Category Archives: TV

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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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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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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Raiding the Norfolk Farmers Markets

I am back in North Norfolk this weekend, which is where I grew up and regularly go back to visit family. My sister had planned a visit to her local farmers market in Aylsham, where she buys most of her meat for the month ahead and various other bits too. Obviously I tagged along, and also persuaded the rest of our party (the brother-in-law and my Dad) that it would be fun to visit the Creake Abbey market too.

We were all glad we made the effort as the North Creake market has really grown and improved since the last time we went about 5 years ago. I met some great new producers such as Crush Foods (rapeseed oil, pesto and dressings), Fielding Cottage (goats cheese) and Mr Kew’s Pies.

We bought a little more than we should but got some great stuff. So, back to London I will be taking racks of both mutton and lamb, some stewing mutton, some rare breed smoked bacon, smoked chipolatas, rapeseed oil and dressing, rosewater (from one of the great little shops in Creake Abbey), some posh pork scratchings and a little yellow soap duck. The picture below shows our haul – my sister’s prize buy was a giant (6kg!!) chicken that she will be roasting tomorrow with friends.

 

 

Tim Kinnaird was looking very happy (as always) and had a tempting stall full of macarons, marshmallows, brownies and delicate little cakes too. We couldn’t help but buy some salted caramel and violet and blackcurrant flavoured macarons which were delicious. I also discovered that Tim is thinking about selling his cakes at the BBC Good Food Show Summer which would be awesome!

 

I was delighted to find that Bray’s Cottage‘s famous ‘Crackle’ hadn’t yet sold out and that I had a chance to try all the posh pork scratching flavours too – Fennel and Juniper, Lemon and Pepper and Smoked Paprika and Rosemary. Really naughty but REALLY nice. The guys in the BBC Good Food Show office will be pleased on Monday with my souvenirs!

Let me know if you would like to know more about either the Aylsham or Creake Abbey Farmers Markets, or any of the produce or producers mentioned here.

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Kitchen Secrets (my new favourite cookery programme)

Just finished watching the first episode of Raymond Blanc’s new series, Kitchen Secrets, and I thought it was brilliant. For a change I didn’t get distracted by other things (twitter, tea, napping, etc) which is what sadly often happens these days.

Every dish looked delicious – like something I would love to eat, something I would also like to put the effort into cooking and something that was simply stunningly beautiful on the plate. I was particularly awed by the lobster, so I might just have to shout over the fence to my favourite new neighbour (Alan the fish monger) and see if there are any deals to be had on the finest giant Scottish lobsters.

Today, while buying some rice noodles from Amazon*, I came across the book accompanying the series and all going well it will be on my desk when I get to work in the morning! I really enjoyed his last series, and don’t have any of Raymond’s writing in my collection, so pressed the all too easy to press ‘add to basket’ button.

So it shouldn’t be long before I’m recreating those dishes and posting the results on here… Or if I’m really lucky someone will book me a table and pay for a meal for me at Le Manoir. Time will tell.

*These were not available from Tesco online – just one frustration of my first online supermarket shopping experience.

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