So last week I went to the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2015 at the NEC. It feels kinda strange saying that because it doesn’t feel all that long ago that I went to the winter 2014 BBC Good Food Show. But I guess that shows just how quickly this year seems to be going.
Having been to the BBC Good Food Show many times before, I’d decided to book the Friday off work and head down then, because weekends are kinda crazy. I’d met up with a fellow blogger, Roz, and we’d planned to try and walk down the rows to see as many of the stalls as we could. The great thing about the show is discovering new producers and products and chatting with ones I’ve met before – or spoken to online.
There’s always lots of stallholders and demos going on and this year was no different. We broke up wandering the stalls by seeing Michael Caine cook up a couple of lovely salmon dishes at the Stoves kitchen, plus seeing some familiar faces demo at the Bullring Markets kitchen. It’s hardly a surprise that I like it when there’s some local flavour in the mix, but I think it was an excellent idea to have local chefs cooking at the show, as well as celebrity chefs – it feels like it grounds the show in its very foodie location as opposed to an anonymous hall anywhere in the country.
As part of the Good Food Show bloggers group we’d been sent a few things ahead of time, but with the house move I hadn’t have a chance to try much of them. One of the stallholders, Bluebird Tea Co, had sent us three types of tea to taste and whilst I hadn’t had a chance to try them, I was really impressed with their ethos – and another customer raved about their Hot Cross Bun tea (limited edition) that I just had to pick some up along with some Nearly Nirvana (white tea with spearmint and jasmine and it’s bloody delicious)!
Now that I’m in the new flat, cooking is something I’m hoping to start doing more of, so meeting the team behind Mellow Yellow rapeseed oil was great as I’ve been hearing more and more about the benefits of rapeseed oil. We also met the face (literally, you could hold the packet up and be like “OMG it’s you”) of Gregor’s Original Umami Dressing & Marinade, who told us the origin of the product. I’m looking forward to giving this a try on some chicken soon.
Despite being there for the food, I really wanted to see some of the gardens, the one designed by Solihull Council in particular. I’d seen a few photos but in real life it was even more impressive. They’d themed the garden on a house, but rather than being all conceptual and flower-less (which I hear is some times the case at flower shows), it was packed full of flowers and plants and a lot of fun. The team behind it were great to speak to and it was lovely to hear that a lot of local Solihull schools had gotten involved in the garden and designed bits themselves. There were a lot of people flocking around the garden, undoubtedly because of its playfulness, and I hope the whole team heard how many positive comments were being said about it by people walking round.
Weirdly, considering it was a food show there felt like there weren’t that many places to stop and have lunch. We’d seen a massive queue for a hog roast, but someone had tipped up off about there being burgers and I think everyone knows by now my feelings on burgers. So lunch was a BBQ cheeseburger from the Naked Sausage stall, which was made by slicing the patty in half and cooking the cheese in the middle. I’ve seen this done before but it’s certainly a bit unusual, but meant that the cheese was properly melted. The burger itself was pretty hefty and had we not been walking for several hours I’m not sure I’d have finished it!
By the end of the day (it was actually about 2pm, but I was shattered) it was time to call it and go home for a nice mug of tea. I’d met a lot of wonderful stallholders (shout outs to Black Liquorice Company and Firefly’s Barbecue who were also great but my photos less so), picked up some great things to take home and keep me busy until the winter show in November!
Disclosure: For some reason the nice people at the BBC Good Food Show let me be on their blogging team and so give me a free pass to the show (which is a great excuse to take the day off work and go). I don’t even have to be nice about anyone for it either!