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BBC Good Food Show Empty BBC Good Food Show

Post by Adam D on Fri 21 Oct 2011, 7:30 pm

I love food.

Anyone who has met me will attest to my waistline being a clear indicator of how much I do love it.

I also like my cooking programmes on the TV, with Masterchef and Hells Kitchen USA being two of my personal faves. As you may or may not know, the BBC tour the country with a Good Food Show and this weekend it was Glasgows turn.

So as it was family day (kids got in for free), I decided to take along the family for the day. And I took my notebook (the paper kind not the electrical variety) to take some notes of the shows and tastings on offer. Below is a review of sorts, from the stands on show, as well as the theatre shows.

But before I get onto those, I think its only fair to say, that I thoroughly enjoyed the day. The SECC was buzzing with people and the whole event was very well organised. There was plenty to do for both adults and children alike. In fact my children had a blast - a special mention to the Directorate General for Health & Consumers of the European Commission people, who had an amazing stand right in the centre of the arena for children to learn about vets, food, animals and there well being. My little girl also got to do a bit of cooking in a live demo - made her day (and the fact that she got to keep the chefs hat). If you take your children you should really check it out. And the people running the section were all incredibly friendly too.

Talking of which, if you want to go along - here are the details - http://glasgow.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/ - you will also find details of other venues over the coing weeks - great value in my opinion.

So back to the food and show - firstly, I will tackle the shows that I managed to catch. Firstly, I got to see Tim Anderson do a mini tasting of his dish from the series where he won Masterchef - a 3 tiered burger. In this instance it was two tiered and about the diameter of a 10 pence piece - still very tasty though! It was hosted by the winemakers Hardy's who had on offer quite a lot of wine to accompany the meal. Although they were recommending the red during this session, I managed to bag a couple of glasses of Riesling which was actually very good (who knew that 1. Australians made Riesling and 2. that Riesling is actually quite nice!).

Tim talked took a few questions - most of which were met with a very dry wit and sarcasm (note to people at Q&A's - it s not obligatory to ask questions. Please ask sensible things!) - it looks like Tim is setting up a restaurant next year and is a chef mercenary at the moment. If anyone wants to contribute to the 606v2 Xmas party fund and hire him for the catering let me know).

The other show I caught was a stage show featuring Simon Rimmer of Something for the Weekend fame. Really entertaining session where he cooked 3 dishes in about 40 minutes. And he managed to mess up two thirds of them. In the words of Meatloaf, two out of three aint bad, Simon.

So what happened. Well the first dish was a marinated whole fillet of beef. Something Simon pointed out as being brilliant quality (and therefore not cheap). After searing it, he put it into a zip lock bag ready to marinade. Upon lifting it, the bottom of the bag gave way, dropping the beef to the stage floor. You dont get that at Nobu Simon (or maybe you do!).

Second course was pan seared seabass - Simon forgot to turn on the pan and wondered why the fish wasnt cooking (although I think it might have been the cookers fault in this case). The dish itself looked amazing and he handed out a great tip about cooking meat/ fish. Never take meat out of the fridge and throw it into the pan straight away. It should always come up to room temperature first. He likened it to coming in from the cold and jumping in a scolding bath - you just dont do it. You warm back up first.

Anyway, the third course was a Baked Alaska which went great and looked extremely tasty. All in all, I picked up a few new tips and could have eaten the lot on show.

I am going back on Sunday to the event so hopefully will get some other shows to review then.

So back to the exhibition stands. And here I would really love to say that it was a mixed bag but it wasnt. Without exception, every sample was divine - obviouls y some were better than others, but on the whole, I could have quite happily parked myself down at any of the stands I visited and pigged out. One thing to mention though, was that I was amazed how many different liqueur makers had a toffee vodka for sale!

So here is a quick run down of the ones I did visit and made notes for. Apologies for any misrepresentation of costs/ alcohol content - I made notes but I am not infallible! The reviews are in no order but merely the order I visited them in.

Strathaven Ales - Makers of local beers to the Scotland Area. Only been going for 6 years and they have some really nice tasting beers. First sample was the Duchess Anne golden Ale. Really crisp and fresh taste, and for my money, better than other local alternatives such as Arran Ale.

They also had one called Ginger Jack which was a Ginger Beer Ale - unusal taste and totally different to the offerings from Crabbies et al. Really light taste which tasted more of beer than ginger.

East Lothian Food and Drink Company - Quick stop here to try their Raspberry vodka (22%) - absolutely amazing taste. More like fruit cordial than a alcoholic spirit. Can't imagine the oil rig workers in Aberdeen drinking this one, but I am sure it would be nice in a tall glass.

Thistly Cross Cider - Loved this stall and will be making a beeline again on Sunday for it. Hopefully they will read this review and put out the red carpet for me! A cider maker near Dunbar (nr Edinburgh) who are making some excellent ciders, both flat and sparkling (although I only tried the flat ones). They had 6 on display (with a under the counter 7th that they gave me), all of which I tried bar the low alcohol version - tells you a lot about me.

So here are my take on them:

Eldeflower Cider - tastes exactly how you would imagine it to taste! Very sweet but I could imagine on a hot summers day, this would be really refreshing. Obviously, I live in Scotland, so those hot summer days are few and between. (4.4% if anyone is interested)

Ginger Cider (4%) - Not sure why ginger is this seasons flavour of choice but it went well with the cider taste. A warm burn at the back of the throat made it a good alternative for the winter.

Strawberry Cider - (4%) - this was the only one not really to my taste. Far too sweet and it tasted like a straberry coulis.

Whisky Cider (4%) - really smooth cider fermented with bits of chopped up whisky barrels. Not much of a whisky taste but still very nice.

whisky Bomb cider (6.9%) (yet to be released) - Could really taste the whisky in this one! Cracking drink - apparently being released for Burns night - can understand why!

And finally, the best of the lot - Original Cider (7.2%) - the strongest of the lot but you wouldn't know it. Great taste, sweet and very smooth to drink. I will take a free case thumbsup !

Toffoc - A Welsh Brewer from Anglesey who have made a toffee vodka. Alc of 27.5% and it tastes exactly as you think it would. Like a shot of toffee sauce but with a nice little heat after taste. Once again, really smooth on the palate and would go lovely with a dessert.

Whole foods Market (Giffnock) - a supermarket chain dedicated to selling local produce and the finest items. Five open in London already and now the first in Scotland. Tried the Prosecco they had on offer (obviously not local!) which was really light and a bargain at £6. Will take a drive over there before Xmas for a few treats.

Condessa Welsh Liqueurs - another distiller from Anglesey. Some really interesting drinks on offer and not a bad one slipped down my neck. They had just one a few taste awards from the Welsh Distillers the previous night for best whisky, but I stuck to the more unusual offerings. Firstly I tried their Cream Liqueurs - both the Hazelnut one made from a vodka base and the original made from a whisky base (17%). Both cracking tastes and yet very different. You can keep your mainstream Baileys - this is the stuff for grandma this Christmas (or if you know Lorenzo Amoruso - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo_Amoruso !)

They also had a sloe gin fermented with plums - another new taste for me and it was excellent. Very rich taste that slipped down well and at £14 a bottle, a real bargain (25%). Also tried the Black Cherry liqueur which was nice too (22%) but not as good or deep as the sloe gin.

And now on to some food!

Three Counties Fine Foods - A butchers who were selling a variety of different meats and sausages. Now I like my meat. Give me a choice of meat or vegetables for the rest of my life and you may as well throw away the spud peeler right now. I can truthfully say that the cajun spiced sausages I tried, were the finest sausages I have ever tasted. And no I didnt get a bung from them - they were that good. I cant wait to go back on Sunday to stock up on these beauties - meaty, spicy, just perfect. You will have to try me with some other flavours next time guys!

If you go along and see these guys at the show, make sure you get some of these stunners.

Demijohn - Another first for me here - Rhubarb Vodka Liqueur (22.9%). This was really sweet but having just eaten the cajun sausages, it hit the spot perfectly. Really nice blend - price £4.10 per 100ml. Also tried the Lime vodka but I didnt overly enjoy this as it was very sharp after the sweet rhubarb taste.

Lymn Bank Farms - cheesemakers with some excellent varieties and unusual combos. First up was the Hot and Spicy cheese - exactly as it says, it was hot and spicy but still very creamy. Great taste, that I would imagine would go well with a good port or dessert wine (or dare I say melted on toast). Also tried the "to smoking barrels" which is blended with Marmite. An unusual taste that some will like, others wont - exactly like marmite (I liked the cheese for the record - £2.50 a block).

Next up was Cellar Trends who have imported a new fruit liqueur called Amarula - A really nice taste but once again, one for a late evening nightcap as opposed to a day time/ early evening drink. Still very nice and I can imagine that it will be very popular soon.

Final drink I had before a few big thank yous - Thunder Toffee Vodka - another toffee vodka and very different to the ones I had earlier. You could tell it was stronger (29.9%) and tasted like an alcoholic maple syrup to me. I would imagine it would taste great poured over strawberries or pancakes as a dessert. Obviously a popular concept this year at the fair and I would recommend both Thunder and Toffoc as great new drinks to try on your next night out.

Okay a few more big stands.

Firstly, the guys and gals at the Hardys stand. I know Hardys is a widely available wine, but it was good to talk to one of the head Masters of Wine at Hardys and get to try a few I might have turned my nose up at before. Phillip Goodband was good value and knew his stuff (as you would imagine) - he put me on to the Riesling which is something I might not have tried - really good taste (as was the Cab Sauv I might add).

Also the people at Crabbies were really friendly and great with my children - made them feel really part of the atmosphere of their stand (set up as a snowy bar). It was nice to get a large drink from them as well, as opposed to the small samplers!

My final shout out though was to the manager of the Burnbrae, Gerry Savage. Really nice guy who took the time to say hello and has a great stand set up. Not only did they have Belhaven best on draught, they also had Belhaven IPA (which was new to me) and had mini steak pies on the go. Taking into account the number of people passing by, the quality of the pie was very good indeed. If the food is as good as the mini pies and pint (or third of pint) then, if you are in the Glasgow area, I would recommend popping in (its in Bearsden).

So thats my Friday family review - hope you enjoyed it and I hope if you get the chance you go along. If you do, tell me what you think. For further details, visit the website - http://glasgow.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/

If you get the chance to try get some of those sausages do so, along with some of that excellent cider I mentioned about 10,000 words ago!





Adam D
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