Spent most of bank holiday Sunday at the Foodies Festival in Hampton Court. They are set up at different locations throughout the year. There is going to be one in Edinburgh for example during the Edinburgh Festival in August. Foodies focuses on seasonal food and drink, specialty and local produce and local restaurant talent.
The weather was good, always a real bonus at this type of event. The show itself is not as big or as well attended as Taste, but I have to admit I prefer this one. Very few queues, space to see what you want to see, easy access to tables and chairs.
We attended several sessions at the Chefs Theatre, including the one from Gary Lee of The Ivy, who made a real point of stating that he was not a celebrity chef. The highlight here though, had to be Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi of Caffe Caldesi. Katie had been on Saturday Kitchen the previous day and there was some hilarity as she compared cooking with James Martin to cooking with her husband. The BBC missed a trick not having them both on together. They are a great double act.
There were unfortunately not too many top restaurant stands. Benares was the most high profile one. However there were some very good small stands. They included Lauden, one of my favorite chocolatiers, Doughmasters who made lovely club sandwiches using bread that was baked while you wait (not something you see often) and a stand selling Whoopie Pies – the trend following on from Cup Cakes, I had a maple syrup one, delicious.
On the drinks front, Joe Wadsack at the Cordorniu wine presentation was very good. He is a real raconteur. The El Dorado Rum tasting was fun and the champagne supplied by Eminent Wines (pictured), much to my surprise, really cut through a spicy Jamaican Pattie I had just eaten. So yes maybe good Champagne does go with everything.
Will definitely try and do this event again next year.