Ludlow Food Festival 2014

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Ludlow Food Festival was on over the weekend of Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September in the beautiful market town in Shropshire.  Along with two very lovely foodie friends, Carmela and Julie, who I met up there on Saturday 13th September, we enjoyed our first visit to the Festival.

Starting off our day with a bread making demonstration from Rob Swift, a fifth generation baker of the Swift Bakery dynasty, we sat both entertained and educated by his talent and skills as he showed us how to make a brioche, poached pear, strawberry and chantilly cream stack.  We were also treated to a demonstration of how to make aratha buns (a sweet, steamed Asian bun) that we would have the pleasure of enjoying later in the day as we ate our way around the festival. I reviewed Rob’s book, Born to Bake, in a previous post.

A quick, flying visit to Momo No Ki to sample one of their delicious Ssam’s Bun, made using Rob’s aratha buns, which is filled with pulled pork, sour cherry hoisin sauce, pickled cucumber and spring onions and we were back at the stage for our next demonstration.

Marcus Bean was next up, where he created a chicken, basil pesto and courgette risotto recipe from his new book that has just been published, simply called ‘Chicken’.  More on this book on a future post though as I treated myself to a copy.  Marcus is the chef face of ITV’s This Morning programme and is a talented, self taught, chef who won the Iron Chef competition a few years back.  Along with his wife, they own the Brompton Cookery School in Shrewsbury.  The Brompton also had a pop up cookery school at the show, where visitors could enjoy a free cookery class.

A quick change of seats where we managed to get on the front row, we were then treated to a demonstration by Chris Burt, Executive Chef of both The Peach Tree and Momo No Ki (which translated means the peach tree) in Shrewsbury.  Chris was joined on stage by Sam Gray owner of Middlefarm, author of Doing it in Wellies and host of BBC’s from Plot to Pot.  Chris created a recipe of a pork ‘Wellington’ using Sam’s British Lop pork for the pastry filling.  This was served with a beautifully presented garden of baby vegetables.  It was an event of new books, as Chris also has a book recently released, entitled Momo No Ki, after his Asian inspired restaurant.

Leaving the stage, we toured the show, visiting, sampling and purchasing foods from the amazing producers who we’re exhibiting their wares, from cheeses and ciders to cakes and sweets. We visited favourite spun iron cookware specialists The Netherton Foundry‘s incredibly busy stand where they had a fabulous display of their pots, pans, woks, slow cookers and tagines.

We spotted this little fella munching on a punnet of strawberries; how cute is this?

We chatted, ate, drank, and had the odd hug and kiss from Rob, Marcus and Chris along the way. Returning three times to Momo No Ki we tried every item on their menu, including the Notorious PIG; crispy pork dumplings in Korean BBQ sauce which are delicious!

A quick tour around the outside of the Festival at the markets, boutiques and artisan shops in the town and we were back on the road and headed for home with a long 2 1/4 hour journey ahead of us.  If you get the chance to visit the Ludlow Food Festival, I can thoroughly recommend it.  See you next year!

BBC Good Food Show Bloggers at the Brompton Cookery School

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As one of the BBC Good Food Show Midland Bloggers, I was invited to join the rest of the team up at the Brompton Cookery School near Shrewsbury for a day of chatting, baking, tastings and inside information on the show.

Upon arrival at this beautiful cookery school in the middle of National Trust land in Shropshire, we were treated to rich coffees and wonderful muffins from resident chef and owner Marcus Bean.

After an introduction from Katy and Flo representing the BBC Good Food Show, we were introduced to Marcus and also to Robert Swift from Richard C Swift Ltd (a fifth generation bread baker with a passion for the dough that would be hard to top).

We were given an overview and lots of inside information on the show that I know you’re going to love when you attend next month!

We were given a tour round Marcus’ gorgeous and very well stocked cottage garden from where we foraged pine cones, herbs, wild garlic and flowers to include in the breads that Rob was going to get us to make when we returned indoors.

While Rob worked his magic with the dough that he’d been up from very early that morning preparing for the shop and the Ludlow Festival, Marcus set to work creating a wonderful wild garlic pastry to encase a fresh quiche using locally produced ingredients that we were later to enjoy for lunch as well as an amazing marmalade ham that he was making; the smells from the kitchen were amazing & made us all very hungry!

The history of Swift’s bakery and Rob’s amazing bread recipes were included in a copy of his book, Born & Bread, which we all received.  I’d thoroughly recommend Rob’s book for anyone interested in making bread themselves at home.

Rob taught us to flavour and shape breads that we brought home with us to enjoy.   I filled mine with a delicious combination of locally produced cheese, red onion and sweet chilli sauce.

While our breads were cooling we were treated to a fabulous lunchtime spread of Marcus’ quiche and ham, Rob’s British tomatoes and a selection of some of the amazing food producers who will be exhibiting at the show from fruit teas, to chutneys, sauces, cheeses, pâté, chocolate and meringues.  For dessert Marcus created the most amazingly light and creamy chocolate mousse with a delicious honeycomb topping created by a new to the UK imported chocolate from Vietnam.

As it was Marcus’ birthday on 9th May, we baked cakes to take with us which were judged by the birthday boy himself.  I’m very proud to say that the carrot and lime cake with a mascarpone & orange zest frosting won!!!! I’m now a very proud baker indeed.

We were given fantastic goodie bags to take home packed with some incredible ingredients, all of whom will be exhibiting at the show next month.

As part of the BBC Good Food Show blogging community, I’m offering my readers a discount of 15% on ticket prices. If you want to grab yourself the discount, then click on the image below to take you to the BBC Good Food Show website and enter the discount code of FYC20 at checkout.