perfect tang to lift the richness of the egg.

The egg flavours change on a weekly basis, and you can find him at Brockley Market every Saturday – check his twitter account @egg_boss for updates on where else you can find him. He is definitely worth hunting down!!

I took an extra ‘Holy F**k’ egg and a black pudding egg home for my boyfriend – he ate them in the bath (after a long day playing American football) and loved them!!




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Dingley Dell Flying Visit at The Victoria

Down on the Dingley Dell farm live some of the luckiest pigs around… they are destined to fly into the hands of some of the most magical chefs in the land! On Wednesday night I had one of the best food experiences of my life – the Dingley Dell Flying Visit at The Victoria.

Dingley Dell supply some of the best chefs, and restaurants, in the country with amazing pork from Suffolk. Mark Hayward’s exciting concept of Flying Feasts brings some of these award-winning, pioneering chefs together, to cook up the most delicious piggy based feasts and to celebrate the glory of the Dingley Dell pig. Not only do you get a wonderful tasting menu, but a complete food experience taking the pig from farm to your fork. I watched a butchery demonstration, video footage of the happy pigs on the farm,  a live video stream directly into the kitchen to watch my food being prepared and then a talk on the dishes from the chefs themselves!

And now for the amazing menu…

Paul Foster – Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk

Pigs trotter carpaccio, charred broccoli, smoked garlic, peanut and burnt onion

Mark Poynton – Alimentum, Cambridge

Pork rillette, braised jowl, acorn praline, pineapple and chickweed

Madeline Bonvini-Hamel and Ross Pike – The British Larder, Suffolk

Crispy pig’s head, ham hock scotch egg, salsify & cauliflower & shallot piccalilli, nasturtium leaves

One more, so you can see how good the scotch egg looks!!

Paul Merrett – The Victoria, London

Asian Dingley Dell Pork: 12 hour belly vindaloo with coconut sambal, jungle style cheeks with soured mango noodles, dim sum with blood orange and fennel

William Curley – Patissier Chocolatier, Richmond

Amedei dark chocolate entremet centred with a smoked bacon caramel served with apricot compote & lemon thyme ice-cream

The tasting menu was absolutely delicious. Highlights for me were the jungle cheeks with mango noodles, crispy pigs head and the salty bacon with the dessert. I loved meeting Mark Hayward, the proud farmer of Dingley Dell pork and all the amazing chefs listed above. Mark and I are putting our heads together to see if we can bring the Flying Feasts to one of the BBC Good Food Shows which would be incredible! Stay tuned!

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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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Wiveton Hall Café – North Norfolk

Along the beautiful North Norfolk coast is an unassuming fruit farm alongside a grand hall, farm shop and café, the Wiveton Hall Cafe. Delia Smith recently said it’s the best eaterie in the world, but more importantly my friend Ben Pert is one of the head chefs and my dad has just joined his kitchen team as a sous chef! I took advantage of my Easter weekend with family back in Norfolk and had a wonderful lunch at this uncomplicated, beautiful cafe on Easter Sunday.

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Food Find of the Week – Chillis Galore!

I had trouble trying to decide on a food find for this week, as there were so many things I have found! The others will have to wait, but the Food Find of the Week is the Chipotle Paste from Chillis Galore. I found it at the Aylsham Farmers Market (North Norfolk) this morning and just had to buy some. I keep seeing it in recipes and would much rather use an artisan version than one from the supermarket shelves.

I’m not sure how I’m going to use it yet, but the smell as you open the jar is incredible – smokey, spicy and mouth watering…

I couldn’t resist their Chipotle Smoked Chilli Jelly and the Chilli and Onion Sticky Relish too – both will be great for BBQs over the summer (if it lasts that long!!). Great thing is that even if you aren’t a Norfolk local you can buy from their website. Let me know if you have tried before or if you decide to give it a go!

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Food Find of the Week – Findlater’s Fine Foods

I was in my local Waitrose on Saturday, looking for lunch, and spotted Findlater’s Fine Foods‘ Chicken Liver pate on their shelves. Having featured at the BBC Good Food Show Scotland and at the NEC in the past I was already familiar with their delicious range, but I’d just only ever had little tasters! So I bought a pot, along with a crusty baguette and hurried home to devour it.

It was so good that I had to make it my Food Find of the Week!

The chicken liver pate, with brandy and port, is delicious, so creamy, rich, smooth and full of flavour, without being too ‘livery’. With salty butter and crusty bread, it is the perfect picnic piece!

Find out more about the history Findlater’s Fine Food on their website, and be prepared for your mouth to water over the rest of their range – venison pate with pancetta and whisky, roast salmon pate with cracked black pepper, lemon and lime or even a meat free avocado and cashew nut pate with mango and chilli.

