Last weekend I was lucky enough to receive tickets to Masterchef Live at Olympia in London. To anyone who has watched Masterchef, The Great British Menu or The Great British Bake-Off, you will understand my sheer pure joy. The night before, I was too excited to sleep (which was quite significant considering I had only had around 4 hours sleep the night before), and on my way there I was too giddy with excitement on the train.
This is possibly one of the highlights of the British food calendar, and it did not disappoint. Demos from a range of Masterchef winners from recent years (Professional, Amateur and Celebrity), popular chefs such as Michel Roux Jr and of course, our two favourite TV foodies John Torrode and Gregg Wallace provided hours of entertainment, whilst an impression exhibition of food, drink and kitchen equipment and a fantastic environment were a recipe for success. Sadly I was unable to get tickets for Chefs’ Theatre, but it was really not needed for an enjoyable day.
There were quite a few highlights for me during my afternoon there (and my taste buds were exploding with joy by the end of the afternoon!) I was very happy to see Teapigs exhibiting – I first tried their Peppermint and Liquorice tea a few months ago and was hooked; definitely worth a try as an alternative to normal peppermint tea. It was also nice to see Macarons & More, the macaron company set up by Masterchef finalist Tim Kinnaird. They looked and tasted divine, obviously the creation of a true baking genius!
Obviously having a tendency for cakes and bakes, I gravitated towards Sponge, a cake company which produced good old-fashioned cakes with a range of yummy flavours such as Apple Crumble, Lemon or Bakewell. I had a slice of the Chocolate cake and was very satisfied! Next door was Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn, which had a range of exciting flavours. I tried a Caramel, Black Pepper and Chilli popcorn which was sensational; first it tasted of caramel, then the black pepper kicked in and it finished with a chilli kick – such an original idea!
Whilst wandering around, I saw many Food Lovers Approved signs and was wondering what these meant; however I turned the corner and my question was answered! Members of Food Lovers Britain adhere to the standards set out to ensure that their products include good quality and locally sourced ingredients. The association closely monitors its members, and it was very encouraging to see just how many business were members, obviously fuelling the movement of promoting British produce.
As I am an obsessive chocolate lover, I did make sure to pass by as many chocolate stands as possible, and the one which stood out for me was Seed & Bean. I tried two of their flavours, Lemon & Poppy Seed White Chocolate and Lavender Extra Dark Chocolate and both were absolutely delicious – they would undoubtedly taste very original in some baked products, therefore I will be investing in these soon.
All in all, it was a successful day, my tummy went home very happy and I definitely found a few more food businesses I will be following in the future. If anyone else went, please let me know what your highlights were!