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30 March 2011

Sea Bass with Sizzled Ginger, Chilli and Spring Onion

Try this Asian influenced, quick and easy recipe suggested by
Fish at the Fox. It's great served over noodles, soba ones are particularly good as they are very flavoursome. To finish add a couple of wedges of lime to squeeze over.

View recipe

Photo: ©childsdesign 2011

21 March 2011

Savouring Our Bacon

There's nothing more seductive than the smell of sizzling bacon, the aroma evocative of lazy Sunday mornings has been enough for some vegetarians to return to the pleasures of the porky flesh.

This week the air will be filled with the sweet smoky wafts as we celebrate Bacon Connoisseurs' Week. Whether it's streaky, middle or back we'll be making sure only British Pork hits the frying pan, even better if it is a full flavoured rare or native breed like Gloucester Old Spot, British Saddleback, Berkshire or Tamworth. A slow growing happy pig makes for a better rasher too, preferably dry cured and smoked for depth and a nice amount of fat to gently crisp up.

Karen Nethercott of Samphire rears British Saddleback pigs on her Norfolk smallholding. The pigs run free outside leading a perfectly contented life. We have seen for ourselves what makes Karen's pork taste so great. Time, space and lots of love go into the care of her pigs which makes us appreciate every mouthful.
Food photo: ©childsdesign 2011

20 March 2011

The Edible Garden Show

Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire 18-20 March 2011

We love a spot of gardening, especially growing our own fruit and vegetables, so we thought we'd pay a visit to a brand new event, The Edible Garden Show, to see what new things we could find.

There were numerous stalls selling various bits of horticultural gadgetry, plants and seeds, but the highlight for us, turned out to be the smallholders' marquee. The edible aspect of the show was not just confined to fruit and vegetable but also livestock. Rare and native breed pigs, poultry and goats stirred up images of The Good Life – a nice thought to be able to have your very own pork, eggs and milk.
It seems that more and more people are keeping hens in their back gardens, so it'll not be long before nearly everyone has a pig or two.

Several demonstrations and talks covered everything from how to start your own allotment to caring for animals giving an all round introduction to would be smallholders.

The Edible Garden Show would not be complete without food of course and the Food Lovers Britain area had enough to satisfy any avid foodie. Amongst the exhibitors were two of our listed producers, Samphire and Edible Ornamentals.

Next year's date: 16-18 March 2012

17 March 2011

IFE 2011

ExCel, London 13 – 16 March

Describing themselves as the largest gathering of international food and drink suppliers, they weren't wrong. The event was massive and required plenty of time and stamina as well as sensible footwear.

We chose to concentrate mainly on the Speciality & Regional Food from Britain area as this is where our interest lies. There were some regional food producers that caught our attention, located in the main part of the expo too and after examining the map we trekked off to see them as well.

As with all events, we got to meet a mixed bunch of people with varying interests in The Artisan Food Trail, but hasten to say many were positive.
It can be tough traipsing around acres of exhibition hall, telling your story over and over again, but it proves that having a passion for what we do is so important to keep driving us on.

It was good to see our listed producers (Breckland Orchard, Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars  and Fudge Kitchen) have that same unending enthusiasm too, the IFE is a fairly long running event and we're sure it takes a fair amount of tenacity to get through the days, both physically and mentally.

Admittedly, trade shows are not always entirely enjoyable, but there is something to be said for treating them as a valuable learning experience, vital to business.

Next date: 17-20 March 2013

6 March 2011

Feast East

Chilford Hall, Linton, Cambridgeshire 3-5 March 2011

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Feast East was some kind of Asian eating extravaganza, it is in fact a foodie event run by Tastes of Anglia to showcase some of the best small producers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Held at Chilford Hall, site of 18 acres of vineyard it was the perfect place for such an event. As well as opportunities for sampling and buying, there was also a demonstration kitchen where Hector Bunting, chef and owner of the Anchor Inn at Nayland cooked up some interesting dishes. Emma Crowhurst was there too – does anyone remember the BBC's Food and Drink programme? You may recall seeing her on it, along with Anthony Worrall Thompson.

The event was quite packed with eager members of the public clamouring to get their hands on some fine local produce. It's great to see so many people who appreciate quality food made with care and most of all passion.

We met up with Breckland Orchard (again – Claire really does get around!) and The Artisan Smokehouse, which, incidentally, won the runner-up prize for Best Dressed Stand.

Feast East
Next year's date: TBA

Photos: ©childsdesign 2011

4 March 2011

Our Website Goes Live!

Finally, we have launched our website. It has been a long, but enjoyable process and at last we can show ourselves to the world!
The Artisan Food Trail directory is more than just a directory, as our aim is to promote our listed producers as much as possible using social media, word of mouth etc, but always direct people back to the website.

As you'll see, when you have a look around the website, we are able to offer a wide variety of other services to help artisan food producers to promote their business.

Over the coming months we hope to continue to expand the directory with more producers making this a very exciting project indeed.


2 March 2011

Farm Shop & Deli Show 2011

NEC, Birmingham 27 February – 1 March 2011

The Farm Shop & Deli Show is a new addition to specialist food trade shows and is aimed at meeting the needs of farm shops, delicatessens and artisan food halls.
We paid a visit to meet new people and to discover any up and coming food producers.

There were a variety of exhibitors including suppliers, producers, manufacturers and distributors, showcasing everything from chocolate, confectionery, charcuterie, meat, olives, sauces, preserves, condiments and chutneys through to speciality soft drinks, hot beverages, biscuits, cakes, beers, wines and spirits as well as speciality packaging, lighting and storage solutions.

It was good to talk to food producers and get their feedback on what we're doing as well as hear how the show benefitted them.
Although the event was fairly small, tucked inside the larger National Convenience Show, there were plenty of people to create a good buzz for everyone including two of our listed producers: Breckland Orchard and Womersley Fruit & Herb Vinegars

Farm Shop & Deli Show
Next year's date: 25-28 March 2012