Well deserving of my Food Find of the Week, and great to find some quality Scottish produce south of the border! Let me know if you have tried it, and what you think of it.

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Food Find of the Week – Cannon and Cannon

I’m really excited about my Food Find of the Week – it gives me a chance to share my passion for new producers, products, people and places and also makes me even more motivated to search harder and wider.

This week’s food find is Cannon and Cannon, a pair of young brothers from North Norfolk (Sean and Joe Cannon) with a serious passion for meat. They specialise in artisan British charcuterie, so are a one stop shop to buy the very best produce from passionate artisans leading the way in hand crafted cured meats. From Cornwall to Scotland, Wales to Kent, the brothers have scoured the country to find the very finest they can. By selling produce from superb producers such as Forest Pig, Moons Green, Trealy Farm and Great Glen Game (among others) and always being on the look out for the next new thing in charcuterie you really can be assured of buying the highest quality and most pioneering produce possible.

I’ve only met one of the brothers, Sean, who really knows his stuff about charcuterie. They have a stall in the Green Market area at Borough Market, Thursday – Saturday where you can learn more about, taste and buy from their range. I ended up taking home a veal, thyme and lemon salami from Trealy Farm and a rather special hazelnut and champagne salami from Forest Pig. I can’t wait to go back for my next meaty fix!

Have you already heard of Cannon and Cannon? If not, find out more by visiting them at the market, following them on twitter @cannonandcannon or take a look at their website – www.cannonandcannon.com. I’ve been told that there is exciting news being announced on Friday, so stay tuned.

Check back here next Wednesday for my next Food Find of the Week, or why not pop your email address in the box over there on the right, and you will get emailed as soon as I write a post!

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Introducing my Food Find of the Week

I have decided to introduce a new element to this blog, a weekly post dedicated to my ‘Food Find of the Week’. I regularly meet wonderful producers, retailers and food lovers, and find new products, books, cool shops and places to eat and drink –  it seems a shame not to share my favourites here on my blog, and by going weekly I have no excuses but to post!

I speak to a mix of well established, popular producers that you may already know and people who may just be in the development stages of their business – I love asking questions about why they came to do what they do, why their products are so great and whether there is anything new in the pipeline.

Look out for my ‘Food Find of the Week’ on Wednesday!

Oh, and just in case you thought any differently, please be assured that I will only write about things I genuinely love/ like/ am excited about on this blog.

 

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The Cheese and Wine Company

A few years ago I met my colleague’s dad Steve Parker at one of the BBC Good Food Shows and we excitedly talked in-depth about his dream to open a cheese and wine shop that would host tastings too. 18 months ago Steve opened The Cheese and Wine Company in Hampton, and I am embarrassed to say that it has taken me this long to pay him a visit (sorry Steve!). I was really impressed with the place, firstly as a brilliant fine food shop but even more with the way he has created a destination for foodies to come to taste, buy, eat, learn and share their passion.

The shop is a cheese/ wine/ food lover’s dream – a wall of wine, an open fridge with a diverse range of cheeses, fresh bread, a selection of speciality and artisan produce and an enormous table in the room next door to host meals and tasting events. One thing that Steve made clear was that they didn’t just sell cheese and wine, but the stories behind the produce and experiences too – The Cheese and Wine Company is about tasting, learning and sharing and having fun whilst doing so.

Steve and his team really know their stuff about cheese – the fridge is divided into different types of cheese, from the recognisable to the unusual. As a result of Steve encouraging tasting in his shop, customers are able to try things they wouldn’t normally dare to, and this exploration can lead to finding some great new cheeses that you wouldn’t ever normally buy. I’m sure we are all guilty of choosing cheeses we know we are going to like!

With wines to suit most budgets and tastes, and helpful advice on what and how to choose the best wines, it’s a perfect place to buy wine whether you know your stuff or don’t have much of a clue.

The shop is also filled with other artisan produce such as chutney, biscuits, flavoured salts, fresh bread, oils, vinegar and a few sweet things too!

I was particularly intrigued by this bottle of olive oil, which is from Steve’s brothers farm in France, La Ferme du Bon Dieu. He produces this cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from Provencal verdale olives – exclusively available from The Cheese and Wine Shop! 
The second room is dedicated to tastings, events and meals where a huge shared table is surrounded by cosy corners, bookshelves and interesting cheesy paraphernalia.

 

 

Steve talked us through some of the cheeses, cutting off small pieces for us to try. Norwegian brown cheese (made with condensed milk) was a little too weird for me but we tried some amazing cheeses too. We bought Halloumi for tonight’s dinner, a creamy wedge of Soumaintrain from Saint-Simeon and a bottle of Doppio Passo (Italian primitivo wine) which came highly recommended. I can’t wait to return for one of the tastings or themed evenings, I doubt I will be able to miss the hot cheese night on Thursday when he is serving fondue alongside fine wines without a corkage fee! Check out his website for more information about his produce and events or to buy online – although its definitely worth the trip to Hampton for!

