Starting from 5:30pm on Friday afternoon, the whole weekend was all about my favourite thing in the world.... food. A couple of friends and i visited the 'Taste of London' food festival in Regents Park, where hundreds of exhibitors had stands to show off their wares to the masses. From top Chefs and restaurants, to farmers, producers and bars... There was something for everyone. With my good friends Nicki and Katy by my side, we kick started the evening with a couple of swift Mojitos, followed by a stand-by-stand tour of all the show had to offer. First stop is Michelin starred TV Chef, the very sexy Giorgio Locatelli... Pictured here, making me my very own Prosciutto and freshly shaved black summer truffle Crostini. Giorgio owns two restaurants 'Locanda Locatelli' in Marble Arch and 'Refettorio' in the City.
Along the way i stopped at so many different stands, stumbling across people i used to work with, everyone from Chefs to Restaurant Managers and Ice Cream Producers. My companions enjoying the 'perks' of knowing a Chef or two. Having worked with both Gary Rhodes and Michel Roux on previous events, i took the chance to take some pictures with them and they happily obliged. We stopped at so many different restaurants and food producers and we spoke to top Chefs Michel Roux (Le Gavroche), Francesco Mazzei (L'Anima), Gary Rhodes (Rhodes 24 etc), Giorgio Locatelli (Locanda Locatelli), Atul Kochar (Benares) and Alfred Prasad (Tamarind), all of whom were very kind to take the time to stop and talk to us and some of whom gave us some delicious dishes to try! Not a bad life eh?
Another favourite food stop of mine is Artisan Ice Cream maker "Oddono's" co-owned and managed by my good friend Marco and founder Christian Oddono... This is the best ice cream you will ever taste outside of Italy. My friends were both shocked at just how delicious and creamy it was... It really is superb and i am telling you that you MUST try some if you are ever at Selfridges (in the food hall) or Whiteleys, alternatively you can visit the shop where they actually make the ice cream in Bute Street, South Kensington. Visit Oddono's website at: http://www.oddonos.co.uk/ and get some! My favourite flavour is "Bacio" which means 'kiss' in Italian, followed by Pistachio. Try them and you will see why!
After polishing off our ice cream, we stumbled across a sausage company called "Simply Real Sausages" and we loaded up on the Suffolk and Cumberland varieties of these little porky beauties, which were absolutely the best sausages that i have had in a very long time! You can order them online at: http://www.simplyrealsausages.co.uk/ They have all different varieties and even more interesting, so many different colours ranging from purple to green! Don't panic, its all natural and its not colouring, its just the unique variety of ingredients that create such a vibrant array of sausages.
So what else did i get up to? On Saturday night we decided to have a girly BBQ and on the menu were sticky BBQ pork ribs, corn on the cob, some of those delicious sausages we bought at the food festival, Thai chicken skewers, Vine tomatoes and whole roasted garlic. Ok, we didnt actually manage to get through most of it, but washed down with a gallon of Champagne and some of my 'Casbah Cooler' Bison Grass Vodka cocktails, it was just fabulous. Sunday morning, we woke up, went back into the garden and had some more of those fabulous sausages with English mustard and thick country style bread, followed by Chocolate fondue with marshmallows, bananas and strawberries.... I stayed in my pyjamas until 5pm. Soooo not glam, i know. But sometimes you just have to leave the stress behind, find some good company and indulge yourself on some of lifes little luxuries. This weekend was no exception! What a perfect, blissful weekend spent with great company and best of all, spent enjoying great food! Ahhhhh, THIS is what summer time is truly all about!