Wow what a week that was…and relax!
Bolton Food Festival 2014 start was an early one for me ,arriving at the Holiday Inn Bolton where the Gala Dinner was being served , I started working in the kitchen with the talented team prepping my dish – The infamous Sticky Toffee Pudding Pie with Rosemary Toffee Sauce, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Shortbread, Butternut Squash and Apricot Puree and finally Pistachio Crumb
this year saw its largest ever audience,a staggering 153,000 visitors from all across the globe. This was my stage, and I had 4 days of activities . My first event was to do a demo on the main stage Friday 22nd at 330pm, with the very glamorous Elaine Wilcox from ITV
I did a social media call out with my nerves a little jangly. I had changed the demo recipe from Nam jim Chicken to Chilli Chocolate to finally staying with Sticky Toffee Pudding Pie to link in with the launch of my PiePost and linking it to the wining dish that Nigella favourite -you cant get enough carb on carb! I was prepped and ready to go 330pm came and went and after the electricity going off from the main generator in the main demo tent a huge 120 seater – I was off ….and I all I can say I loved it, the feedback was great I even had a queue at the end for photos! In my husbands words I had a little “Celeb-a-Deb” moment and it was so wonderful to have the genuine interest and engagement.
Gala Dinner, 7 courses, 7 Chefs was my 2nd stop,(actually a return ) so a mad dash after a couple of live interviews with Bolton News and Bolton Live I was back in the Holiday Inn Hotel kitchen and cooking the dessert course the 6th of the 7 courses.
The Michael Caines 2** Michelin Star chef turned up without an entourage that I was expecting but his head chef Matt and stood next to me prepping and cooking his main course, this was blowing my mind ….truly truly inspired! (I will also got to work with him at Gidleigh Park his 2** Hotel in September)
Andrew Nutter from Nutters Rochdale and his everlasting energy then came again entourage’less which again impressed me just demonstrating that what happens in a kitchen is very different dependent on where you are and who you are with.
The other very talented crew consisted of
The Team omitted from this list was the Georges Dining Room Team who created some fabulous canapés, Seared Scallop with Raisin puree and Cauliflower and Fois Gras with Cherry and gingerbread:
We also met and tasted some amazing cheese from Sean Wilson from ITV fame and Coronation Street and The Rev, you must try his blue cheese amazing !
So we entered day 2 and this was truly amazing after the night that was I had the opportunity to work with the very talented Jackie Kearney – aka The Hungry Gecko aka the finalist of MasterChef 2011. Since achieving her accolade achievement on MasterChef Jackie has found a true niche in delivering restaurant quality food on a street food van named amazingly Barbarella. I was truly lucky to be able to work alongside Jackie as she delivered to hundreds of customers her delicious street food from Bombay Frankies with either Beetroot Pakora or “pulled chicken” or her must be eaten PanPuri snack food , to Nasi Gorang with either Duck Egg, Prawn or Pork Belly – truly spectacular food and delivered with the best organic fresh ingredients locally sourced as far as she can and we had the opportunity to work with her. The we is my son Maximillien – this is a family affair as Jackie also has her family working alongside her too getting the best standards, quality and passion.
So on to day 3 and 4 saw me doing demos’ in the Regional Chef tent and working alongside compere Paul Crone from ITV
Also working with the MarketPlace Shopping Centre doing a 3 course NO cook Dinner
- Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho,
- Nam Jim Cocount Milk POached Chicken with Glass Noodles
- Strawberry and Black Peeper Cheesecake with Puree Core
– bit of cheating here with only 1 induction hob as my cooking aid and then also doing children cookery schools.
****Recipes to be posted later
We had some judging with Regional Under 21’s Chef Challenge with compere John Torode- MasterChef and Aiden Byrne (Manchester House), Justinne Forrest , Jackie Kearney and Myself as judges later in the afternoon
The then day 4 the finale was the Ice Bucket Challenge which seemed was decided 24 hours earlier without any negotiation with change of clothes and how I would get home dripping wet through! Paul crone jumped at the chance of the opportunity to soak me – a little bit to much joy from pouring ice water over, all in a good cause of course and money raised for the viral phenonoman that it now is and helping us make the front page too!
So the past week ended with a 150 catering event ….now thats another post !….
I remain feeling lucky, blessed and appreciative that is my life.