Love Cooking Festival (love James Martin more! :o)

I shall forever smile when I recall this evening it was utterly bonkers and one of the funniest shows I have ever seen including Fringe Festival ones! This was my first freebie since starting my blog a few weeks ago and I’d be fibbing if I said I didn’t feel somewhat smug and a little important to be included along with other (much better) and long standing Edinburgh food bloggers.

BBC Good Food Show Birmingham Nov 09

I’ve always loved going to food events and do a little bit of ‘moonlighting’ when I can at The Royal Highland & The BBC Good Food Shows for friends from The Orkney Food Group (selling Orkney Crab, glamorous eh?! Not only is it great fun but I often get to see/meet some of my favourite celebrity chefs and indulge in my hobbies of eating and drinking! What, I’ve not really been a fan of is watching chefs on TV, especially at the weekend, although I suspect that has more to do with the nights before and my strange aberration of watching any kind of daytime television than anything else!

Love Cooking Festival is an all day event featuring a number of different shows/demonstrations from well known Chefs which is touring UK cities up until December. I was kindly given tickets for the evening shows, Ainsley Harriott up first followed by James Martin, Oz Clarke and Tom Kitchin all together (Brucie Bonus! :o) and presented by Olly Smith.

James Martin & presenter Olly Smith share some banter

Stupidly not realising I actually had 2 tickets for each show (sorry friends who had wanted to come along!) I wandered along to The Edinburgh Playhouse after work for the first show, Ainsley Harriott. The set was very good, not only did it have the expected kitchen layout but there was a sofa/lounge area to one side and a ‘dining room’ to the other and oversized shelves bulged with cooking paraphernalia, it made me feel a bit like the sorcerer’s apprentice!

Ainsley himself was, as usual, very flamboyant and theatrical, a lot of waffling (mainly to himself as he cooked) and the campest bordering on spooked/asthmatic laugh ever! He was really personable and it was charming to hear him talking about his late mother Peppy and his Aunty Cherry and Uncle Tim amongst others. He really packed it in and in an hour managed to cooked Chilli & Cornmeal Muffins, Salt fish & Ackee, Jerk Chicken, a delicious looking Slaw and caramelised fruits in rum and managed a bit of limbo dancing too! (several of these recipes I think I’ll be trying at home as thankfully we were furnished with complimentary show cook books too!).

Oz Clarke talks Bordeaux with James Martin

There was no question that for me the main attraction was the last show featuring the handsome James Martin, the waspish Oz Clarke and our very own local Michelin starred chef-ing ‘hero’ Tom Kitchin. And boy, as Greg Wallace and John Torode would say, did it deliver! From start to finish it was hilarious! The camera man was in danger of stealing the show from the beginning with his ‘stunts’ it has to be said, James Martin was exuberant, cheeky and in all likeliness, a little ‘merry’ (that laugh was also pretty hilarious in itself) Oz, was simply Oz! (& we love him for it!) and Tom who for me was a bit of an unknown quantity gelled in really well!

On the menu was an Arbroath Smokie Pate with beetroot, Bordeaux wines, Grouse with Girolles & Bread Sauce and a Soufflé and caremalised bananas and a demo on Spinning sugar! (around a walking stick, I kid you not!) It was an absolute treat, the audience involvement was good and although I wasn’t lucky enough to get a Kin knife, I had a super time, spellbinding till the end!

Tom Kitchin, local chef-ing hero & voted Best UK Restaurant just the very next night!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect to when I said yes to the tickets to be honest but what I got was outstanding entertainment, along with a few tips and recipe ideas! The only thing that I felt let it down slightly was the venue, although The Playhouse is great for Theatre I’m wondering if the EICC or somewhere with bigger break out rooms for the sponsors stalls and bookshop and book signings would work better. It would have been great if it had been at the weekend as well as audience levels for the daytime/earlier shows would perhaps have reflected. I highly recommend making it to one of the remaining shows if you get the chance and hope to to be going back again next year, hint hint…. ;o)

My photos from the night are limited so have added in a couple of my favourites from last November’s Good Food Show in Birmingham’s NEC

BBC Good Food Show, Birmingham, Nov 09

Top Tips from the show:

Ainsley – Rub oil on your hands before cutting Chilli, it prevents the heat penetrating your pores and washes right off, ensuring no nasty accidents with sensitive areas! (I’m a little unsure of whether a slippery hand and a sharp knife may be the best combination but not everyone is as accident prone as myself!)

James Martin – If you pop a Lemon in a microwave for 8 seconds you’ll get more juice.

James Martin on Kin Knives (sponsor of the show) ‘Kin Sharp & ‘Kin Expensive! made me smile!

Love Cooking

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2 Responses to “Love Cooking Festival (love James Martin more! :o)”

  1. October 19, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Sounds a hoot! Must go next year. I gave away my freebies as was busy that night. Impressed but not suprised that you’re getting freebies already!

    • October 20, 2010 at 9:25 am #

      It’s all good with me, I figure as long as I state anything that is a freebie and still rate it honestly I’ll be fine! (it can be an expensive business eating out all the time! :o)

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