This week was a rare chance for me to work with one of my long standing home ec friends, Annabel Hartog in the food theatre at the Oxfordshire and Thame County Show.
Back in the 90’s Annabel and I were working together, travelling round the country making a Sophie Grigson programme. We coped with the most basic of kitchens, in stunning locations and we have been firm friends since. So with a packed schedule of fabulous foodie demos to organise, and the sun shining on the Showground, it promised to be A Good Day.
First up, Geoff Coleman from Cornfield Bakery had the audience hanging on his every word. No fancy stuff, just half an hour and a bowl of dough, explaining the concepts of good baking, plenty of audience participation and making that tricky ‘Bake-Off’ favourite: the 6 strand plaited loaf. I had a go myself later – it’s easy when you get the knack.
The food writer and local ambassador Jane Hornby demonstrated seabass and seasonal fruit tarts.
Kelly Mauger, who teaches at the WI’s Denman College made these amazing meringues, and had an exceptional array of food colourings in her kit. She uses kids paint brushes to add the colour to the piping bag – but they were nothing like the paint brushes in our house(!) I’d recommend long handled soft bristle brushes – perhaps even makeup brushes, for applying the colour.
After that, there wasn’t much chance for me to take snaps, suffice to say the remaining dems from the local talent were refreshingly vibrant. Chris Godfrey of Oxford Private Dining, Matt from the Michelin annointed The Hundred of Ashendon and Rebecca Boast from Le Manoir’s Cookery School.
This last pic is the produce from the garden at Raymond Blanc’s Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. It just makes me happy.