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Jacobs Ladder Burger – London’s Best?

I’ve seen Jacobs Ladder at a few markets but never had one of their burgers. After a chat with Philip Lowery, director of the Real Food Festivals and Markets, I was desperate to try one. He claimed they were possibly the best burgers in London, and a claim like that meant I had to try one! I was possibly the coldest I have ever been after a day wandering around Borough Market and the Real Food Market, but decided to wait for my burger loving boyfriend to buy one!

Lets start with the bread, a key component of a good burger. I was delighted to find the sesame topped buns were from St Johns, not having ever tried any of their baked goods (yes, I have heard about the custard doughnuts!). I was super impressed by the trademark pig stamped onto the paper wrapping the buns as my excitement about trying the burger increased.

Perhaps the meat should have come first, but the bread really did impress me… and the meat was kept inside a cool box too and generally raw burgers don’t look that pretty! So the meat is organic, from their own biodynamic and organic farms in Kent and Sussex. Which basically means its from animals that have led happy lives, are fed good, healthy food and converted into meat in nice, as humanely as possible ways.

As our burgers got closer to perfection, Steve, (entertaining and knowledgable) popped our buns on to toast and asked if we wanted cheese – yes please! Cheddar isn’t good enough for this burger, only the delicious Stichelton would do, and it went perfectly with it.

The cheese was scooped straight out of the truckle onto the burger…

Rocket and ketchup? Heinz of course…

And it was ready (our mouths were watering at this point!).

It certainly lived up to expectations – soft, charred bun, fresh, peppery rocket, creamy, buttery cheese and a really meaty burger.

We liked them so much that we bought the raw ingredients so we could recreate them at home for friends. I must say, they were nicer at home as we could make them nice and rare – and it wasn’t -3 degrees!

Have you tried a Jacobs Ladder Burger? Are they a contender for best burger in London?

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Baking at River Cottage HQ

One of my 30th Birthday gifts (from my lovely sister) was a baking day at the River Cottage. We stayed in Axminster for the weekend, had a wonderful meal at the River Cottage Canteen, and made the most of being by the seaside by including a fossil hunting expedition. The baking day was full on, with a great mix of learning, watching, making, socialising and lots of eating!

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Pigging out at The Pigs

Yesterday, my Dad treated my boyfriend and I to lunch at The Pigs in Edgefield, Norfolk. We all loved it and concluded that it could possibly be the perfect pub.  I love the cook book library out the back, being able to see into the kitchen (and when looking into the kitchen I could see them making their own bread) and mostly because you can bring in your home-grown/ caught/ shot produce and exchange it for beer and food credits! We had the full works – starting with ‘iffits’ (Norfolk tapas), hearty mains, warming desserts all washed down with local beer and ice-cold white wine.

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BBC Good Food Show – The Lovely Bits and My Highlights

There was so much going on at the BBC Good Food Show Winter this year that I’m pretty certain I missed a lot of it! With 13 theatres at the show, featuring the Great British Bake Off, Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef and the very best line up of chefs possible, there was just too many places to be at the same time! So what was I doing if I wasn’t watching the chefs?! Well, I was in my element in the Producers’ Village – tasting, talking, learning and loving every minute of it! This blog gives a little  some of my personal highlights from the show.

‘Pizza Time!’ I loved getting this text message from Tim Croft from Paddy’s Hooked on Fish – he had a deal with Amy and Chris from The Northern Dough Co (delicious frozen pizza dough) on the stand opposite… he provided the Queenie scallops, and they provided the dough, tomato sauce and cheese. Scallop pizza. I’m so glad he shared. Amazing with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon!

I always stop and consider my audience before pronouncing the word chorizo. Obviously its a spanish product, so perhaps you should pronounce as the Spanish do, which is chor-ith-o. I feel a bit of a twit saying it like that, so I usually go with chor-itz-o or chor-ise-o. I came across Ana, from Flavours of Spain, (who knows more about chorizo than anyone I know) teaching one of our visitors how to pronounce it the Spanish way. This photo catches it perfectly, don’t you think?!

I didn’t get round to eating any, but don’t these oysters from Rossmore look great!?

I almost bought this Moorlands Cheesemaker’s cheese making kit for my sister, but after asking a few strategic questions to find out if it would be a hit, we concluded that it would all be a little too smelly for her. If my flat wasn’t the size of an average person’s lounge then I would have bought one for myself.

