Hi guys, how are you all doing? This Derby foodie attended her very first Nottingham Food Festival and I absolutely loved it. Set in the serene Wollaton Hall Park a stone’s throw from the city centre (which is also a deer park), I mingled with the foodie throng as we ate our way through gorgeous burgers, wholesome bread, warm churros with creamy chocolate sauce, all washed down with a glass of Prosecco.
It was a lovely summery day and we leisurely strolled through the park whilst nibbling on scrummy samples from the stalls. (It sounds like I’m writing a fairytale, but it really was magical.)
There was a good variety of produce including tangy chutneys, perfect plum pickles, moreish marmalades, chocolate, bread, beer and cider. I’ve heard lots of good things about Hambleton Bakery and it didn’t disappoint.
I picked up a few bready treats. The photo above was a wonderfully moist olive and tomato bread. My favourite was the Hambleton Sourdough (made from rye and wheat flour then fermented for 48 hours). I toasted this loaf and found it was delicious with lashings of home-made butter, and perfect with Wiltshire ham and mustard for a nice light luncheon. The loaf tastes better over time (I sliced mine up, stored it in Ziploc bags and ate over the course of four days.
There were gorgeous stalls selling exotic meats. I love ostrich burgers and they’re pretty darn healthy too. (What exotic food do you like – be sure to comment and let me know!)
There was no shortage of drinks either. Shipstones had a great selection of ice cold beer (the above are tasters only!), whilst Gwatkin Cider Perry was my favourite thirst quencher on a hot summer’s day.
Cookery demos took place in the various food theatres and food halls dotted around the park where brilliant chefs showcased the best of regional talent.
Arfan Razak, Phil Vickery, Lisa Faulkner, Stacie Stewart, Daniel Burridge and Sat Bains were just a few cool chefs to mention who braved the crowds and rustled up delicious treats. It always amazes me how easy the chefs make cookery look and how they always manage to keep their cool (I’m more like a manic roadrunner when cooking in my kitchen).
I saw Sat Bains make a delicious vegetable soup which was all lovely. My highlight had to be watching Arfan Razak cook up a storm in the kitchen (he made onion bhajis, a lovely chicken curry and rice pudding. What I love about Arfan’s cooking, is his no nonsense approach – he says it how it is. And also he doesn’t need an entourage to do all his work for him (this dude keeps it real, which makes me totally dig his cooking even more).
Arfan’s bhajis were crispy mouthfuls of savoury delight, his chicken curry was on the right side of spicy, and his rice pudding was to die for. Seriously. I’ve actually requested the recipe and will be blogging about it next month, so be sure to watch out for it. It’s really simple to make too and doesn’t require high-falooting mumbo jumbo ingredients.
If you want to check out Arfan’s cooking (you’d be mad not to), go to his Curry Lounge restaurant in Nottingham which is famed for traditional Punjabi dishes (here’s the link).
The organisers went all out for this festival and I’d like to say thank you for the invite. I can’t wait for the next one and no doubt it will be another excellent festival.