BBC Good Food Show Summer 2014

On Thursday I excitedly made my way to the BBC Good Food Show Summer at the NEC ready for a day of foodie fun with the other BBC Good Food Show Bloggers! When we arrived Katy Truss talked us through what was happening at the show and all of the exciting things she had lined up for us, including a very special surprise at the end of the day…but we’ll get onto that later!

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But first it was time to explore the show, which just gets bigger and better every year! I spent the morning walking around the Producers Village, Ludlow Producer Market and BBC Good Food Champions areas picking up lots of fab products from some of my favourite independent producers and discovering some great new finds too.

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I stopped off at Spicentice first to pick up some of their spice mixes which were on offer at 6 for £10. And with the wide selection they had on display, it was easy to pick out 6 with the help and recommendation of the friendly guys there.

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I’ve fallen in love with The Garlic Farm recently, so I had to make my way over to them to stock up on their delicious products too! I couldn’t resist getting their Black Garlic Pesto and Onion Marmalade with Garlic again, and one of their newest products the Thai Green Curry Paste with Garlic.

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Le Mesurier was next on my list to hunt down to get some of their incredibly tasty Saffron and Garlic Mayonnaise!

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I also picked up some Sweet Curry Sauce to add my collection of sauces from the GB Sauce Company.

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All of the food sampling and shopping was tiring work (oh it’s a hard life being a food blogger!!) so I was extremely happy when I spotted The Shack Revolution and their Juice Shack. I went for their Apple and Elderflower Juice which was fruity and refreshing, and so good that it was gone within minutes!

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Other drinks on offer included Belvoir Fruit Farms cordials, coffees, plenty of gins including gin and tonics from Fever Tree, honey beer from Hiver Beers, Thunder Toffee Vodka, and the intriguing-sounding Alcoholic Key Lime Pie Liqueur to name just a few that caught my eye!

For something sweet, the offerings were limitless with meringues, cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream and gelato, a chocolate fountain and chocolate pizzas!

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Fudge was in endless supply too! I stumbled across some creative flavours that I’ve never seen done before with fudge, including cocktail flavoured ones in actual cocktail glasses from The Original Chocolate Dream Company. And I decided to pick up a Mint Choc Chip Wedge from them for Father’s Day too.

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But for myself I got the most delicious Maple and Walnut fudge from the Fudge Kitchen which I devoured that night at home! One of my favourite things I picked up at the show though was the most heavenly Piña Colada Coconut Macaroon from Coco’s Coconut Macaroons; it was light and tasty, with chunks of juicy pineapple running through it.

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When I found out that there was a MasterChef Street Food Bus AND that it would be at this summer’s BBC Good Food Show, I couldn’t wait to get some food from the converted routemaster bus. So despite the endless amount of samples I’d picked up all morning, I couldn’t resist going to check out their food. With a kitchen downstairs and seating upstairs, Mat Follas (Champion in 2009) and Jackie Kearney (Finalist in 2011) delighted everyone with their tasty street food.

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I tried the Thai Green Queenie Scallops – Queenie Scallops in a Spicy Curry with Aubergine, Green Bean and Cauliflower served on Rice. It was a drier version of this curry than I’ve had before, but it was still packed with flavour and plenty of juicy scallops.

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With such a fantastic street food scene in the Midlands, I’d love to see more street food at the show next summer too! Also on offer inside the food court were hog roast baps with freshly carved meat, paella, curries, buffalo burgers, French hot dogs and jacket potatoes. Or you could pick up snacks along the way like huge sausage rolls and scotch eggs in a variety of exciting flavours!

