One of the things I love about Derby is its ability to continuously surprise. I had the pleasure of attending the Derby Grammar School’s Food Fayre & Open Day earlier this month. One of the day’s highlights was chatting to fellow foodie and cool as a cucumber Head Chef Chris Parry in residence at The Blacksmith’s Loft, Derby.

Ria & Chris P_1

Whoever thought of this genius idea, of incorporating an open day with foodie goodness (PTA Chair Caroline Euston) deserves a gold star for out of the box thinking.

Breads, pies, pastries from Hackwood Farm, Derby
Breads, pies, pastries from Hackwood Farm, Derby

Organised by the Derby Grammar School PTA, the food fayre is one of three main fundraising events held throughout the year. Now in its fourth year, the food fayre continues to be popular with the school and local community together with the exhibitors themselves, many of whom are repeat exhibitors.

Huntsman Pork Pie / Chicken Pie
Huntsman Pork Pie / Chicken Pie

The hall was packed with local producers and retailers, who showcased an array of beautiful products and scrumptious treats. From honey, freshly baked bread, pies, cheeses, candles and fudge foodstuffs, there was something for everyone.

Forteys Fudge
Forteys Fudge

This year had 25 food and drink related stall holders attending and I’m sure there will plenty more next year (yes I’m already looking forward to the next one in 2017). One of the highlights was this gorgeous cake by Rosy Banwait. The sponge was moist and delivered a punchy chocolate hit, whilst the caramel was super smooth and the silky companion to the pillowy soft sponge and buttercream icing. Why not check out her fab cakes? Hunt her down on Facebook, here’s her page.

Oozy Woozy totally gorgeous Salted Caramel Cake
Oozy Woozy totally gorgeous Salted Caramel Cake

The day itself was friendly and relaxed and the entertainment of cool live music gave people the chance to sit and enjoy the fruits of their shopping. I was super pleased to see one of my favourite eateries, Littleover Lodge there. Check out my original review here when I wrote about this wonderful place last year. There are some very exciting things happening over there, including expansion of their fine dining offerings, a new chef, a new direction of cuisine and live music events in the carvery bar section.

Derby restaurant
Littleover Lodge Fine Dining Restaurant

Combined with the school open day, there was also an opportunity for visitors to tour the school and enjoy a slice of Derby Grammar School Life. The money raised on the day helped boost fundraising efforts towards a new school mini-bus, which was great, because it felt like I was really making a difference by contributing to the greater good.

Littleover Lodge and ANOTHER mouthwatering dish
Littleover Lodge and ANOTHER mouthwatering dish

One of my favourite parts of the day was the cookery demo by Chef Extraordinaire Chris Parry, photographed here with Tom. (I’ll be dining at The Blacksmith’s Loft later this week, so look out for a food review imminently.)

Head Chef Chris Parry and Tom
Head Chef Chris Parry and Tom

I’ve also got a really exciting Q&A lined up with Chris, again, keep your eyes peeled for a fabulous foodie feature. At this show, Chris was assisted on stage by the cool Tom, check out these ab fab totally rad chefs cooking up a storm. Again a hat-tip to Caroline for organising such a brilliant show. See you next year.

RAxx

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