The BBC Good Food Show has blown me away. With hundreds of exhibitors, ranging from organic ice cream and high-quality meat to egg poaching pouches and automatic rubbish bins, it’s more than a show – it’s an experience.
Look out tomorrow for a post on ALL THE DELICIOUS THINGS I BOUGHT and where you can buy them. In the mean time, read about the things you might not expect to find at a food show, or scroll down to explore the show for yourself through my photos.
The Quirky Invention of the Day
Well, to be honest, I thought the automatic dustbins has won this one. The bins have a sensor so when you approach them, they flip back their lids as if screaming “Oh feed me the trash, Master, FEED ME!” All sounds great, unless the contents of the bin are very smelly and every time you walk past, they throw open their mouths and waft foul fumes at you. Plus I think they’d give me a heart attack if I went to get a glass of water in the middle of the night.
No, quirky invention of the show goes to the automatic stirrer (watch the video for its amazing talents). I had to blink twice to remind myself “You are no longer living in Japan.”
The Impressive Moment of the Day: Supertheatre – The Roux Scholarship
The Roux Scholarship is a massive cookery competition in the UK where young chefs, aged 22 – 30, compete to impress the judges, who mainly consist of the Roux family, a Michelin-star, gastronomic dynasty.
We settled into our seats to watch youngest member of the dynasty, Michel Roux Jr., joyfully introduce the 2012 Roux Scholar, a quiet and unassuming Adam Smith. A bit of Internet research told me that he’s only 24 and has a young family, which make his accomplishments even more impressive.
Today he re-created the dish he made to win the competition, Turbotin Jubilee – a whole turbot, coated in lobster mousse and smothered in a champagne sauce. Talk about decadent.
His creation today wasn’t actually a whole turbot due to time constraints (and possibly the cost of providing a giant just for demonstration purposes) but he diligently prepared this extravagant dish, with sliced scallops and a Santa’s hat of caviare, served with an artichoke, topped with asparagus. Wow.
The Interesting Fact of the Day
We happened upon Emma Russell, 7th best cook in Masterchef 2012, giving a demonstration in the “Masterchef pod”. We learned that one does not just melt chocolate; one must temper it. This process involved heating the chocolate up to 45°C, lowering it to 27°C, and then bringing it up to 31°C to ensure the chocolate is creamy and smooth. Impressive, but far too dedicated for any attempts to try this at home (a student budget doesn’t allow luxuries such as a cooking thermometer).
The “Can’t-Believe-It” Moment of the Day: The Restaurant Experience
First, the price/quality/size ratio was a bit of a joke. Secondly, there was ONLY ONE VEGETARIAN DISH. Which made life difficult as I’d purchased in advance £18 worth of dining currency (DC) for my VEGETARIAN boyfriend.
As a result, we ended up ordering at Chutney Mary. Calle wasn’t impressed with this complicated yet uninspiring dish worth £5, which he was unable to identify. Even in it’s description, it maintained its mysteriousness: “Tokri Chaat -Delicate potato lace basket filled with street food goodies”.
I ordered “Almond Encrusted Masala Grilled Lamb Chop with Spiced Turnip Mash”, which whilst small for £6, did indeed have some flavour. If it hadn’t have been a lukewarm product of mass-catering (ie. lack of quality/care), I believe that the flavour combinations could be quite delicious.
I then paid a visit to The Bowler, and ordered “Smokin’ Beef & Bacon – Beef chuck, smoked bacon & cheddar balls, red onion & tomato sauce, cumin soured cream” and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and the tastiness of the coleslaw.
Overall though, it was very fortunate customers that were able to swap their plastic chips back for real money. Or I would have had to make a fuss. Grr.