Every year in November, Masterchef Live comes to London. It’s a wonderful show, an amalgamation of all things foodie.
We arrived early and enjoyed refreshments in the VIP lounge before heading off to explore. Masterchef Live is a great place to discover some of the UK’s wonderful artisan producers. I found some really interesting new companies and products to share with you over the next few weeks.
A relaxed and entertaining ‘wine walk’ with celebrity wine expert Joe Wadsack was a great opportunity to discover some new-to-us wine producers and learn a bit more about some of our favourite grape varieties.
We tasted several delicious wines – including a fabulous English sparkling Blanc de Blanc 2006 from Gusborne Estates and some outstanding Claret from Chateau Civrac. We were also very impressed by the wonderful wines at the Jean Charles de Salinières stand.
After all that wine tasting, it was definitely time for lunch. The Restaurant Experience gives you the opportunity to taste wonderful dishes from some of London’s most iconic and fashionable restaurants at very reasonable prices. My favourites
Spit Roast Wicks Manor pork with mashed winter root vegetables and Bramley Apple Sauce from Roast
Grilled Welsh Black Sirloin with house sauce and straw potatoes from Roast
Hachis Parmentier, beef and seasonal garden vegetables with local herbs and rich beef jus fromGauthier Soho.
I got a fabulous tip from one of Roast’s chefs as I watched him prepare the Grilled Welsh Black Sirloin. Season the grill, not the meat. There’s three reasons for this. It stops the meat sticking, allows the spices to penetrate, and softens the ‘bite’ of the pepper.
Dessert wasn’t forgotten either. These were all amazing
Sticky Toffee Pudding fromWallace & Co.
Apple Crumble and Custard fromWallace & Co.
Louis XV, dark chocolate praline, walnut and chocolate mousse, embellished with gold leaf fromGauthier Soho
Suitably refreshed, we made our way along to more of the wonderful selection of food producers represented at the show. There were literally hundreds of exhibitors. Eventually, our arms full of purchases, and with very sore feet, we headed back to the VIP lounge for a cup of tea – arriving just in time for a talk from the wonderful Michael Caines. Named as the UK’s number one restauranteur by the Sunday Times Food List and holder of two Michelin Stars for Gidleigh Park restaurant, Michael is an entrepreneurial chef who wants ‘to create food memories’
He gave a wonderful talk about his career, past and present, and answered lots of questions from the floor. I was very pleased to get a chance for a quick chat with Michael afterwards as well. Looking forward to 2012 and Britain’s opportunity to show off a ‘wonderful multicultural food culture’, Michael is keen to promote local and seasonal dishes and the importance of sharing good food with family and friends. His favourite meal is a good roast dinner enjoyed in good company and said that although not many people offer to cook for him anymore, he loves to be cooked for!
As always, Masterchef Live was a great day out and a wonderful source of foodie information, inspiration and resources. I’m already looking forward to next year!