Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m a bit gung-ho for attending foodie events – I may have gone a wee bit overboard at the Manchester Cake and Bake Show. But I found the Foodies Festival in Clapham Common to be an unusually great experience – rather than at most baking shows, where I find demonstrations to be difficult to get into and my primary focus tends to be on shopping, this one was unusually well-organised for a festival. Probably because the weather was absolutely beautiful, and they had a large beer section, so plenty of people attending were there primarily to relax (rather than bone up on tips regarding truffle making and cake decorating!), which made the festival a very fun atmosphere!
We were the first people to arrive on Saturday morning – since we live near Clapham Common, it was fairly easy to arrive on time – we (and the about 20 people behind us who were also queuing for workshops). Interestingly, rather than releasing tickets throughout the day, they offered tickets for morning and early afternoon features at 10am, while late afternoon tickets were released at 1pm. The idea was probably to keep people like myself and Beardy Boyfriend from snatching them all up, but I did notice that by about 4pm on Saturday, attendance at features had fallen off sharply.
As you can see above, the queue started early! The first workshop we headed to was a demonstration by amazing artisan chocolatier Fiona Sciolti of Sciolti Chocolates. I’ve made truffles several times myself, but I really loved the idea of infusing the truffles with natural ingredients, rather than simply flavouring them, so it was definitely the session I was incredibly excited to see.
She makes handcrafted, hand decorated artisan chocolates, but I liked that she was also willing to give tips for home chocolateurs. She was infusing her truffles with this mint and licorice tea (which she makes herself!) and she gave us some tips on straining.
After the event, I tried to convince her that she should write a book – I’d love to see a cookbook of natural truffle recipes.. There were a couple of great shops as well – are those Oreo rings not the cutest thing ever? I so need one to identify me as a “super baking blogger”
I love Titchy Kitch, and I was super excited to discover that they had a cooking club – unfortunately, it’s for children age 4 and up. I’m probably a bit old to get away with joining….but isn’t it tempting?
The Cake and Bake Tent was a new thing in the Foodie Festival, and I will admit – it was pretty clear that they were still working out the kinks. The originally scheduled speaker was Lindy Smith, but she was unable to attend, so we were lucky to enough to get Fiona Pearce subbing in. I found her really interesting and I loved a lot of her ideas (particularly to stamp fondant with stamps glazed with food colouring.) Already excited to try it!
Finally, we checked out the Barbeque Area, which was going a bit of a workshop as to how you can make things other than meat on your grill. We whipped together a quick flatbread to bake on the grill – and if I say so myself, my curry flatbread was pretty delicious.
I definitely enjoyed the Foodies Festival, although the Cake and Bake Tent definitely has more work to be done. Also, a large part of what made it an enjoyable day was the weather, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind.