Essex Fine Food Show - May 12th & 13th, 2018


In roughly under a fortnight's time, I am going to be doing a stint at the Essex Fine Food Show, donning my presenters hat and taking charge of the 'Local Chef's Stage'. Basically, this involves running maniacally around the place, with a microphone in hand. Asking various Essex based chefs questions, whilst they cook on stage. Talking to the audience, cheekily asking to see the contents of their bags. And generally filling the air with a bit of the ol' banter.

Not too unlike the sort of thing that Keith Chegwin used to do. Bless him.

And whilst the prospect fills me with excitement; in equal measure, there is also an element of fear and dread. You do have to be careful with the general public and a scrambled brain can send you off into orbit and bring you back down to Earth with a bump. Sometimes landing you in a veritable lion's den. When I say things like that, I am always reminded of an old conversation that a friend of friend once dug themselves into.

When talking to a complete stranger.


'Aw, how long have you got to go then?'


'You're pregnant, yes? Can't be too much longer now!'


'I am not pregnant.'


'Oh! I am sooooo sorry! I really didn't mean to cause offence!'


'It's just that my sister is heavily pregnant and you are nearly as big as she is.'

So no. Nooooooo. You gotta be careful out there. But I should be fine. Nerves are good before a performance - daaaarlink - and I would never, ever drop a clanger like that. Seriously, it wasn't me.


By way of giving you the lowdown, this food show based at the resplendent Chelmsford Racecourse, is in it's second year now; working as warm up to the larger Essex Food and Drink Festival that takes place at Temple Cressing, in July. Actually, suggesting that the show is simply a precursor isn't entirely fair. With a host of masterclasses, pop-ups, cooking demos, cocktails and the best artisan fare in the region on offer, it has all the makings of an excellent day out and it should go from strength to strength. Just have a goosey-gander at the exhibitors alone.


However, we must not forget to mention the fact that James Martin and John Torode - those strident titans of televisual cooking - will be in the house, on the Verstegen Stage. With flowing locks and deft swishes of spoons and blades, they will no doubt be stalking the stage like rock gods, whipping the crowds up into a frenzy and throwing their blancmange all over the shop. The mucky pups. Thank goodness for their Home Ec crew is all I can say!

James and John

I have been given a pair of tickets to both James' and John's afternoon sessions - Saturday and Sunday, respectively - starting at 3PM. If you would like to be in with the chance of winning the tickets, simply leave a comment under this post. And I will pick two at random! And no, you can't decide on which one you want to go to. Unless you want to *wink wink* slip me a brown envelope. (Note to organisers - I would never really do this. Really.)

Winners will be announced next Wednesday, at 5PM sharp and the tickets will be sent registered post the next day. Or you could collect from me in person, from...


Having read all this wonderful and thrilling news, you are probably more concerned with hearing what will be going on with the Local Chefs Stage, in which yours truly will be appearing. Yes? No?

What do you mean 'No'??

Well anyway, this year's sponsor is Dan Hull Prepared Foods, who are based in Danbury, and do a stonking ranch of delicatessen goods. Such as terrines, charcuterie and handmade salads. Dan the man himself, will be leading a session on both days. Along with Mick Binnington, Head Chef at The Windmill in Chatham Green; Adam Townsend, Head Chef at The New London Restaurant in Chelmsford; and last but no means least, David Innes, Master Butcher, who has worked previously at Jimmy's Farm, among many other places. All four are great characters, with a lot of knowledge to share and the onus of course, will be on food and fun; with plenty to sample and scoff at the end.

Please do form an orderly line though. Bun fights are not allowed at the Essex Fine Food Show and I will call security if things get out of hand.

Clockwise from top left - Dan Hull, Mick Binnington, David Innes and Adam Townsend

It would be great to see you all there, for some moral support.

Mum? Dad? I am talking to you by the way.

Please return my calls.


Unknown said…
would love!
Anonymous said…
Sounds an amazing event! Promise we will not heckle you but definitely cheer and clap in the right places. The Fletchers
Kay sale said…
Went last year and it was a fantastic foodies day out. Would love to go again.

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