Harvest is over, but not for long!
It’s a hard thing, working really hard all year to organise something that is over quicker than you can cook a Giggly Pig sausage. You pretty much get two mouthfuls, it’s over and you want more. It’s like going to your favourite restaurant only to be kicked out mid-meal because there’s a fire in the kitchen. You get a teaser and then have to wait to go back. Mind you even though Real Food 08 is over, we are already excitedly organising Real Food 09.
We are all still trying to get through the mountains of Tyrrells crisps and Grana Padano cheese at the moment. In fact a chip war began when the Tyrrells boxes arrived; it’s a very funny thing to watch grown men fight over potato crisps. Hilarious in fact. I came back from a week away to my fridge still over brimming with delights from the four corners of the European continent. From cured Goats leg (Violino), Tom’s Westcombe Cheddar, Molasses water for my cupcakes…… the cupboard is brimming, and I smile every time I open it thinking about next year. My flatmates were like kids in a candy shop when I came home.
To all our ‘Real Food’ chefs, like Raymond Blanc, Jun Tanaka, Ashley Palmer-Watts for showing us how to cook using the best seasonal, local ingredients possible and Valentina for whipping their butts if they were late. Anthony at Big Barn, thanks for entertaining us with your crazy produce hats and the other Antony (Worrall –Thompson) for making a fool out of himself dressed as a priest all in the name of saving the cauliflower. Oliver at Konstam and Geetie at The Duke of Cambridge kept us all fuelled with yummy signature dishes and I think they enjoyed finding new produce for their restaurants too….. In fact all I saw Olie do all weekend was eat.
The pigs had a great time, in fact they told me it was the funnest show they had been to in a long time and next time they are going to bring their mummy and the rest of their brothers and sisters. The sheep said much the same thing, although they were a little embarrassed at being shorn in front of lots of people. Being naked on stage is never fun for anyone really.
The debate was pretty cool. The topic was ‘Is cheap food costing us the earth?’ Lots of really interesting things were discussed by the panel, Zac Goldsmith, Trudie Styler, Professor Tim Lang, Mark Price,Giorgio Locatelli and Henrietta Green. Even though we had a brief moment of madness when the power went out - thankfully everyone stayed……..
Actually a lot of people stayed and didn’t want to leave. I know people that ate their way through the rows over more than one day. Nearly 20,000 people came, plus 450 producers, two pigs, 12 sheep, 1 dog and a pigeon that snuck his way in through the entrance and is now regretting it because he’s in one of Glichrist’s pies. For the first year of us doing this, we are all pretty happy. Everyone involved should be proud of themselves and here’s to Real Food 2009!
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