Judy Goodman and her family rear wonderful geese – just look at the lovely way they are presented in the picture below. Goodman’s Geese are Jamie Oliver’s favourites and I can certainly vouch for them after having one at the centre of my  Christmas table for the past few years. If you haven’t tried goose then its a must – so much more luxurious than turkey.

I was very excited to taste the World Cheese Awards World Champion (we hosted the World Cheese Awards and the results were announced on the Wednesday of the show) which was a 10 month Ossau Iraty made by farmhouse producer Fromagerie Agour. I was also delighted that the Cornish Cheese Company came second overall (they were supreme champions last year). I’ve got some in my fridge to take home for the Christmas cheese board.

The World Cheese Awards judging is a spectacular occasion – over 2,500 cheeses all laid out to be judged by the ‘who’s who’ of the cheese world. Favouring Blur over Oasis back in the day, meant that seeing Alex James (from Blur) and his floppy hair perusing over the cheeses did make me go a little weak at the knees!

Beautiful freshly ground spices from Spice Boys London – it was their first BBC Good Food Show and I’m sure you will agree a great addition to the show.

I was delighted with the all round success of Simon Diss at the show – host of the Magimix Theatre. It was his first time presenting at the BBC Good Food Show and we all agreed that he was brilliant! Look out for him at future shows and follow him on twitter (@simondiss). His estate up in Cumbria also rears delicious Geese and Turkeys for Christmas, has an award winning farm shop and sounds rather idyllic – The Cowran Estate.

Now, this is a little bit embarrassing, but I featured on some of our show graphics this year at the Winter Show. It was a welcome to the Producers’ Village message (my area of the show) with a few of my highlights on it. Rather embarrassing when I had to walk past, but I’m still pretty proud of it (and so is my Dad)!


Anyway, I could go on and on, but thats enough for now… I would love to find out what I missed though – what were your highlights?


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Christmas Excitement…

Now that the shows are over (yes, I’ve been slack and still need to publish my highlights from MasterChef LIVE and BBC Good Food Show – sorry) I can’t help but be excited about Christmas! Its been such a busy couple of months at work that I have neglected my blog… but I will have so much to write about over the next few weeks that all I will need to find is the time to get it on here!

So, I have 45 minutes to write this, get dressed and get over to my friend (and colleague) Emily’s house to start our preparations for our Christmas Day in London! We are attempting to make Heston’s Meat Fruit as a starter, which I feel is rather ambitious but Emily thinks we can do it. I will take lots of pictures and report back! We then have one of Judy Goodman’s Geese for the main, with ALL the trimmings, followed by some kind of Pavlova. As you can probably tell, we still have some planning to do, and all the shopping – wish us luck!!

I bought the goose at the BBC Good Food Show and he has been patiently waiting in the freezer for us to devour today – while he roasts we will be drinking mulled wine and ice skating at Hampton Court Palace – I’m so excited!

 

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Pick Your Own, Pumpkins and Poppies

So this year, my ‘grow my own’ dream hasn’t exactly delivered, and so to pick my own I had to turn. My boyfriend and I produced little more than a handful of clove sized garlic bulbs, a few scraggy herbs and a dozen or so of the tiniest potatoes I’ve ever seen. So a few weekends ago we headed off to a local farm shop where we knew we could get that little bit closer to the good life by picking our own.

It was the last weekend of the year for pick your own and families were out in full force to find the perfect pumpkin for Halloween. There were a few things still available in addition to the pumpkins – sweetcorn, beetroot, spinach and to my surprise strawberries!

Some wasted cobs left naked on the ground…

 

A poppy surprised us in the middle of the corn field, which now reminds me of the amazing sight which was looking down from the gallery of Olympia, at the thousands of silent and still chefs, workers and crowds at MasterChef Live at the weekend. It was a truly moving, goose bump inducing sight.

A few strawberries still left ripe for the picking…

We left the pick your own area of the farm (Garson’s Farm in Esher) with 5 corn on the cobs which were rather over priced considering we had to do the picking ourselves! It was fun though, and got us out into the fresh air for a little while. We then heading for the farm shop where I spent as long as I could get away with looking all the wonderful produce! Jamie gets bored very quickly in such places so I have to scan the shelves wide-eyed to try to absorb all the jars, packets, boxes and tubs of goodness.

I really liked these bottles of french fizzy pop from La Mortaucienne, which are one of my Grandparents’ favourites, come in beautiful bottles and are available online from Natoora.

The other thing that caught my eye were these jars… unfortunately I didn’t stop long enough to pick up on the brand and a half-hearted google search for ‘Just So…’ didn’t bring up any results. They look great though!

The trip to the farm shop ended up rather costly (we couldn’t resist buying a picnic of meats, cheeses and olives), so I think we needed to put a little more effort into growing our own in 2012 – watch this space!

 

 

 

 

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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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