Gloucester Quays Food Festival 2011
When the invite from the Gloucester Quays Food Festival hit our inbox, we really didn’t know what to expect, being it was their first one. But we knew that Gloucestershire is a foodie county and we were looking forward to sampling some Cotswolds delicacies and see what the local artisan producers had to offer… When I read down the invite we realised that we had been given a chance to interview Gino D’Acampo and James Martin! They were just another reason why we had to attend, that and the local cider (more on that later!).
So after a 5 hour drive for a 2 hour journey which involved a race with a reversing steamroller (which we lost) and crunching our car in a service station car park, we arrived at the Gloucester Quays Food Festival just in time to see the hundreds of people queueing up to have their Gino’s Pasta books (and shirts and knickers!) signed by man himself. Still slightly flustered by our journey, we got to ‘grill’ Gino (Click here for interview). He was charming and very charismatic, the typical TV chef that has earned him 1,000s of fans. But it was nothing compared to his cookery demo in the Aga Rangemaster Theatre – more of Gino’s ‘words of wisdom’ later in the blog…
It was a gloriously sunny couple of days and while the Food Festival was quite small it seemed very popular, Gino D’Acampo and James Martin both sold out their cookery demos. And while there wasn’t a huge variety of food on the stalls, the crowd of visitors made the weekend a success. The stalls ranged from fudge to vodka, cheese to Italian Limoncello, Olives to pies, local meats and a Champagne bar.
On Sunday morning (after a very eventful night involving Ade, very hot water and an embarrassing burn – email us if you want the story!) , we got to ‘grill’ James Martin (Click here for interview). In contrast to Gino, James was far more serious about food, he gave us the impression that he was a chef first and foremost – the TV work was the, very welcome, icing on the cake (excuse the bad food related pun). He had just returned from filming a new series, out later this year and has been busy working on his new project – Life, fork & spoon.
James Martin’s demo was on the Sunday and was a very different story to Gino’s (or Pasta Boy as James calls him). He rattled through four dishes in forty minutes and what he said was very informative yet still funny and enjoyable. Our favourite quotes being • “I like Sainsbury’s because it keeps all the riff raff out of my Waitrose.” • “Rest meat for half its cooking time, I’ll tell you why. If I put your bum in a hot pan for 10 minutes, It’ll clench. After 5 minutes, it’ll still hurt but it would have relaxed.” • “Men, listen, treat chicken like your wife – leave alone and flip it over just the once… flip it over twice and it’ll get the hump!” • “Cummin seeds are good for flatulence, they don’t cure it but they smell better.” Apart from all the laughs we still left feeling that we had learnt a few tips.
All in all the Gloucester Quays Food Festival was a great weekend. There was plenty to see and do, including adult and kid’s cookery masterclasses, arts, crafts, live music and the speciality food stalls. Add to that the bargains to be had at shops such as Le Creuset, Oneida and ProCook and you have a full weekend… Our favourites by far was the perfect mix of celebrity chefs, Gino and James complimented each other so well – who ever booked them for the festival was spot on!
We’re looking forward to next year’s event already – hopefully minus the car crash and the nasty little burn!