Last weekend saw another Foodies Festival, this time in Blackheath London. As usual it did not fail to deliver a jam packed weekend. Having the summer weather probably helped bring out the crowds, but I am sure they would have been there regardless, given the line up!
The weekend highlighted the best talent in the chef’s theatre with more Michelin starred chefs providing demos including Atul Kochhar and Adam Simmonds and the all time great Rosemary Shrager!
MasterChef winner Saliha and other previous contestants from the show were also present to bring some excitement to the day. If you are interested in cooking it is a great place to get inspired, from watching your favourite MasterChef stars on TV to live in front of your eyes, it really is a thrilling feeling. Getting the crowd involved with questions, humour and even some food sampling has to be a reason to want to be there!
Highlights for me included the return of the lovely Nicola Millbank, author of Milly’s Real Food Cookbook.. showing us simple tasty cooking- this time Wimbledon inspired with Pimms Eton Mess Trifles! If there wasn't enough Pimms at the festival adding it to a trifle really did top it off nicely!!
MasterChef stars such as Brodie Williams, Steve Kielty, Tony Rodd and Jack Layer were also there doing demonstrations and plugging upcoming events.. yes, Jack Layer (one half of Billy and Jack) has upcoming popup dining events in London this summer, so check them out! Although the location is yet to be announced we are promised fine dining in London with a view? (As long as the Squid-ink toast is left to Billy, I think we will be fine).
As well as providing his own cooking demo, Tony was also delegated the glamorous job of hosting the chefs this weekend, providing witty chat whilst we enjoyed the chefs cooking...and a great job you did too Tony, we were lucky to have you:-)
Meanwhile over in the baking theatre the fun just kept coming... The ever so glamorous Charlotte White was wowing us, not only with her lovely, ever so stylish dresses but her amazing hosting skills. Keeping the bakers company and also showing off her amazing baking… with the two favourites of the weekend: Key Lime Pie and Traditional British Scones, topped with jam, but not just any old jam but 'Pinksters Gin Jam'! How amazing right? And yes they tasted amazing too, as you can imagine... cooked up in real time and dished out for the crowd to enjoy. We do love this part of the show, worth waiting until the end for, definitely saving the best until last!
Other bakers this weekend included the lovely Becky Cummings, from the 'Pin Up Pantry' showing us the way forward with gluten free baking! Many of us find it hard to adapt to gluten free baking and admittedly get it wrong, struggling with texture and rising. However this was the most perfect, moist, light and fluffy Victoria Sponge you could taste, simple but a recipe everyone enjoys.. a classic favourite pimped up with edible rose petals and pink powder, a table centrepiece for sure!:-)
Suzy Pelta showing of messy bakes and mug cakes… I mean these bakers really do show us it is possible to get baking at home. You do not need to be a professional to recreate these cakes at home. Mug cakes are quick and simple, can be made with limited and simple ingredients everyone has at home and can be adapted to your own taste... chocolate, vanilla, lemon..whatever you desire!
It may sound repetitive but Foodies Festival really does cater for all.. gluten free, dairy free and vegan bakes are all demonstrated to make sure everyone's dietary need is catered for, and more importantly what they bake tastes amazing too!! Check out the photos to see for yourself, they look good enough to eat (and I can confirm, they tasted as good as they looked).
Returning baker Candice brown the 2016 Bake Off winner, was also busy baking away to please the audience, this time with a Bakewell Tart, better than chocolate with this hot weather for sure, although we do love her triple tiered cherry chocolate sponge cake too!!
One of my favourite bakers, the inspirational Ugne Bubnaityte , (another star from Bake Off) came along to show a healthy protein bake. So when we say there is something for all, there really is!! It was a loaf cake, with the best ingredient ever Meridian Peanut Butter!! Moist, fluffy and full of flavour- it went down a treat!!
If you weren't there last weekend you really did miss out on an action packed weekend in the sun! Oh wait, so that was just the Theatres? I know right, could they deliver more? Yes!... Outside of the theatres there was a lot more fun to be had. With the sun shining and the Pimms flowing spirits were high, more live bands playing throughout the weekend getting the crowds going. The Popups included regular faces to the Foodies Festival, flavours from around the world- skipping continents to make us feel somewhere lush (which it definitely could have been with the exotic food and exotic weather we were having)!
I spend a lot of time searching for new flavours and inspirations, events like these I think are a revelation to the palate, tickling the taste buds with flavours and foods you would not eat on a day to day basis. Trying and finding new products is my thing! A few that impressed me this weekend I just had to share... Alvalle, returning to us after Syon Park back in May. No I am not bias with my Spanish connection but this Gazpacho is delightful.. Chilled soup in summer- yes please!! It is also available at local supermarkets, so again super accessible to the likes of you and me!
Vita Coco were also returning with their coconut products.. again available at local supermarkets. Providing an alternative to dairy, be it due to a vegan diet, lactose intolerance, health kick or just because! Vegan friendly plant based goodness that can be used in food or in beauty, so a two in one perfect buy!
Thor and Tuk Tuk Chai were winning on the drinks front for me. Thor providing sparkling soft drinks..refreshing and crisp, perfect in this summer heat. Flavours include Apple, Mint and Ginger.. I initially tried the ginger which I loved, subtle and refreshing but then I tired the Mint! WOW! Very enjoyable indeed!!
Tuk Tuk Chai showcasing Chai flavours in an innovative new way, I love Chai flavours and thought I loved it in Latte, but their own creation was unlike no other. You can read more in-depth about the product on a separate review I have done on my blog... definitely get behind these guys and go get tasting!
If you haven't had enough, roll on next weekend at Tatton Park Cheshire!! 😊