Sunday 30 November 2008

BBC Good Food Show Birmingham

A few weeks ago I got an email from Miele who are sponsoring the BBC Good Food Show asking if I would like to part of a VIP group of bloggers attending the Birmingham show, hmmm hard choice – yes please!

We arranged to meet at the show and I was a little nervous and extremely excited about meeting fellow bloggers and getting to be a VIP for the day. I needn’t have worried, as everyone was so friendly. We were met by Molly, Colin, Juliette and Kaz from Miele.

Including me, there were 7 bloggers in total and it was a fun beginning of “so what’s your blog called? – oh yes I know that one!” as we got to know each other. The other bloggers consisted of:

Nicola from Cherrapeno
Anne from Anne’s Kitchen
Sam from Antics of a Cycling Cook
Becky from Girl Interrupted Eating
Francesca from 101 Things
Joanna from Joanna’s Food

I spent a fun morning exploring the food stands with Sam, Nicola and Anne. The hall was HUGE and there was such a wide variety of food, drink and general cookery items on show, most of which were giving away free samples which we lapped up. My first freebie was a raspberry vodka chocolate, followed by chocolate ice cream from Carte D’or – at only 10:30am in the morning I could tell it was going to be a good day.

There was plenty on offer for all tastes, including a few gluten free stands. I think the quality of these have improved immensely in recent years and I wouldn’t even have known that my bakewell slice sample was gluten free had I not known.

I loved the stand selling Munchy Seeds which are a mix of different seeds with a variety of flavours to be used in baking, on cereal, in salads or just for random munching. I loved the vanilla pumpkin seeds (show in the pic). I was unsure if vanilla and pumpkin would pair together but I loved it and couldn’t resist buying some. If only all shops let you try before you buy.

Liquorice must be the new ‘in thing’ as there were at least 4 or 5 stalls dedicated to it.

There were stalls by famous chefs such as Paul Rankins Irish Soda Breads, a whole assortment of preserved ginger, salad dressings and one healthy eating stand giving away samples of Jazz Apples – hurrah an apple stand :)

You could stop for an antioxidant shot of pomegranate juice before moving onto a whole host of dips and dressing in all colours and flavours imaginable. The wasabi and lime dressing and the Mooli chutney certainly woke your taste buds up.
A yummy range of Gu and Fru puddings or divine chocolate bars. There dark chocolate was especially good.

If in need to a half time break then this stand would certainly oblige. The Lemonade Factory consisted of two guys, one squeezing fresh lemons and the other adding a little sugar and water to make fresh lemonade. The zesty aroma coming from this stand was unbelievable. I didn’t taste any myself but I think it must have been a little sharp for some tastes as some people were coming away with puckered faces but it would certainly cleanse the palate.

It was then time to meet up with Miele and the other bloggers for lunch. As we were VIP’s we got our own little room. When we walked in the starter of prawn salad was already on the tables and I felt a little apprehensive as I’m Vegetarian. I whispered this to one of the waiters and my dish was whipped away and replaced a few minutes later with a wonderful honey grilled pear with a little ball of goat’s cheese on a slice of lightly toasted brioche. I was very impressed and think I ended up with the better deal. The main course was a buffet of salads, tart, meats and potatoes followed by a very pretty caramel milk chocolate orange mousse.

Then who should turn up but James Martin!!! We got to meet him and get a free signed copy of his book. Here we are proudly displaying our treasures.

After lunch we were free to explore again and I came across a stand selling sweet pizzas. The one in the picture is chocolate, marshmallows and honeycomb on a biscuits base. You melt it in the oven until it goes all gooey – a novel idea but a little sickly sounding. There were also more traditional sweets such as toffees and nut brittles on offer.

There was even the 3 wheeled robin reliant that Gordon Ramsay used as a smoker in his latest F-Word series.

In the afternoon we found out Rachel Allen was signing copies of her new book ‘Bake.’ Rachel was lovely and took time to chat to people and pose for photos. I got my own signed copy and she took a blog card off me – so Rachel if you’re reading, I can’t wait to get baking from your book!

We then met up again to watch James Martin give a three course meal cookery demonstration. He was fantastic. It was not so much the food he cooked, but the way he presented it – everyone was in stitches. The demonstration was sponcered by Sainsbury’s so he was meant to be endorsing their produce. For his dessert of puff pastry and raspberry cream stack he took some pre rolled puff pastry out the fridge, he then said : “You can buy this at Sainsburys……but Asda is cheaper.” The lights went out and the big screen went black and everyone laughed. The lights came back on and James then said “and Waitrose is better.” More laughter and darkness.
He then proceeded to ‘borrow’ an old gentlemen’s walking stick to drape his signature spun sugar over, only thing is he walked off with the stick so not sure how the man got it back again. Hopefully they were just going to clean it for him as it was probably sticky. He also said that he’s fed up with people complaining that he never washes his hands when presenting Saturday Kitchen. He let us into a secret that when they bend down and wash their hands under the counter, they are only pretending, as there is nothing there and its just to stop people complaining – naughty naughty.

It was then time to head off home and I was sorry to leave. It was such a fantastic day, thanks Miele, I really enjoyed being treated like a VIP for the day and meeting so many lovely foodies. It was nice to talk to people who didn’t think I was odd for filling half my wardrobe with baking tins that didn’t fit in the kitchen cupboards.


Joanna said...

Hi Katie ... great to read your take on our fun day out .... and you're right, it's lovely to spend time with other people who have the same interests, my shoe-loving daughter would be amazed at the idea of a wardrobe full of cooking kit, but I think it's V sensible ;)


Katie said...


Thip said...

It seems like a really fun event, Katie.

Beth (jamandcream) said...

I was meant to be going but had to pull out at last minute - Im so jealous - looks like you had a fantastic day

Rosie said...

How lovely Katie to meet other bloggers and bet at "The Good Food Show" :) It seems like you had a great time :)

Rosie x

Nic said...

Wasn't that a great day out? I could have done with a few more hours there!
Love your photos, especially the way you've put them together.
And Rachel has even drawn a little cake in your book, that's so cool!!

Gigi said...

I am so jealous of your fantastic foodie adventure. What a great way to spend the day. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful write up. I enjoyed my day there too and reading your blog took me right back (amazing how quickly you forget the aching feet)! I think there were more free tasters this year which made it extra special.

Sam said...

Hi Katie, it was nice to meet you on Thursday, it was a fun day!
This is a great account, I love your photos!

Anne said...

Lovely write up! I must have missed the raspberry vodka chocolate, sounds good!

Was good to meet you x

Irene said...

Wow, it sounds like a fantastic day, I am so jealous! The pear on brioche looked yummy. So very cool!

Elle said...

*Sigh* Wish I could have been there...sounds like a lovely day. It's true, many people do not understand food blogger obsessions...I get strange looks all the time when I enthuse about what I am baking or cooking, especially the two weeks of feeding the sourdough starter. Glad you had such a nice time and got to check out such great items. Want to see some posts out of the books, too.