Imagine your local farmers market then quadruple it in size, make it indoors and add lots of samples and tastings along with some talks and cookery demonstrations. That’s what the Real Food Festival is and it is on today and tomorrow (Saturday – Sunday 9 – 10 May ). I managed to get there on the first day, popping in after work on Friday night.
I saw Raymond Blanc from Michelin star restaurant Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons give a cookery demonstration of a fabulous summery peach and mozzarella salad and I almost bumped into Willie Harcourt Couze who is a bit of a minor celebrity now after his BBC Channel Four show Willie’s Chocolate Revolution. The best part though was wandering around the stalls and sampling and occasionally buying the produce on offer. A highlight was the Jersey Oyster stall where they freshly shucked a briny Jersey oyster for you explaining that the oyster was so fresh that you had to tip out the seawater as the shell would immediately refill with more seawater from inside the oyster. The huge crabs pictured above were also from Jersey sadly there were no crab samples available!
Bestbier cheese’s stall was surrounded by huge wheels of cheese which they generously carved slivers off for testing purposes (pictured above). The pungent but delicious aroma of the cheese was so strong that people wandered up saying that they had just followed the smell to the stand. For something different I sampled from wild boar chorizo and salami. It certainly packs a punch but I was not so enamoured that I wanted to buy it to take away.
If you liked reading this you can read about my visit to the Slow Food Market which appears every month or so on South Bank and is based on similar principles to the Real Food Festival (but a lot smaller).