On the weekend of the 12th of May the Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest food festival, came to Bristol. I went along with a close friend of mine – Evie Drakett. Sadly (for me) Charlotte was away on her trip in the British Virgin Islands she couldn’t join us. The weekend festival was jam packed full of fun things; top chefs (like Dean Edwards and Richard Bainbridge) cooking up their signature recipes, afternoon tea, wine tasting, live music, chilli eating competitions, an artisan market, street food, yoga classes to name a few! Here’s a snippet of a few of the things we experienced on Saturday at the festival..
Billy & Jacks’s Scallops with pea puree, crispy chicken and pea shoots
We were lucky enough to grab tickets to see Jack Layer and Billy Write – MasterChef finalists from 2016 cooking up a storm in the chefs theatre. The comical pair talked us through making a delicious dish – scallops with pea puree, crispy chicken and pea shoots – ‘Our food isn’t particularly good for you. But spiritually and for the mind it’s great!’ they laughed while pouring a whole tub of full fat cream into the pan of fried bacon. I noted some top tips form the pair – apparently: 1. Maldon smoked sea salt is incredible 2. You should use odd numbers of pieces of food when plating up, so that the dish doesn’t look too symmetrical and planned. 3. Less is more! The duo are quitting their day jobs and run their own supper clubs at London Cooking Project as well as catering for private dining events: an inspiration to us all! Check out their instagram @billy_and_jack for some tasty plates.
Great British Bake Off Winner Candice Brown
As we’d guessed, Candice Brown’s baking bread making session was so packed we couldn’t get seats, but fortunately we managed to get a good view form the edge of the audience. Candice won GBBO in 2016 and since then has been busy creating her own cookbook – Comfort – which comes out in July. I was over the moon when Candice announced that she’d be showing us how to make bacon, onion and cheddar soda bread – simply yum!
Candice’s recipe is as follows:
150g streaky dry cured smoky bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
200g strong cheddar cheese, grated
50g pine nuts
1tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt and pepper
300g plain flour
150g strong bread flour
320ml whole milk
30ml lemon juice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.
- Fry the bacon, red onion and thyme. Once the onions have softened and browned slightly turn them out onto a kitchen towel and leave to cool.
- Toast the pine nuts until golden and then set aside to cool.
- Combine the whole milk and lemon juice and set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl combine both of the flours, salt, pepper, paprika and bicarbonate of soda and mix together.
- Add in the cubes of butter and rub with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add in the bacon and onion mix with the pine nits and ¼ of the grated cheese and mix with a blunt knife (but don’t over mix!).
- Make a well in the flour mix and add almost all of the buttermilk (milk and lemon = buttermilk!). The mix should be quite wet, sticky and rough. Bring it all together using your hands.
- Take half of the mixture, turn it into a round and place it on a greased baking tray, flatten it slightly, score a large deep cross into the top of the bread mix, dust with flour then top with the remaining cheese. Do the same with the other half.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30mins (for smaller rounds), for one large round cook for 30-40mins.
- You can test to see if it is cooked by tapping the bottom of the loaf to see if it sounds hollow – hollow means cooked!
We got to try the finished product – it was super yum! Towards the end of the session she was joined on stage by her lovely pug Dennis – so sweet! Candice’s top tip: ‘Just try it and if it goes wrong just present it as a deconstructed pudding, people love that’.
Bristol City Yoga
Our last stop was a Restorative Yoga Class with Bristol City Yoga. Restorative yoga usually involves five or six key poses often supported by props, allowing you to fully rest. The class was held in a tent and was super relaxing, even amongst the buzz of the festival!