Foodies Festival 2018 Syon Park

Well, it only took me a full week and a bit to recover from Foodies Festival Syon Park. I’d say that is a pretty swift recovery! Looking through the pictures on my phone, I cannot believe that this show was over a week ago and I cannot quite believe the show that we put on.

I’m passionate about showcasing new foodie talent so it was a pleasure to be able to host Helen Cripps, who writes the blog Leewood Roots, in The Cake & Desserts Theatre.

The show kicked off with the debut demo by the amazing Helen Cripps of Leewood Roots

Click the pictures to visit my amazing chefs’ websites and blogs. Helen Cripps specialises in homegrown, seasonal produce, baked into vegan and gluten free treats.

Helen’s vegan and gluten free Carrot Cake was made using California Raisins and went down a treat with the crowd. Click here for the recipe!

It was all about the prints on dark backgrounds on day one!

Its not all work and no play in the prep kitchen! Helen and I interrupted Grace Hall as she did some washing up… just kidding! We do wash up in the traditional way, honest.

This picture cracks me up! Grace Hall from All Scone Bakery really is an expert at making drop scones and they really did come out perfectly and taste great – even though it looks like everything is going a bit Pete Tong here!

Grace Hall sharing her journey of redeveloping her own recipes in vegan versions after going vegan a few years ago.

Grace and her incredible vegan drop-scone pancake stack, with chocolate buttercream, salted caramel sauce, banana, pecans, and Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs. Are you hungry yet?

Day one was sunny and colourful, but then, it always is in The Cake & Desserts Theatre!

Of course, I had to bake something up myself. I went with my Rum Raisin Brownies, loaded with California Raisins and Food Thoughts Cacao, they are practically health food… not really. Click the picture for the recipe.

Serious interviewer face. Check me out, I’m practically Paxman in this pic!

Another prep kitchen selfie of some of the most colourful characters you could ever hope to find at a food festival! With Grace Hall and Becky Cummings.

Becky Cummings from Pin Up Pantry brought all things gluten free and glamorous to the theatre.

The only problem is remembering that we need to bake when we get together!

The lime to my lemon (check out our matching Luxulite slice earrings!) Becky cooked up her delicious Chocolate & Cherry Crackle Cookies. Click on the picture for a recipe that is certain to delight.

Did you know that we are giving away a KitchenAid Mini at every show location we visit? Click on the picture to see where we are going next. Take a photo with this frame and post to social media using the hashtags we will give you and you could win.

The amazing Victoria Copley from The Pink Kitchen_Made With Love came to share celebrity stories (she has worked with all of your fav chefs off the telly) and Pimms Cupcakes.

Victoria’s Pimms Cupcakes are ridiculously good. Click the photo to follow this amazing chef on Instagram.

Jack Sturgess from Bake With Jack showed us all how to make Cinnamon Buns. They were insanely good! Can you tell that it was also insanely hot in the kitchen? Whose bright idea was it to do these shows in the summer?

Jack is a brilliant chef and so much fun to have in the theatre that I think you will be seeing his cheeky face again.

Prep kitchen still life study.

A new feature to the 2018 season has been Cake & Cabaret – though you won’t necessarily see it everywhere we go, as it is rare and precious. Becky Cummings from Pin Up Pantry joined me for a special Cake & Cabaret on day one in which we both baked, side by side. We made identical Red Velvet Cakes, each using our own recipe. We then asked a select panel of judges from the audience to judge the bakes.

Much like the closing scene of Chicago, we wrapped day one with a Cake & Cabaret featuring not one little baking lady but two!

Feedback is given on both Red Velvet Cakes by our judging panel. It was agreed that both cakes were amazing.

Being a cabaret, we wanted to bring a musical note to our session. It just so happens that Becky is an amazing singer and guitarist, bringing her ukulele with her to entertain the crowd with a couple of numbers. We sang together whilst sitting on the kitchen, much like we would do if no-one was watching. Singing with my friend was a joy and having the audience singing along was wonderful.

You can see videos from this performance on my Facebook page. Click here to view!

Just two friends, sitting in the kitchen (or on it)

No rehearsals, unplanned and unplugged

Day two was one that I had been looking forward to for some time. I had some very big names coming to my theatre AND something very special planned for the Cake & Cabaret session…

Day two was always going to be a big day… just look at those names!

You don’t get much bigger than the host of BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, Matt Tebbutt. What a wonderful chap to spend a little time with. Matt kept the audience giggling as he cooked.

It was a pleasure to chat to Matt Tebbutt, host of BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen as he cooked up the easiest of sweet plates.

It’s practically Frost-Nixon, this level of hard-hitting culinary interviewing.

Matt produced a sweet homage to the omelette challenge with a deliciously sweet version with seasonal berries.

Two winners in my theatre! Kenny Tutt (Masterchef Winner 2018) and Sophie Faldo (GBBO Winner 2017)

Sophie Faldo showed off her winning skills.

Sophie’s Carrot Cake was every bit as delicious as she promised it would be!

Kenny Tutt is always an animated chef! If you want to pick up some top tips and have a good giggle, Kenny is your guy.

We couldn’t resist a cheeky pose with Kenny’s scones!

Sophie Faldo came into the kitchen for a second time (on a ridiculously hot day, so I am grateful!) to whip up these perfect Strawberry Tarts.

I have to share another picture of Becky Cummings and I because, well, look at this second amazing outfit!

My guest for day two’s Cake & Cabaret was the incredible Champagne Charlie. This star of the London Vaudevillian scene can be found haunting the Candlelight Club, sometimes solo, and sometimes with his band The Bubbly Boys.

I first met Charlie a few years back and let’s just say that he is my kind of guy. I cannot abide a gentleman who makes little effort sartorially. I felt positively under-dressed! My outfit was en homage to a prison uniform as our first number together was one from Chicago!

Champagne Charlie and I rustle up punters for our Cake & Cabaret session!

Result! A pretty packed house. Boy, how I would love to know what these guys were expecting when they sat down.

I cannot even really explain to you how fun and how anarchic this session was. The format was a dessert, made in honour of Champagne Charlie, punctuated by interview and musical numbers. I have never laughed so much.

If you would like a little taster, click here to watch our opening number on my Facebook page.

Vaudeville meets cookery demonstration.

No one in the audience is safe when Champagne Charlie is on the loose!

Foodies Festival has never seen anything like this before.

Champagne Charlie bends over backwards to entertain.

Alas, this is another of those ‘if you weren’t there, you missed it’ moments.

Two friends, no rehearsal, all anarchy… with food thrown in for good measure!

Day three of the show was all about the sisterhood of the travelling showgirl chef! Sisters were truly doing it for themselves as we showcased amazing female chefs and bakers, business owners, bloggers, mothers, friends.

Victoria Copley’s Pimms Cupcakes became another cheeky boob joke. Never above a boob joke.

Becky Cummings brought all the colours and the sunshine of her personality, as well as her cookies!

It’s like I’m building the best girl gang ever!

Suzy Pelta brought her cheaty, easy, and amazing bakes to the theatre.

I’d love to tell you what Suzy is describing in this picture…

What I can tell you is that Suzy Pelta’s S’mores Traybake was delicious! I think I may have had one or two slices…

There is always room in my girl gang for a new member. On day three we were joined by Lulu Gywnne from Betty Blythe Vintage Tearoom who brought vintage style AND the most colourful Eton Mess that I have ever seen. Again, we had an audience of young unicorn-lovers who were delighted to see this colourful pudding being made.

Lulu Gywnne whips her egg whites into submission for perfectly pastel meringues.

I’ve never seen a Unicorn Rainbow Eton Mess before and I don’t think I can ever go back to the traditional style now!

The rainbow and unicorn meringues wowed the crowd and Lulu Gywnne of Betty Blythe was a hit!

New girl gang recruit!

The spread for our End of the Show show was one of our biggest yet!

My sisters joined me for the End of the Show show, with Becky Cummings chatting to me as I baked my Sticky Toffee Puddings. Click here for the recipe.

I feel so lucky to be able to call this my job and to have made such amazing friends along the way. What more can I say without getting too soppy?

Hopefully, you will agree that this all looks like an awful lot of fun. The next opportunity you have to join in is in Birmingham 22nd – 24th June. Click here for full details and to buy tickets. Come hungry, leave happy.

Stay gorgeous!