Foodie Festival @ Battersea Park

6 Aug

sipping a mojito to keep cool, that's the excuse anyway  Hendrick's Gin

Sour Bread Orchard Pigs Pies Scrimshaw's pies Toffoc

Well the warmest weekend of the year so far (29th-31st July) was the perfect excuse to bring people out from off their sofas watching Saturday Kitchen and into a small piece of gastronomic paradise by the river Thames in London’s Battersea Park for the Foodie Festival, one of 7 locations for the foodie festival run across the country. At £15 entrance per person it certainly wasn’t cheap, but for those of us who managed to get a deal (Groupon £15 for 2 people) and spent ALL Saturday AND all Sunday there it certainly felt like it was worth the money, especially with all the free tasters on offer! The Foodie festival had over 100 exhibitors selling a plethora of high-end local and not-so-local produce, from Jamaican rum (Koko Kanu) and zebra & kangaroo burgers (tuckers) to baked bean chocolates (The chocolatier) and game pies from Wrexham (orchard pigs). Then there were the culinary demonstrations some top chefs, some with michellin stars, unfortunately the tickets ran out for these shows pretty quickly so I missed out but did manage to catch a wine and food matching session which was great!

There were so many great stalls there I could write about them all day, but instead I’ll try and list a few highlights.

Coeur de Cognac red chillis Paella from Casa

Top 5 sweets of show

1) The Chocolatierwww.the-chocolatier.co.uk

The Chocolatier's innovative and delicious chocolates

Absolutely one of the show’s highlights was “The Chocolatier”, first and foremost there is no butter or cream so it’s lower fat than most chocolate, which made me feel all the better for scoffing my way through a bag of 7 delectable chocolates still wanting more. A relatively new outfit, The Chocolatier is a charming young londoner called Aneesh who had a scientific background as well a passion for chocolate so decided to morph them together in an East vs West fusion that includes flavours such as banana & clove, chai massala, caradom, wasabi, salted caramel and my personal favourite, chilli & lime. The Chocolatier makes all his chocolate at home at the moment, hopefully he will get enough business to move into a shop somewhere in London soon – and I’ll be there everyday!

Chilli and Lime was amazing, and baked bean was surprisingly good - try it!

2) Joe and Seph’s Gourmet Popcornwww.joeandsephs.co.uk

Gourmet Popcorn

When I stayed with a French family in a suburb just outside Grenoble (Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux) whilst taking a French language course, I asked to be put with a family who were interested in gastronomy and politics, my two passions in life. I was rewarded by being placed in a household where the father was an excellent cook. At first we struggled to communicate with my broken French however I remember clearly one day he told me about a previous American student who had stayed there. He scorned in utter contempt at the mere thought of retelling me the story of this food-hating North American fiend. She would refuse to eat any of the food that Bernard would make (which was French restaurant in UK standard) and instead insisted that he stock up on popcorn as she wouldn’t eat anything else. I can see the scowl on Bernard’s face no as he splutters the word: “pop-corn”. If there one reason for me to go back to France, then it’s to take Bernard some Joe & Seph’s gourmet popcorn – perhaps to even send the American student some too!

Goumet and popcorn are not two words I have often associated with each other but I was pleasantly surprised, I wouldn’t replace it for Bernard’s Tartiflette or Gratin Dauphinois but it certainly is a tasty snack with some very interesting flavours such as Caramel, Mirin, Soya & Sesame or Goats Cheese and Black Pepper. However my favourite had to be the Smooth Caramel, Pepper & Chilli which starts off sweet in your mouth for about 2-3 seconds, then moves to the intense taste of black pepper and just when you thought it was all over the kick of chilli!

3) The Little Round Cake Company – www.thelittleroundcakecompany.co.uk

it was almost too pretty to eat, almostGetting in on the tweeners scene

Next was The Little Round Cake Company with their sweet and moist tweeners, with a great homemade look and taste to match- the jam & cream tweener was particularly nice. Although I hadn’t actually heard the term “tweener” in regards to food before, I guess I’m not really very cutting edge!

