A Mecca for all those who love their grub, the BBC Good Food Show is well worth a visit.
This year’s summer event was held at the NEC in Birmingham, where thousands of people flocked to catch a glimpse of a few celebrity chefs as well as to sample some of the country’s best food and drink.
I visited the NEC on Saturday to spend the day enjoying the sights and smells of the Good Food Show, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The stalls, each run by food and drink producers from across Britain, stretched further than the eye could see and I felt a definite sense of not knowing where to start.
Just a few of the companies represented included Truckle Cheese from Cambridgeshire, with its gorgeous Cheddars and Chutneys, the Snowdonia Cheese Company and many Northamptonshire firms such as Warner Edwards gin distillery from Harrington, The Pickled Village preserves makers from Bulwick, near Corby, the Moulton-based Panjaban curry sauce company and Farrington Oils from Hargrave.
I spent the day tasting more cheese than I dare to remember, but one of my favourite purchases was a box of cupcakes from the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne company Lottie McPhee’s. Some may say the fashion for little cakes is dying out, but I don’t think anyone would turn down one of these creations, which included Victoria cupcakes topped with buttercream icing and jam, we well as what looked like a mini Jammy Dodger biscuit.
Walking the length of the NEC arena is hard on the feet and I took some time out by going to the site’s Supertheatre to watch a Masterchef cook-off, judged by the programme’s stars John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
The cook-off was between last year’s joint Masterchef winners Anton Piotrowski and Keri Moss. In the end, Anton won with his pork crackling covered fish dish; a meal which looked very like a Jackson Pollock painting (no pun intended) and too good to eat.
I was pleased to see that Gregg and John are as quick-witted and sharp on a live stage as they are on the recorded TV programme and the cook-off had me on the edge of my seat in eagerness to see who had won.
Anyone who considers themselves a foodie, or even those who just appreciate nice food and drink, should be guaranteed a good day out by visiting the next BBC Good Food Show.
The next shows will take place at the SECC in Scotland between October 18 and 20, at London Olympia between November 15 and 17 and at the NEC Birmingham from November 27 until December 1. For more details, see www.bbcgoodfoodshow.co.uk.