Renna's Discoveries: November 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Foodie Festival

This weekends discovery was The Foodie Festival which took place at The Old Truemans Brewery at the top of Brick Lane, and next to Old Spitalfields Market.
This area is foodie has everything you could possibly imagine. Market stalls full of food from all over the world. The smell was incredible, as you literally didn't know where to turn, or where it was coming from.
The Foodie Festival itself was inside part of the Brewery. It was a very white building on the inside and had that cold feeling about it. Very stark, and obviously a completely blank canvass for any event.
The acoustics of the building made everything very loud, so, I wouldn't say this is the perfect venue for this kind of event.
We did, however, meet some lovely people and sampled some of their amazing goods.

Wonjo juice really was delicious. All naturally made with Hibiscus. They have 5 different flavours to include : Original, Fresh Root Ginger, Moroccan Mint, Warming Spices and Essex Apples. 
This can be drank on it's own, or if you prefer, you can always add a dash of vodka or rum to it.
We met Mr Blackman at the Summer a Foodie Festival, and purchased some of his honey then. It is so fresh and of course 100% natural. He actually has his own Bee Farm which he attends to. Bee keeping was a hobby of his, and then soon started producing honey to help save the bees. He looks after them well and has become a very successful Bee Keeper. His products include honey jams, honey chutneys, honey marmalades and of course fresh natural honey in different forms. He's an amazing guy and I am so happy to share his wonderful honey with you. 
There was a lot of chilli pastes and dips at the Foodie Festival, but this was my favourite. Purely because you can actually taste it and not have your head blown off with the hotness of the chilli. 
Winnies Original Sweet Chilli Apple Sauce was gorgeous, put with cheese and it is a perfect accompaniment. 
They also had a very luxurious Strawberry Velvet Jam, which as the name suggests, it really is velvet to the palette. 

Mulino Vardzini Cookies always remind me of past holidays in Cyprus. They are Italian based filled cookies and are seen in most bakeries around the Mediterranean. They have traditional fruit filled cookies, like the Honey Apple below and also strawberry, cherries and fig fillings. They also produce fantastic chocolate versions, filled with nutty chocolate. Great for any chocolate lover. 
These are holidays in a cookie. A definite must buy when you can get the chance.  

We were lucky enough to catch the Corinthia's Executive Chef Garry Hollihead do a cookery demonstration. I always find watching professional chefs cooking so exciting.

He showed us how to do Roast Fillet of Hake with mussels, potatoes and leeks and a delica squash purée. Chef Hollihead made it all look incredibly easy. So, we are going to try to replicate it one day at home. As we also received the recipe card with all the instructions on. Added Bonus ! 
As you can see the finished result looks amazing. 
I have actually dined at The Northall Restaurant before and know that his food really does taste devine. Well worth the visit. 

I was a bit dissapointed that I didn't get to see Adam Handling do his cooking demonstration, however I did see him at his stall, and debated asking him to sign his book. But decided against making a prat out of myself  as I did with Ping Coombes. I'll have to meet him another time. 
I would definitely recommend attending The Foodie Festival, and I can't wait until the summer ones next year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Taste of London

Last weekend, myself and the Hubs went to The Taste of London festival at London's amazing Tobacco Dock. The venue is incredible with loads of areas, that makes you feel like you're in a maze, it just keeps going..... There were so many vendors selling their home-made goods and restaurant chefs showing off their skills, and helping people to cook simple yet amazing dishes.

As we love food, it was great fun sampling different products. We had cheese, ham, breads, marinades, tea, cordials and chocolate. We had a few favourite discoveries.

Edwards Cordials can be mixed with still or sparkling water, and when tasting it with sparkling, it certainly did remind me of the popular fruity sparkling drinks that's sold everywhere. This can also be mixed with alcohol if you like it that way. This is the Healthy cordial and very delicious. It comes in many flavours including strawberry & mint, rhubarb & lavender and raspberry & ginger.
How beautiful are these meringues, home made by the Meringue Girls. Too good to eat ! But make for a stunning display. Meringue Girls 
Kirsty's Home made Scotch Eggs - with special Soft Centers - absolutely perfectly done. She has so many flavours, so there is something for everyone. Kirsty's Facebook Page
The Shake Shack - which is based in Covent Garden Market Building.These burgers are some of the best I have ever tasted. They are based on Roadside Burgers sold in Manhattan USA, where they originate from. They are full of flavour, succulent and amazing. The best part is the fact that it is all fresh. It doesn't taste or look like your standard processed burger. The 'Shroom Burger' had whole Portobello mushroom slices in it with melted cheese in the middle !!! It is definitely worth a visit. 

Cranes of Cambridge has produced a unique new alcoholic drink using crushed cranberries.
Genius idea. Low calorie and full of flavour. They currently have three flavours including: Original Cranberry, Raspberry & Pomegranate and Strawberry & Kiwi.
Belazu has been going for over 20 years, and it still produces the most amazing pastes, which can be used as marinades, stir through sauces, dips, or anything really. This is a very versatile product, and really tasty. Belazu can be found in your local Waitrose supermarket. Belazu Website
Mortimers Cider is a really fresh tasting cider which is full of flavour. They were also serving Henry Westons Mulled Cider, which was perfect on a chilly morning. It certainly warmed me up! I really wanted one of their cider cups, but they weren't selling them. I may have to ask again, so I can use it for their mulled cider at home.
I love watching MasterChef ! So to see Ping Combes showing us how easy it was to make a Beef Rengang was very inspiring. She is a wonderful chef, and proved herself so by winning Masterchef 2014. She makes everything look so easy, and she is incredibly calm when cooking.
She is currently representing Malaysia Kitchen, and has been doing demonstrations at different foodie events all year. I have to admit, I did get a little starstruck when meeting her, and possibly embarrassed myself a little, but hey....who cares......she's brilliant!
See her website Pings Pantry for recipes and what she's been up to since winning MasterChef.

Near the end of our day at Taste, we managed to squeeze in a cooking demonstration by the one and only Theo Randall. He made a mouth-watering steak with deep fried artichokes.
Chef Randall is the Head Chef and owner of his own restaurant in the Intercontinental London Hotel.
One day when I am lucky enough, I will dine in his restaurant, and tell you all about it!
We had a great time at Taste of London and I can not wait until the next one in the summer.