4) Montezuma’s Chocolatewww.montezumas.co.uk

Montezuma's Chocolate

Montezuma’s chocolate was great, lots of different flavours including a British Range  which makes a good present for anyone not from UK so we discovered! Spotted Dick,  Eton Mess and Apple Crumble all high recommended. Although why it’s Venezuelan chocolate with a Mexican name I didn’t quite discover, hoping that the Chocolate it’s going to give me Montezuma’s revenge!

5) Auberge Du Chocolatwww.aubergechocolat.co.uk

Chilli chocolate

Before I lived in Mexico in 2004-05,  I don’t ever remember hearing of any of the spicy-sweet delicacies the Mexicans have on offer there, yet over the past few years I’m almost tripping over Chilli-Chocolate which seems to be everywhere, even in the major supermarkets. I’m still waiting for the day that Tesco starts selling little pinapple chunks with chilli sweets in the pick & mix section, or the Odeon leaves out Salsa Valentina for people to splash all over their salted popcorn at the cinema!  Auberge du Chocolat’s chilli chocolate disk was great though and I’d certainly buy it again.

Top 5 Best of the Rest

1) Kobe Beef Burger at Tuckers – www.tuckers-exotics.co.uk 

Tuckers Exotic Meat Shack

I must have visited Tucker’s at least 4-5 times over the 2 days and was only disappointed once (Zebra burger, dry and not particularly tasty either). Exotic meats seem to be ever-growing in popularity as we look for healthier alternatives to beef. The big menu board lists Tucker’s “big 5” with fat and calorie content inside:

  • Ostrich kcal142, fat 3 grams
  • Buffalo kcal149, fat 2.4 grams
  • Wildebeest kcal150, fat 2.6 grams
  • Springbok kcal149, fat 4.4 grams
  • Wild Boar  kcal181, fat 4.9 grams

The Ostrich burger had a mild but succulent flavour and is famed for being low in fat & choloestorol yet high in protein and iron. My favourite of the day though was the slightly more expensive Kobe Beef Burger at £7 which seemed a bargain as the quality of the beef was incredible, succulent, tender, mouth-watering – delicious! And their relish was pretty good too.

 The kobe beef burger

2) Chilli Jam from Chillyfilly – www.chillyfilly.com

  

I always feel as if a food festival is not a REAL food festival unless there is some chilli jam somewhere along the lines and Chillyfilly were happy to oblige. The hot tomato chilli jam wasn’t particularly hot, but was very tasty – apparently it lasts about a month in the fridge once opened, they’ll be lucky!

3) Gelee de Vin (wine jelly) from Made in Provence – www.madeinprovence.co.uk 

gelee de vin Made in Provence

With so many great stalls at the exhibition, it takes something a bit different or special to grab my attention at a food fair, and when I heard there was cote du rhone in the gelee de vin that was it for me! A must try and it didn’t disappoint, unfortunately I then went on to try the raspberry vinagarette which was so sharp and sour that i almost knocked me on the floor! It must be an acquired taste that I’m too much of a philistine to really appreciate, either way it didn’t take anything away from the wine jelly.

4) The King’s Ginger liquer – www.thekingsginger.com

King's Ginger 

First time I’d ever tried a ginger liqeur, very fresh, sharp but not ridiculous like the raspberry vinaigrette – a bit like crabbies alcoholic ginger beer but without the sickly sweet sugary syrup. The King’s Ginger seems to play on the Victorian British image a lot, it was apparently invented in 1903 by Berry Bros (300 yr old English wine merchants) for King Edward VII, they even had vintage girl model/journalist Fleur de Guerre promoting their drink on the stall. I was a little surprised to see  made in Holland on the bottle though!

5) St Germain Elderflower liqueur – www.stgermain.fr

A French Elderflower liqeur, St Germain market themselves as a fruity summer alternative to Pimms with more scope for mixing – I’ll be trying to find some somewhere in London for a BBQ in a couple of weeks. Not sure if anyone else knows where to get one in London?

Advertisements

One Response to “Foodie Festival @ Battersea Park”

  1. Emily 07/08/2011 at 3:30 am #

    The Foodie festival was great – tried lots of great food (and several mojitos!). All your pictures are definitely making me hungry! Loved all the different flavours from The Chocolatier – hope to try them all at some point. Looks like you can also buy the Cote du Rhone Jam online too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: