Foodies Festival 2018: Oxford

Last week, I shared the penultimate show in the Foodies Festival summer season with you after quite a delay. What can I say? Life gets in the way but I did not want to leave these last shows without their proper round up. To say that our final show of the summer in Oxford was special would be an understatement.

Oxford, you were simply amazing.

And that is coming from a Cambridge girl.

I even wore dark blue for you. We kicked off the weekend in winning style with the wonderful Sophie Faldo, GBBO Winner 2017. It is always fantastic having Bake Off contestants in the theatre and hearing all about their experience on the show. It was wonderful to spend a summer with Sophie and we did far too much giggling really to get much done.

Sophie tackles her incredible carrot cake while I just hang around doing very little!

Sophie’s Carrot Cake was a winner. You can get the recipe for yourself by clicking the picture!

Sophie also whipped up these delicious mille-feuille. They went quicker than you could say mille-fe…

We carried on the winning theme with Masterchef champion Kenny Tutt. Kenny has been an absolute star in The Cake & Desserts Theatre this year and has often brought an extra batch or two of scones along with him for fear of anyone going hungry when it comes time to sample! What a gent.

Kenny brushes up his scones for the hungry audience

Kenny Tutt. Masterchef champion and all-round top bloke.

MORE winners that you can shake a stick at. We also brought you the incredible Mark Tilling, GBBO Creme de la Creme Winner 2016. What Mark does not know about chocolate and patisserie is frankly not worth knowing.

#winning with Mark Tilling

This is my serious interviewing face… apparently!

Watching Mark with a piping bag is totally hypnotic

Mark’s Gin & Tonic Cake lasted exactly as long as you think it would. There were several gin fans in the audience who really got a treat!

The funniest thing happened on day two of the show… we went all art house! My rather wonderful and eternally supportive husband, Chris, indulged his artistic side and we went black and white for a spell. I love these pictures.

In his second demo of the weekend, Mark brought along some Ruby Chocolate for us to try. Have you tried it yet? Mark used the new type of chocolate to make a ganache to fill his delicious eclairs.

Ruby Chocolate filled eclairs? I guess you could call them ‘Ruby Chouxs’!

Everything Mark bakes is delicious. Click on the picture to check out his range of courses and learn with the chocolate master.

As well as bringing the very best in top TV talent to audiences around the country, we really are passionate about showcasing local homegrown talent. Returning for her second year at Foodies Festival Oxford was the ridiculously talented Devon Kealy of Devon’s Delights.

Devon’s Beetroot Brownies really are delightful

Devon is a young chef but has already racked up several years of amazing culinary experiences and stack loads of knowledge, which she shares with our audiences

Another day, another tray of Beetroot Brownies, which were eaten up in minutes

We love to bring you brand new talent too. This year, we added the rather wonderful Helen Cripps, blogger at Leewood Roots, to our family. Helen has been an extended family member for some years now but is coming into her own as a baking talent specialising in free-from bakes. Helen whipped up the most delicious gluten-free lemon and coconut cake with coconut cream frosting.

I love watching Helen ice a cake. It’s such a treat to not have to do it myself!

Click on this picture to get Helen’s fantastic recipes all for free

We were also lucky enough to add Jack Sturgess from Bake With Jack to our family this summer. Jack is THE authority on all things bread and dough… I’m not kidding, he has so many of the kind of tips that make you slap the side of your head and say “ahhhhhhhh that’s why my bread always turns out so rubbish!” Jack’s demonstrations were always completely packed full of aspiring bakers and those who just love a cinnamon bun. They were unbelievably tasty.

Click the picture to check out Jack’s free recipes and video tutorials

A brief interlude to talk fashion… my frocks for the Oxford weekend were as follows: Day one was by Glamour Bunny.

Lorelei Dress by Glamour Bunny RRP £124. This one is always out of stock but click the picture to keep an eye out for if/when it comes back in as it often does.

Day two was a white lacey number by Joanie Clothing. Who wears white lace to bake brownies? I do!

Dress by Joanie Clothing. Click to check out their gorgeous frocks and fabulous slogan jumpers.

Day three was my lipstick print dress by Silly Old Sea Dog. I have dedicated a post to this one already, which you can read by clicking here, because I love it so much.

Luscious Lipstick Dress by Silly Old Sea Dog RRP £109 (click for full details)

Back to the baking; it wouldn’t be a southern show without the incredible John Holland of Baker on Board. Believe me, if I could bring him to every single Foodies Festival I would. John’s bakes are hugely popular and his Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake was no exception.

John demonstrated how to make this gorgeous cake AND how to make a cookie dough centre AND how to make the cookies to go on top of the cake

Once cooled, the cookies looked spectacular as decoration

When warm, the cookies melt the chocolate buttercream and we go all melty too!

John also joined me for two Cake & Cabaret sessions. Our Kylie & Jason themed baking demo was one of my highlights of the summer! I tried to embed the video of us singing together here for you but, because it was a live stream, I cannot. If you click here or on the picture below, you can watch it on Facebook.

Click this delightful picture for our Kylie & Jason Cake & Cabaret Special!

I cannot thank John and all of my chefs enough for throwing themselves into the Cake & Cabaret concept. This lot are seriously multi-talented and I wanted to show this off. I’m not going to say any more on this as I think it deserves its own blog post!

The end of the show in Oxford is always bittersweet as it marks the end of our summer season. From May to September, my summer is peppered with Foodies Festivals and the excitement of travelling the country to meet you all and to feed you. I cannot thank you enough, Oxford, for making this final summer show such a great send off. Thank you to everyone who came up and spoke to me and thank you to those of you who took the time to write to me after the show – I’m not going to make the rest of you feel bad but I have never received a thank you card before and I am not going to lie, that choked me up. I even received a special souvenir from the city from one incredibly kind visitor.

I am very excited to announce that Foodies Festival has announced a brand new location for 2019 and it is *drumroll* my hometown CAMBRIDGE! Oh my beloved light blue homeland, you have a lot to live up to.

Dress by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

We will be at the EICC in Edinburgh this weekend for our final Xmas show and the last Foodies Festival of the year. Have a look at my Events page for tickets and for all of the 2019 dates for your diary. I will let you know when 2019 tickets are on sale but save the dates in the meantime.

Stay gorgeous!