Written by Dave Carr
The ‘Good Food Show’ at the NEC in Birmingham is the perfect place for any foodie, gadget enthusiast or borderline alcoholic. With a plethora of free samples of different spices, oils, foods, and more importantly booze. You really get a sense of uniqueness and individuality in that everyone has got something to offer.
The day started out with a good case of the hall and taking full advantage of any free sample on offer, be it Irn Bru flavoured fudge, truffle infused olive oil or even a selection of aged whiskies. There was something for everyone! I was surprised but glad to see the event cater to vegans and the non-drinkers serving non alcoholic gin and organic juices as well as our British standard of teas and coffees. I was also happy in trying these products, surprised, that these had a huge amount of flavour and taste to them, further confirming that healthy and free from products can be just as good as mainstream products and would by no means feel left out if offered out at party or bar.
The ‘cherry on the cake’ was a cooking demonstration with the infamous Nadia Hussain, Great British Bake Off winner. Which she showed the audience how to make Paneer and Spinach Kati rolls. Also, some Orange and Date crescents – more of a Christmas themed bake.
Now as much as I enjoyed the demonstration and to have the opportunity to what professionals do what they do best it was only 20 minutes which in my opinion, is not worth commuting for, I feel like events like the Big Kitchen should exploit the creativity and talent of their guests. I do however take in to consideration preparation of ingredients and that good recipes do take time, but what I also value is the lack of TV “magic” and the absence of the “here’s one I made earlier” blue peter effect as although chefs are trained in the field they are still people as well and difficult tasks, such as, making pastry or piping icing are things everyone can do if the right amount of time is taken to explain and demonstrate to the audience.
The smaller demonstrations outside of the covered most of these observations, people were allowed to try samples at the end and there was a lot more audience interaction so there is still a merit in seeing these demonstrations as they were less “stage show” and more similar to that of a master class, which I benefit from as I go to events like these to become a better cook and to learn what my favourite role models are doing so that I can attempt to replicate it.
Overall this event is full on. with constant foodie vibes, it is place to be if you’re hungry, passionate about food, love food programmes or are thinking of doing pre- drinks before a night out. At this time of year, particularly when that student loan is running out! It gives you the opportunity to purchase price reduced food or some Christmas presents for the family. As well as learn about new foodie items and products on the market and get an insight as to how much development had happened since the popularity of trends such as veganism has increased.