This weekend saw me on a 2 day Food Festival as the headline event. I was supposed to be demonstrating from 11-3 but I stayed all day through sheer enjoyment but also the massive undertaking of demonstrating , sampling a 3 course dinner over 3 demonstration slots in 3 hours- pushing the time boundaries on reflection!
The original plan was 3 demonstration of 30-40 minutes and 20-40 minutes between demonstrations using the suppliers and producers in the Botany Bay Food Hall, it didn’t end up like this as I truly wasn’t expecting the volume of audience, interaction and desire for them to eat the food!
I was using great products all from the Food Hall and created the menu around it :
- All You Knead bread and also products from their new Pantry Delicatessen
- Scrumpy Pig butchers gave me beautiful lamb racks and for day 2 delicious award winning sausage meat from their scrumpy sausage
- Barrica Wines – Jane wine matched every course with delicious wines and sampled them for all the audience
- I Love Jam used their national award winning blackcurrent jam for my jus, and her Seville marmalade for my carrots
The menu was:
Demo 1 Starter – Cauliflower Cheese Soup served with curry paint, scorched carpaccio of cauliflower, coriander syrup
Demo 2 Mains on day 1 was Rack of Lamb with almond and spinach crust, fondant potatoes, orange,cumin and marmalade carrots and celeriac puree ( Day 2 changed to Polpette with homemade fresh pasta and ludo sauce – due to a mishap on day one!)
Demo 3 was Chocolate Chilli Cake with salted caramel, pistachio crumb, Creme anglais jelly day 2 we added marshmallow meringue too!
It was a truly wonderful experience, firstly the volume of people watching, all the seats were full, overflowing and people filling up the stairs and watching.
The feedback was staggeringly fabulous and positive which is hugely rewarding and motivating. I have struggled to accept my accolade of winning The Taste publicly , I have shied away ( easily written about it but not offered it up as any conversation naturally), from it but this weekend I embraced it, buoyed by the many people that came upto to say they had come to see Me, just me I was hugely flattered. They had watched the programme , loved it and had enjoyed following me since- I did have one lady say how great it was I had won Masterchef though!!! I smiled and didn’t correct her obvious mistake as I didn’t want to embarrass her or myself by having to explain otherwise?!
The co-ordinating team at Botany Bay headed up by Gemma Coulthard were fabulous, organising and making sure I had everything I needed.
Day one was fun with demo one overrunning because I talked to much, demo 2 having to pass my lamb to the catering team for its final cook after searing, but was returned to me raw! Ah well when you Live an demoing you just carry on regardless so i did.
People loved the flavours, my humour (it seems I can be quite funny!), tips, ways to create the recipes , how to prepare in advance and much more
It must have been okay and clearly understandable and achievable as 2 members of these audience offered to work the next day as my sous chefs – both from the Army and massive foodies Andy and Ian were fabulous characters with a rich history but most importantly a huge passion for food and creating their own food events at home – day 2 was going to be with aides so all the better.
Day 2 was the full day – my 3 hours ended up being 10am through to 4pm but everyone I met, encountered and dealt with was great overcoming the lamb mishap day 2 ran smoothly and even more fun with extra hands to help.
My food business was promoted with rave reviews, heres just one example from an exhibitor ( plus her cupcakes my husband and son said were delicious particularly the Caramac one!)
A front page follows in Chorley newspaper And lots of new likes on my social media, new readers of my blog, bookings booked for me as HomeChef and more PopUps.
The only thing I didn’t do was take photos, so the learning is video and photos and a guest book for comments , life is all about learning and feedback so till my next event.
I will share those new experience in moving voice, pictures and good old photos.
COMMENTS & FEEDBACK
If you did see me at the Botany Bay Food festival or have any photos please do send, or comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org would love to hear your thoughts.