Sunday, 20 October 2013

BBC Good Food Show Scotland 2013

Yes, because I was there! I thought I'd write a little bit about what happen. Be warned - there will be a lot of photos!

To my surprise, it wasn't the celebrity chefs who made my day, but the people in some of the stalls, who were simply lovely, and shared a lot of stories, passion and not to mention food! There were also a good few of the stands that were selling and giving out samples of beverages; teas, coffees, warm fruit drinks, local ales, gins, and more!

It kicked off at 10:00, and I made sure to be there in time to pick up my tickets that had gone astray in the mail for some reason (!!!). First, I was greeted by some lovely gentlemen to the right side as I entered. They were eager for me to try their locally produced ciders, as I took one of the small sampling glasses, the older fellow said "Go on! Try them all! Otherwise you never will!" They were lovely, and not to sweet, just the way I like it. The fact that it was ten in the morning meant nothing right now as I had already lost the concept of time as soon as the event opened - funny how it works...

Then, I got to talk to someone in a stall where they were selling organic chocolate -The Chocolate Tree-, and it was soooo good! They had some samples out, but as soon as I mentioned that I liked my dark chocolate a bit bitter, he took out some other secret chocolate from behind the counter, broke off a couple of pieces and said "Try this...." and me O my, it was unbelievable! Apparently, they had a different way of making the chocolate, and you could tell, as it wasn't quiiite chocolate as you know it, but still smooth and delicious! I got an offer I perhaps really shouldn't have refused at the end of the day, buuuut I did end up buying a luscious bar of their Maple & Pecan chocolate.

There were jams, chutneys, oils, dressings, cheeses and all sorts of preservatives to try out, only heaven knows how much bread and oatcakes I have had today - Not to mention fudge! Peppermint, banoffee, cappuccino, peach & cream, ginger - you name it!

As well as a lot of tasters, there were a good few stands selling kitchenware of all kinds (except from a tin opener, which I desperately need...a good one, that doesn't decide to kick the bucket after you've used it twice, like then so often do! I seem to always have to fight with the one I've got....Pesky tin opener). There was this one guy who was selling a really clever little thing, it was a grater and slicer that came with a good few different blades to serve different purposes. I maaaay have gotten one...OK yeh, I definitely got one. He was a good salesman, AND as a show special, you got three blades and a vegetable "holder" included. Now I can julienne courgettes, make dauphinoise potatoes and grate to my heart's content! *Nods convinced to herself* Yup, Gigant Multihobel might make my life a little easier and save me from cutting my fingers when I try to finely chop things.

Also, there were some cooking classes, and at the Love Food Hate Waste stage, Ajmal Mushtaq introduced John Quigley of the Red Onion onto the stage to make a haddock risotto. I actually went to that restaurant last Winter and it was really good! The idea about the LFHW was that planning meals for the coming days would prevent you from throwing so much waste out due to it going bad. I usually go for my weekly Sunday food shop and plan up until Wednesday, after that I take what I've got and see what else I need to make something out of it. It saves you money, and it saves you wasting food, simple as that!

Ajman and John as John is making a haddock risotto

"Do you like some spice in your life?" the lovely Australian spice man from asked me when I was trying some of the amazing dips he'd made up. He had mixed his wonderful spices with simple things like onion and tomatoes, and they made for the most brilliant dips and cooking sauces! For £10, you could take three bags with you home as well as a little spice grinder - and so when I returned a few hours after first having passed (and tried most of the combinations.....), I ended up with a Tunisian Berbere, Portuguese Piri Piri, and the Thai rocksalt, the latter which he had referred to earlier, as he grinded some on a quarter of a cherry tomato to try - delicious!

Yum Yum Tree Fudge was the stall that had all the amazing flavoured fudges I mentioned up there *points further up on the post*, it came as a surprise to me when they said they add less sugar than what most fudge producers use. You know those few seconds you are almost convinced you're being healthy when you eat it? Aye, I felt it that way, although I realised that I wasn't actually. I was so tempted to buy a bag of the cappuccino flavoured one though, it would be perfect having a couple of bits next to a cup of stronger coffee!

When it came to the alcoholic beverages, I tried the most amazing gin by Martin Miller's, it was so refreshing! Then there was the Thunder toffee vodka which was a liiiittle too sweet for my liking, but I imagine if you miced it out with something as simple as soda water, it would be lovely. Then there was Coole Quay Liqueur and Licor 43 which were gorgeous! I was lucky enough to get to taste all these different drinks that I wouldn't normally have as I am not a big drinker in general, I prefer a cuppa and good company! I passed by a stand by Condessa Welsh Liqueurs, and I was served this mixture of Slue Gin and Black Cherry liquer. It was really nice and fruity without being too sweet, and so I bought a bottle of Sloe and a small bottle of the Black Cherry, as I imagine having a small one of them after dinner in the weekends or when I have friends over would be lovely, and also make a good substitute for dessert after a hearty meal.

I also attended John Thorode's little exclusive show, as I could choose one of these celebrity events to go to that was included in the price. I have seen his face next to many of the recipes when browsing through the BBC Good Food website, and so it was quite cool to see him in person. He cooked up an awesome dish with prawn cracker prawns, with a speedy chilli mayonnaise, along with some fried prawn heads, and also whipped up a lovely looking red prawn curry with coconut milk and pineapple - it looked delicious!

After the show, I decided that despite being stuffed on nibbles and tasters and random little cups of teas and liqueurs - to have a proper meal. I had passed the stand that sold (locally produced) buffalo meat and burgers, and so I desided to have one of those (the hog roast was very tempting, but I have already tried that before and figured I might as well try something different). A humble roll with a lovely buffalo burger with some caramelised onions, delicious!

There were an interview stage as well, and I saw a little bit of that when they were talking to James Morton from the Great British Bake Off. Here is a picture from when they for some reason thought it better to just not face each other whilst doing the interview:

Shortly after, I continued my adventure in this jungle of goodies, and came across a little stall called Charlotte Flower Chocolates, they had a few different kinds of chocolate from all over the world and with some unusual flavours. Some, they had filled with this lovely smooth centre. I got to try some Seat Buckthorn melty goodness, and was talked into buying a little piece of chocolate by them. Good salesmanship! If that's even a word.... I'm sure it is *smirks*

A little further along there were so so much, and so I'll just include some photos of the event:

In short, it was a great experience, and I got to try so many new and different things, and if anything - this really gave me a boost to go home and create amazing food, even though I was already quite pasionate about it. Seeing these people getting everything together, and doing what they love just really left me with a sense of euphoria. So thank you to everyone who organised it, and all who took part. I might just see you next year!

A good catch, I'd say!

- Jules

PS. A list of my top five stands:
Charlotte Flower Chocolates
The Chocolate Tree
Yum Yum Tree Fudge
Kwan's Kitchen

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