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After lunch, Katy arranged for us to meet and sample products from this year’s Bursary Award winners; these four had all won the opportunity to have a pitch at the show for being small, independent producers with fab products! The Preservation Society brought us a tasty Rhubarb and Chilli Chutney and a fantastic Strawberry Sirop which I could have easily drank all day long. Cornish Charcuterie were next with their spicy chorizo, salami and mushroom pate, but the highlight for me was their Duck Liver Pate. SoSmoothies brought us a young entrepreneur (he was only 17 when he set the business up!) with four extremely yummy fruity smoothies and the promise of some exciting new products coming soon. And finally we met Sinclair Condiments Co with an interesting and surprisingly tasty Hot Banana Ketchup. I picked up a bottle of their Mushroom Ketchup too which had a great savoury, earthy flavour and I can’t wait to use it in my cooking, especially in a risotto.

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We all then rushed over to the Supertheatre to catch ‘Paul and Mary Do Lunch’. The supertheatre was hosted by Marcus Bean this year, who I had the pleasure of first meeting at his cooking school Brompton Cookery School back in May for the BBC Good Food Show Bloggers Meet Up.

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During the show, two audience members were picked to go up on stage and eat the lunch that Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry prepared for them – a Boursin Stuffed Chicken Breast with Creme Fraiche, Tarragon and Lemon Sauce and a Lime Posset with Paul’s Orange Biscuits for dessert. The 30 minute show was really entertaining and the chemistry between Paul and Mary is infectious! When I’ve visited in the past, I’ve always missed the supertheatre but I’m really glad that I made it to one this time.

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I caught one of this year’s new features on my way out of the supertheatre with the Bull Ring Markets – a small area showcasing lots of local produce with meat, fish, cheese, eggs, a classic sweet shop, and even sushi!

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The BBC Good Bakes and Cakes Village gave visitors a taste of what’s to come with the launch of the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show in October.

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Lakeland had a popup shop in this area and also hosted the Summer Kitchen stage along with Lisa Faulkner, and I managed to catch a few minutes of a show with Lisa and Shelina Permalloo.

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To end what had been a fantastic day at the BBC Good Food Show, it was time for a very special surprise…Katy had organised for us to meet baking legend Paul Hollywood!! Paul was really funny, charming and down to earth, and we chatted to him about his baking and the extremely successful Great British Bake Off (which he ensured us will be running for a good few years still yay!). We all got to ask him a question each and I asked what the first thing he ever baked was – a proper apple pie and his Mum’s ginger biscuits (he told us that the recipes for both will be in his column in the Independent soon)!

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As an added bonus, Mary Berry came over to chat to us as well whilst we were waiting for Paul!! She was genuinely such a lovely woman, and it was truly a pleasure to meet both of them.

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There’s just so much to see and do at the show that unfortunately I just didn’t have time to get around it all in one day. Other features at this year’s show included the BBC Good Food Kitchen with main and tapas dishes from the magazine, ‘Cocktails at Home’ Masterclass, Belling Live Cook Stage, Gourmet Life Master Classes, Wine Tasting Master Classes and an English Tea Garden. Also included in the ticket is entry into the outdoor BBC Gardener’s World Live, and the weather couldn’t have been better for it on Thursday and Friday!

My 3 Top tips for the Day:

  1. There’s just SO much to see and do at the show, so try to plan what and where you definitely want to visit before you get there and walk around the show in some sort of methodical order if you can.
  2. Take a rucksack or pick up one of the pully baskets onsale there. Trust me you’ll thank me – I learnt the hard way when I had to drag all of my fabulous, but very very heavy, foodie products around with me all day.
  3. If you want to buy some fudge (and 100% do it as there are just so many yummy flavours on offer) wait until near the end of the day! I bought mine first thing in the morning and ended up with a semi-melted and oddly shaped block of fudge by the time I got home…but don’t worry, it was still edible!

And that concludes what was an amazing day at this year’s BBC Good Food Show Summer!! Look out for some reviews of the products I picked up coming soon over the next few weeks too. Massive thank you to Katy Truss for organising a fab day for us, and to everyone at the BBC Good Food Show for putting on another fantastic summer show at the NEC. I’m now on countdown to the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes Show in October and the BBC Good Food Show Winter in November, both of which you can already purchase tickets for now!

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